Delamarre (2003) says that the root of Brigantia is *bhergh-, meaning eminent and or high. Therefore Brigantia, containing the Gaulish root Brigant– is the Goddess most high or most eminent. The root comes to denote nobility, kings and those of high rank in later languages (Delamarre, 2003).
Inscriptions and iconography:
On the left side of altar RIB 630 is the depiction of a serpent. On the altar RIB 1053 there is a bird on the back, on the left side a jug and on the right a patera. RIB 2091 contains the best iconography to date with the below depiction of Brigantia:
The carving shows Brigantia depicted the same way Minerva was classically. There is a gorgon’s head on Her chest, a globe in Her left hand, a spear in Her right, and a shield to Her left. On Brigantia’s head is a plumed helmet with a turreted crown, referencing Her relationship with forts and defensive structures. And finally, on her back, wings are present, referring to the winged Victoria (Aldhouse-Green, 2018).
In the inscriptions we see Brigantia synced with Victoria in RIB 627 and 628, Caelestis in RIB 1131, and depicted in the guise of Minerva in RIB 2091.
Victoria: Victoria is the classic Goddess of victory, often depicted ‘granting’ victory to figures by placing a laurel wreath on their heads.
Caelestis: Caelestis means celestial or heavenly, and was used as an epithet for many Gods, including Juno. The epithet points to Brigantia having a high status amongst worshippers.
Minerva: Minerva is the classic Goddess of the arts, wisdom, war and crafting.
Sepânioi Rotî’s Interpretation:
In Sepânioi Rotî, Brigantia is the daughter of Taranos and an agent of order. The Winged Victory, she is a warrior who protects humanity when she can, but also does battle against the the Anguipeds/Natricocoχsā. She is associated with fire, both wild (collateral from her battles) and tame; in this latter form she is present in the signal fires and forges of the ancient hillforts. For this reason, she is a goddess of creation, creativity, and of course, protection. In her role as defender of Bitus, Brigantia can be called to be a hearth keeper and intermediary between the dêuoi and ourselves.
We have written two myths that feature her: The Fury of Taranos and The Wild Hunt.
Sources for information beyond the shared gnosis of Sepanioi Roti are as follows:
Aldhouse-Green, M.J. (2018). Sacred Britannia: the gods and rituals of Roman Britain. London; New York: Thames & Hudson.
Beck, N., 2013. Celtic divine names related to Gaulish and British population groups. Na.
Delamarre, X. (2003). Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise : Une approche linguistique du vieux-celtique continental. Paris: Errance.
Evans, E., 1994. Military architects and building design in Roman Britain. Britannia, 25, pp.143-164.
National Museums Scotland. (n.d.). Sculpture / figure of Brigantia in the guise of Minerva. [online] Available at: https://www.nms.ac.uk/explore-our-collections/collection-search-results/sculpture-figure/141383 [Accessed 13 Oct. 2021].
RIB 1053, Altar dedicated to Brigantia, Roman Inscriptions of Britain, https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/1053
RIB 1131, Altar dedicated to Jupiter of Doliche, to Caelestis Brigantia, and to Salus, Roman Inscriptions of Britain, https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/1131
RIB 2066, Altar dedicated to Brigantia, Roman Inscriptions of Britain, https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/2066
RIB 2091, Dedication to Brigantia, Roman Inscriptions of Britain, https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/2091
RIB 623, Altar dedicated to Bregans and the divinity of the emperor, Roman Inscriptions of Britain, https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/623
RIB 627, Altar dedicated to Victoria Brigantia and the divinities of the of the emperors, Roman Inscriptions of Britain, https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/627
RIB 628, Altar dedicated to Victoria Brigantia, Roman Inscriptions of Britain, https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/628
RIB 630, Altar dedicated to Brigantia, Roman Inscriptions of Britain, https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/630