So I was up to my elbows working on another project concerning Epona, which I will blog about here in due course (probably on March 18), when I realized that on my own website, DeoMercurio.be, the page on Epona remained unwritten. Now, I’m keenly aware that, all these years after I started the site, there are still significant gaps (particularly on the English side of the site—I’ve done a bit more on the French side). However, there really couldn’t be any justification in my not having a page for Epona, surely. Then I started to think about it, and I realized that I had said to myself early on, Epona is the deity for whom there’s the least urgency for me to create a page, because elsewhere on the interwebs, there is Epona.net, and Epona.net is fantastic.
Now, if you’ve never visited Epona.net, giddy up and go do so, because the site’s creators—Nantonos Aedui and Ceffyl—did a thorough, visually appealing, and amply referenced job of it there. In fact, looking back, the major inspiration for me to create DeoMercurio.be was how impressed I was with what Nantonos and Ceffyl achieved with Epona.net. This being the case, my 2009 self pretty much said, “What’s the point of having an Epona page on DeoMercurio.be? It would just say, ‘Go check out Epona.net’.”
And thus began my reticence to work on a page that, eight and a half years later, remained conspicuous by its absence. At some time or other, I did start a skeleton page with a brief outline for eponae.html on my site (as I have for many of the others I haven’t gotten around to finishing yet). And this last week I finally decided I would get to work and flesh it all out and see if it amounted to anything.
I therefore unveil to the world the English version and the French version of my Epona pages. Some
25,000 4,500 words later, it turns out I had things to say. This is actually the longest page I’ve yet written for DeoMercurio.be (apart from the imperial cult page which I ended up splitting into three)—but part of the reason is that, unusually, I dwell at some length on Irish and Welsh mythology because in Epona’s case, just as unusually, there are legit parallels with Macha and Rhiannon, respectively, that I think are worth exploring. In addition, there are more literary references to Epona than I at first knew about (Minucius Felix not being my bedside reading!), and I tried to say something about each such reference. By contrast, when putting together the page on Mercury or Juno, I would just highlight a small sample of literary or mythological incidents out of the many possible; for Rosmerta or the Suleviæ, there were simply no such literary references at all. To my surprise, I even found myself making some hay with the Fulvius Stellus fatherhood story that, in the form in which it has come down to us, is frankly absurd. I also rather enjoyed the opportunity, however gently, to satirize the satirist Juvenal.
Please let me know if you spot any glaring mistakes on the page, or mystifying gaps or whatever. I was going to draw in some of the toponomic evidence from Lacroix’s book, but it turns out I must have returned it to the library (grrr!) so I didn’t have it to hand. However, I don’t think there are a ton of place-names referring to Epona out there (though I suppose I won’t know until I check it out of the library again!).
PS: Might I just mention in passing how much I wish there were a good English equivalent of complémentarité? I had the use the most elaborate circumlocution to convey the idea.
PPS: No relevance to the above post at all, but fly, Eagles, fly! Seriously, flea-flicker to Foles for the touchdown? Brilliant stuff.