Ancient history



In Celtic mythology, the god Ogma is known by many variant spellings:Ogm, Ogme, Ogmios, Ogmius. An h is sometimes attached to the g showing that it is almost inaudible in Irish.

Julius Caesar who writes Ogmios equates him with Mars and Lucian of Samosata (2nd century) brings him closer to Heracles. He describes him as a half-bald old man with long white hair that falls down his back. He has a lion's skin, a club, a bow and a quiver. Finally he retains by golden chains fixed to the ears, a multitude of men. According to Georges Dumézil, the tripartite ideology of the Indo-Europeans makes him comparable to the Vedic god Varuna.

In the hierarchy of the Irish pantheon Ogma ranks third behind Lug, the supreme polytechnician god, and Dagda, the druid-god, of whom he is the brother and the complement. He is in the same rank as Nuada and is therefore part of the Tuatha Dé Danann (the People of the goddess Dana) and belongs to the second warrior class whose function is to lead heroes and warriors. In this martial role, he is dressed in a lion's skin and he is armed with a bow and a quiver as well as a club. As a god of magic, he has the power to paralyze his enemies.

A mythical inventor of writing, he is credited with the creation of the Ogam which constitute the alphabet of the Druids. Therefore, eloquence and poetry also fall within its remit. He is then represented as an old man whose mouth, from which flow gold and precious amber, fascinates the crowd. He is also shown with a tongue connected to the ears of men by a chain which symbolizes his role as a unifier and civilizer.

The root of his name means "path, path", he indicates the right direction to the living and becomes a psychopomp for the dead whom he accompanies in the Other World.

You can meet him in one of his three avatars:

* Elcmar "envious, jealous", opposite of Dagda the good-god;
* Labraid "the talker", symbol of eloquence, he is a stutterer;
* Celtchar "the crafty one".

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