Esus and the Nautes PillarWhile in Paris in November of 2005, I went to the Musée de Cluny to see a god. We went in and found him in the Frigidarium (the Musée de Cluny is built on an old Roman bath house)
I was, I admit, in awe. I wandered around the pillar, taking pictures of the other faces.
The bull with three cranes
Vulcan | Jupiter
The plaque for the Esus block of the Pillar
I walked around taking video of the entire piece, so I could remember exactly how it went together:
I then went in for some closer pictures of Esus and Tarvos Trigaranus:
Esus Top | Bottom
Normal view | Red filter
The Three Cranes
I next wandered over to block four, the only known inscription of the word "Cernunnos":
Only "ERNVNNO" remains legible.
Note the beard, the torcs, and the antlers on which they hang
Around the corner from Cernunnos was a guy called Smertios, possibly a Hercules sort of guy, and seems vaguely identified with that Roman deity.
(last part of this name recostructed)
Around the corner again, we find Castor and Pollux:
Castor | Pollux
I headed over to block 1, and started snapping pictures of that block, finding with this pair of paired divinities:
"Venus" and another deity | "Mars" and a female deity
Also on that pillar, were these two:
"Mercury" and a female divinity | "Fortuna" and another deity
Block 2 held the following reliefs:
The Nautes (sailors), no inscription | Men in arms, [EURISES] is the inscription
Depicting the ceremony of dedication | The dedication of the Pillar
The dedication reads as follows:
AUG[USTO] IOVI OPTUMO
This translates, roughly, as follows:
"[Under the reign of] Tiberius Ceasar Agustus, to Jupiter, the very good, the very great, the sailors of the territory of the Parisii place this [monument] for the people."
My Latin is a bit rusty, but that's close. Anyone want to make a better stab at it than I did?
I also snapped a picture of the explanation they had on the wall:
Of course, it's in French
I admit that I stood rooted to the floor for a good amount of this. I did not touch the relief, though I very much wanted to. In fact, there was nothing I wanted more. Meghan asked to snap a photo of me with the pillar, so that everyone could see what the size was. I stand 6'4" tall.
Me and Esus, together at last
Satisfied, more or less, with the experience (I admit I wanted to just stand there a while longer, but we had a plane to catch), we headed out.