Aediculum: Latin word for a niche, tabernacle or small shrine, where the statue of a divinity was placed.

Anadyomede (Venus): from Greek αναδυόμενος, meaning ‘which emerges, which rises from the water’; Venus Anadyomene is Venus ‘Rising from the Sea’; the Venus Anadyomede type is the representation of a Venus in relation with the waters.

Anatomic ex-votos: images of painful or deceased body parts, such as legs, breasts, eyes, arms, heads, feet and internal organs, left as an offering to the healing deity.

Anepigraphic (reliefs): reliefs which are not combined with an inscription identifying the represented god or goddess.

Anthropomorphic: having the form of a human being.

Ara: Latin word for an ‘altar’ or a ‘honorific monument’.

Ablutions: from Latin ablution (‘to wash’); ritual purification which consists of immersing some parts of the body in water. It is generally accompanied by religious acts and prayers.

Bardocucullus: Latin name of Gaulish origin, literally meaning ‘the cucullus of bards’, referring to the traditional Gaulish long woolly warm hooded cloak or cape, worn by peasants in Gallo-Roman times. It would have been originally the costume of bards.

Bas-relief: in a bas-relief or low relief, the design projects only slightly from the ground and there is little or no undercutting of outlines. See Relief* .

Byform: variant; closely related and sometimes less frequent form.

Byname: a secondary name; appellation, epithet.

Caduceus: herald’s staff, wand of Mercury; the object generally consists of a winged staff with entwined serpents.

Canopy: in architecture, a projecting hood or cover suspended over an altar, statue, or niche and supported on pillars. It originally symbolized a divine and royal presence.

Carnyx: wind instrument of the Iron Age Celts, attested for c. 300 BC to 200 AD. It is a kind of bronze trumpet, held vertically, the mouth styled in the shape of a boar's head. It was used in warfare, probably to incite troops to battle.

Cella: Latin name meaning ‘small chamber’, referring to the inner chamber of a temple in Classical architecture. The cella is a simple, windowless and rectangular room, with a door or open entrance at the front, surrounded by a portico and situated at the centre of a religious building. It generally contained a cult image or statue representing the particular deity venerated in the temple and an altar where the votive offerings were deposited

Cenotaph:from the Greek κενοτάϕιον, i.e. kenos (‘empty’) and taphos (‘tomb’); a funerary monument commemorating deceased people whose remains are buried somewhere else. Although the vast majority of cenotaphs are erected in honour of individuals, many of the best-known cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the war dead of a country or empire.

Centurion: commander of a century*, who had subordinate officers called principales and was replaced by the optio* when he was absent.

Century: in the Roman army, each legion was composed of ten cohorts*, which were subdivided into six centuries, each supervised by a centurion.

Chiton: Name of an ancient Greek tunic worn by men and women from the 8th c. BC to the 4th c. BC. The Dorian chiton was a woollen shirt with no sleeves, buttoned at the shoulder, while the later Ionic chiton was made of a wider piece of fabric, buttoned all the way from the neck to the wrists and girdled at the waist.

Chthonic or Chthonian: from Greek chthonos (‘earth’); pertaining to the otherworld.

Cippus: small votive or funerary stele*.

Cithara: stringed musical instrument of ancient Greece and elsewhere, similar to the lyre and played with a plectrum*.

Civitas or ‘city’: Roman administrative unit, generally corresponding to the territory of a tribe. After the Roman conquest, the Allobroges tribe for instance became the city of Vienne and the Volcae Tectosages tribe became the city of Toulouse. Each civitas had a county town and was subdivided into rural districts, called pagi (singular pagus), and secondary towns, called vici (singular vicus).

Cognomen: third constitutive element of the official name of a Roman citizen. The first two elements were the praenomen [name] and the nomen or gentilice [surname].

Cohort: in the Roman army, a legion was composed of ten cohorts, numbered from I to X, which were subdivided into three maniples composed of two centuries each, i.e. six centuries.The cohort was supervised by a prefect (praefectus).

Cornucopia: a symbol of food and abundance; also referred to as ‘horn of plenty’.

Crater: A wide, two-handled vase used in ancient Greece and Rome for mixing wine and water.

Cromlech: circle of standing stones.

Cucullus: Traditional Gaulish hooded woollen short mantle worn by peasants in Gallo-Roman times.

Decurio: 1) A Decurio civitatis was a member of the cury or ‘council of decurions’ in the cities. He administered the city and was in charge of public contracts, religious rituals, order, local tax collection, etc. 2) A subaltern cavalry officer in the Roman army, who had the same rank as a centurion and commanded a turma, composed of about forty soldiers.

