1) Intoxicating Goddesses related to Healing Waters?

The goddesses of intoxication must bear some relation to curative waters, for the inscriptions dedicated to Meduna, Latis and the Comedovae were all discovered near thermal springs, and several rivers bear their name: the Meduna in Venetia, the Medu(a)na (now la Mayenne) in the region of the Loire, and the Meduacos (Latinized Meduacus, now La Brenta) in Northern Italy.2400

Concerning the Comedovae, it is possible to establish a link between the goddesses and the thermal waters of Aix-les-Bains, the healing virtues of which were already known and used in Celtic times, as the excavations, carried out by Alain Canal, in 1980, under the town council, situated in front of the Gallo-Roman spa, revealed.2401 Various objects dating from the last period of La Tène and indigenous structures were excavated, such as pot-holes the organisation of which suggested the presence of enclosures and constructions in the earth, probably houses, which at last provided a sound proof of pre-imperial occupation near the curative spring. This was already implied by the veneration of deities bearing Celtic names, such as Borvo, Bormanus, the Comedovae and the Matres, but it had never been archaeologically proved before.

Symbol of good health, honey has always been, from time immemorial, and throughout the civilisations, recognised for its purifying, preserving, protective, healing and soothing properties, so that it became the constitutive element of many a medicinal treatment and rite - such as in Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, as well as China, India, Africa, etc.2402


Olmsted, 1994, pp. 372-373 ; Delamarre, 2003, p. 222.


Canal, 1992, pp. 172-173.


Used in various medicinal preparations, ointments, decoctions or beverages, honey was generally combined with simples, which enhanced its beneficial action. See Chevallier & Gheerbrant, 1991, pp. 632-634. Diophanes of Nicaea, Geoponica, 15, tells that honey guaranteed good health, long life and old age. Pliny, Naturalis Historia, 22, 50, describes the various curative properties of honey. Nahmias,, 1975, pp. 14-15, 26-31 relates that the Egyptian papyrus from Ebers, dating from 1,600 BC (Museum of Leipzig), which is one of the most ancient treaties on the art of healing, shows that honey held a very important place in ancient medicine. In Mesopotamia, at Nippur, Irak, the most ancient written document on honey, dated 2,700 BC, was excavated. These clay tablets bear inscriptions describing the various drugs made from honey.