Sinatis

Etymology:

On the origin of the divine name Sinatis, most scholarship is actually agreed. De Bernardo Stempel and Delamarre give a Celtic root *sino-, meaning ‘collar’ or ‘chain’, with the aggentive i-stem suffix *-ātis. This is reinforced by a parallel with Irish mythology in the form of sín, a kind of collar which, when placed around the neck of an accused, would strangle the guilty and release the innocent.[1]

Function:

It should come as no surprise, given the Etymology of His name and its relation to its cognate in Irish mythology, that Sinatis is interpreted as a god of Justice in Noricum.[2] This is by no means a stretch, as the concept of law and justice is well attested among the Continental Celts[3] (even appearing in Greco-Roman literary sources, albeit as a trope[4]), and has recently been the topic of thorough study.[5]

In Practice:

In Bessus Noricon, Sinatis will be a god of justice and right, a virtue commonly associated with the Gaulish idea of “honor”.[6]

Interpretatio:

It is hard to definitively ascribe Sinatis a Roman counterpart, although He is attested in an inscription with several other theonyms: MARTI LATOBIO MARMOGIO SINATI TOUTATI Mog[ET]IO. This could be a dedication two one deity, two, or even six.[7][8][9] Given this inscription, it is possible He was associated with Mars.

Iconography:

According to his name[10], either chains/shackles or a collar. It is also possible that by comparison with similar deities on the Continent, the Torque would have been part of His iconography.[11]

Sources

  1. Die in Noricum belegten Gottheiten by Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, 2005, p. 23

  2. Die in Noricum belegten Gottheiten by Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, 2005, p. 23

  3. Dictionnaire de la Langue Gauloise by Xavier Delamarre, 2003, p. 254

  4. Cruel and Unusual? The Idea of ‘Celtic justice’ in the Greco-Roman Lighter Literature by Antti Lampinen, 2014, pp. 8 - 23

  5. The court of law in Iron Age Celtic societies by Raimund Karl, 2009, pp. 135 - 160

  6. Holiness, Good, Evil, Ethics, and Fate by Segomâros Widugeni, 2015, accessible here

  7. Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum III 05320

  8. Pre-Roman Divinities of the Eastern Alps and Adriatic by Marjeta Šašel Kos, 1999, pp. 30 & 43

  9. Die in Noricum belegten Gottheiten by Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, 2005, p. 23

  10. Die in Noricum belegten Gottheiten by Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, 2005, p. 23

  11. Statue et mandibules, un dépôt votif de l’âge du Fer à Yverdon-les-Bains? by Caroline Brunetti, 2001, pp. 24 - 33