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A Gaulish God: He of Death This Gauish god is known from several inscriptions found in the Provence region of France. In each inscription he is equated with Roman Mars, and this, with the interpretation of his name's meaning indicates that he was a martial deity, a 'bringer of death'.

Synonyms: Gaul: Death

Belado is known from several inscriptions, all originating in Gaul. The first of these (CIL XII 0503) was discovered at Aix-en-Provence, Boches-du-Rhône, France which reads: Marti Beladoni T(itus) Fl(avius) Iustus ex iussu (To Mars Belado, Titus Flavius Iustus [proffers this] in fulfilment of a demand). The next two inscriptions (AE 1904, 142 and AE 1904, 143) both derive from Limans, Alpes de Haute-Provence, France. The first of these (AE 1904, 142) reads: [Marti] Bela[doni] v(otum) s(olvit) [l(ibens) m(erito)] T(itus) Vent[idius?] Cila I[ (To Mars Belado, Titus Ventidius Cila I[ willingly and deservedly [offers this] in fulfilment of a vow). The next inscription, (AE 1904, 143) reads: [Marti] Bela[doni] Con[nius] Urs[us] v(otum) s(olvit) [l(ibens) m(erito)] (To Mars Belado, Connius the Bear willingly and deservedly [offers this] in fulfilment of a vow).

The final inscription (AE 1991, 1197) derives from Plaisians, Drôme, France and reads: Marti Beladoni Patern(us) Quintuli v(otum) [s(olvit)] l(ibens) m(erito) (To Mars Belado, Paternus Quintulius willingly and deservedly [offers this] in fulfilment of a vow). In each case the name Belado associated with the Roman warrior deity Mars by Interpretato Romano which strongly indicates that Belado was considered a warrior-type deity.

This association of Belado with Mars also has a bearing upon the interpretation of the deity's name. If the name is Celtic then it can only be derived from the reconstructed proto-Celtic element: *belatu- (death). Though this would be expected to give us the name Belato. However, the name also has echoes of the Latin Bellus (war/battle) but we'd then expect the form Belladus. What seems to have happened is that the Gaulish name of the deity has been given the -dus ending based on the influence of Latin bello. Thus Beladus can be interpreted as 'He of Death'.

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