Berecynthia

Gaulish Deity?

Obscure; her worship at Augustodunum (Autun, near Lyon)is mentioned by Gregory of Tours, who describes the destruction of her statue during a festival. The Christian bishop of Autun, named Simplicius, saw the peasants carring her white-veiled statue around the recently-planted fields, singing and dancing. He prayed for her destruction, and the statue fell from its cart and broke.

The rite itself is said to resemble that of the Magna Mater, the goddess Cybele, which had made its way to Gaul. However, scholars believe Berecynthia to be a local goddess.

Anwyl equated her with Brigindu of Valnay, which is a variation on Brigantia; however, this connection is highly questionable, and there are no inscriptions to a Berecynthia in Gaul.

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Mary Jones 2004