Īuos Comtegisom // Festival of Unification

Just as the similarities between the Athenian and Norican cultures have been explored in this series before[1], so too will this association be used to further flesh out Norican culture, by using certain Athenian festivals as the basis for Norican innovated ones. To begin, Athens and the Norici are similar also in their apparent hegemonic dominance of other nearby peoples. It is therefore posited here that Bessus Noricon will have a festival honoring the political unity of the Norican tribes, taking after the Athenian Synoikia.

Essential to the Athenian Synoikia is the hero-cult of the mythical Athenian king, Theseus. Theseus was regarded as the founder of the Athenian state in antiquity, and eventually became the subject of a widespread hero cult, intimately connected with Athenian nationalism[2]. In this regard, there is no such known foundation myth among the Norici. There are, however, historical accounts of what are very likely the first king of Noricum: Cincibilus.[3] It is therefore also posited here that Cincibilus will be the subject of a Norican hero-cult as the unifier of the Norican kingdom. This association of Cincinilus with Theseus is even more interesting when one considers the motifs of “bull-slaying” prominent in the cult of Theseus.[4] This becomes especially relevant when considering that Cincibilus’ rise to power likely would have necessitated a subjugation war against the Taurisci, an ethnonym which De Bernardo Stempel interprets as “Tribe of the Bull”.[5] It therefore follows also to posit the worship of Cincibilus as Cincibilus Taurouanos.

In terms of an actual festival itself, elements, what few there are known, can be assimilated directly from the Synoikia. For one, it is important to understand the festival as a commemorative event.[6] It is further worth noting that the festival was also inextricably tied to Athena.[7] From this, it can be postulated that the Norican Īuos Comtegisom would be a festival for both Cincibilus Taurouanos and Noreia.[8] Unfortunately, no ritual activity besides simply sacrifice is attested. There is, however, attestations of a bloodless sacrifice being offered to the Greek Eirene on the same day as the Synoikia was traditionally held.[9] It is therefore posited here that the main sacrifice (along with normal dedications of libations, etc. to Noreia and Cincibilus) for Īuos Comtegisom will be that of service. As a festival with connotations of transition from chaos to peace[10], it is suggested here that community service of some kind should be a regular part of Īuos Comtegisom in the modern-day. In this way, a practitioner may actively partake in helping the world transition a little further from chaos into peace. (It may also be mentioned here that, as a festival marking a time of transition, Īuos Comtegisom may also be associated with Cernunnos.[11] If inclined, He may be added to the list of Dewoi that receive special attention on Īuos Comtegisom.)

Finally, a date must be selected for Īuos Comtegisom. Traditionally, the Synoikia is held on the 16th day of the Athenian month of Hekatombaion, which aligns with July/August.[12] This Athenian month would, then, coincide with the Gaulish month of Riuros. The 16th day of Riuros is part of a large Īuos run associated with the festival of Lugus, so this time of the year would already be considered a particularly sacred time, and perfect for the purpose of this festival. It is also particulary of use to note that the 16th day of the Gaulish month, marks the beginning of the second half of the month (another time of transition), which the Gauls clearly saw as separate, as is shown by the Coligny Calendar.[13] It is therefore posited here that Īuos Comtegisom be celebrated on the 16th day of Riuros.


  1. Ulatađđus Noricon by Sapouidugnatos Cincibilōs in Bessus Noricon.

  2. ATHENIAN SYNOIKISM OF THE FIFTH CENTURY B.C. by Valerij Goušchin, 2011, pp 180-181

  3. Noricum by Géza Alföldy, 1974, pp. 31-32

  4. The Iconography of the Athenian Hero in Late Archaic Vase-Painting by Elizabeth Barlett, 2015, pp. 128 - 130

  5. Linguistically Celtic Ethnonyms: Towards a Classification by Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, 2014, p. 102

  6. Festivals and Contests in the Greek World, 2011, p. 14

  7. Polytheism and Society at Athens by Robert Parker, 2005, p. 480

  8. For the role of Noreia in Bessus Noricon, see Noreia by Sapouidugnatos Cincibilōs.

  9. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities by William Smith, 1875, p. 1087

  10. Festivals in Ancient Greece and Rome by Fritz Graf, 2016

  11. For more info on Cernunnos in general or in the area of Noricum in particular, see, respectively:

    • Cernunnos by Segomâros Widugeni
    • Cernunnos in Slovenia? by MŠ KOS, 2010
  12. “Attic calendar,” In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, by Wikipedia contributors, 2019

  13. Coligny-App by Shane Krusen, based on the research of Helen McKay