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Relief of Mercury Cissonius from the Palatinate.
Map showing the distribution of inscriptions to Cissonius.

Cissonius (also Cisonius, Cesonius) was an ancient Gaulish/Celtic god. After Visucius, Cissonius was the most common name of the Gaulish/Celtic Mercury; around seventeen inscriptions dedicated to him extend from France and Southern Germany into Switzerland.[1]

Cissonius was represented either as a bearded, helmeted man riding a ram and carrying a wine cup, or else as a young man with winged helmet and herald's staff accompanied by a rooster and goat.[]

The name has been interpreted as meaning "courageous", "remote"[] or else "carriage-driver".[2] He was probably a god of trade and protector of travellers, since Mercury exercised similar functions in the Roman pantheon.

In one inscription from Promontogno in Switzerland, Cissonus is identified with Matutinus.[1]

The name of Niederzissen, a village in northern Rhineland-Palatinate, may be derived from the name of Cissonius.[]

A goddess Cissonia is also recorded.[3]


  1. ^ a b Nicole Jufer & Thierry Luginbühl. 2001. Les dieux gaulois : répertoire des noms de divinités celtiques connus par l'épigraphie, les textes antiques et la toponymie. Editions Errance, Paris. pp.34-5
  2. ^ J.-J. Hatt (1989), Mythes et dieux de la Gaules, I : les grandes divinités masculines, Paris, p.217. Cited in William van Andringa (2002). La religion en Gaule romaine : Piété et politique (Ier-IIIe siècle apr. J.-C. Editions Errance, Paris. pp.135,155. Van Andringa thus summarizes Hatt's conclusions: "Cissonius dériverait du gaulois cissum, voiture." ("Cissonius would be derived from the Gaulish cissum, carriage.")
  3. ^ Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend, Miranda J. Green, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1997

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