Defixio: Latin name for a curse tablet or binding spell; process through which the devotio is executed: a person would ask the gods to harm another person. The cursing text was engraved on sheets of lead, then rolled or folded, and placed in tombs, thrown in wells or buried under the ground, or nailed to the walls of temples.

Devotio: bewitchment or cursing rite.

Dolmen: a group of stones consisting of one large flat stone supported by several vertical ones, containing a sepulchral chamber.

Epigraphy: from the Greek ἐπιγραφή, ‘on-writing’, i.e. ‘inscription’; the study of inscriptions engraved on various objects in stone and metal. Votive epigraphy concerns inscriptions dedicated and offered to the gods.

Ethnonym: name of ethnic groups or tribes.

Etymology: the study of the history of words, of their origin, evolution and meaning.

Ex-voto: Latin word referring to an offering made to the gods to have a vow granted or to thank the deity for fulfilling a previous vow. The objects can be in wood, stone, bronze, gold, iron or in sheet metal and may consist of representations of the pilgrims themselves, swaddled babies and protective deities (Venus Anadyomene* or Mother Goddesses); personal ornaments such as fibulas*, brooches, rings, bracelets and hairpins; coins; potteries; epigraphic altars and anatomic ex-votos.

Fanum (plural, Fana): temple of Gaulish tradition, usually composed of two square or rectangular rooms fitted into each other. The inner room, called cella, was open to the east and generally contained a cult image or statue representing the particular deity venerated in the temple and an altar where the votive offerings were deposited. The outer wall of the second room formed a gallery around the cella, where pilgrims would ritually walk around.

Favissa: pit or hiding-place where votive offerings were deposited.

Fibula: Latin word meaning ‘to fasten’; ancient brooch, which was not only decorative but had a practical function: to fasten clothes, notably cloaks.

Filiation: in the epigraphy, the filiation of a dedicator is indicated by the abbreviated forms fil(ius), ‘son of’, or fil(iae), ‘daughter of’.

Gentilice: or nomen (‘second name’) is the second constitutive element of the official name of a Roman citizen. It follows the praenomen and precedes the cognomen.

Gonfalon: a quadrangular piece of cloth, similar to the modern banner, used in cavalry charges.

Guttus (plural gutta): Vase with a narrow neck or a cruet.

Hierology: from Greek ιερος (‘sacred’ or ‘holy’), and λογος (‘word’ or ‘reason’); refers to analysis and explanation, through reasoned discourse of the sacred traditions and religions of the peoples of any time and place, which tries to reconcile faith with reason.

High-relief: in a high-relief, or alto-relievo, the forms project at least half or more of their natural circumference from the background and may in parts be completely disengaged from the ground, thus approximating sculpture in the round. See Relief*.

Hydronyms: river-names.

Hydronymy: from Greek hydor (‘water’) and onoma (‘name’); the study of river-names.

Hypostyle (room): a room which has a flat ceiling supported by columns.

Iconography: the study of plastic representations, such as statues, reliefs* or drawings.

Incubation: the act of sleeping in a temple or other holy place in order to have oracular dreams.

In-tale: a tale related within another tale.

Latin Right: civic status given by the Romans, intermediate between full Roman citizenship and non-citizen status (peregrines*).

Legion: the Roman army was constituted of legions, which were numbered, named and sometimes given an epithet of various significations, e.g. Legio XXX Vlpia Victrix, based in Germania Inferior. Each legion was composed of ten cohorts*.

Lemniscus: name of ribbons entwined around wreaths, palms of victors and supplicants.

Libation: a ritual pouring of a drink as an offering to a god.

Menhir: a large upright standing stone.

Mithraeum: sanctuary or temple dedicated to the cult of the oriental goddess Mithra. This type of sanctuaries developed in the Roman provinces in the 2nd c. AD.

Monoxylic pirogue: a pirogue which is carved out in a single tree trunk.

Nomen: or gentilice [surname] is the second constitutive element of the official name of a Roman citizen. It follows the praenomen and precedes the cognomen.

Noricum:in ancient geography, it was a Celtic kingdom or a federation of twelve tribes, stretching over the area of present-day Austria and a fraction of Slovenia. It became a province of the Roman Empire.

Nymphaeum or Nympheum: Latin word meaning ‘fountain devoted to the Nymphs’, refering to caves or grottos where a spring or a fountain rises. These water sanctuaries were presided over by female deities, called Nymphs in Classical mythology.

Oculist stamp: used as a stamp to mark medicines for eye diseases. Oculist stamps are made of stone and have the name of the doctor, illness and the ointment inscribed on the sides. As for their size and shape, the oculist stamps are generally square and about one or two centimetres wide and a few millimetres in depth. They are found in a number of sites throughout the empire, though the majority comes from the north-western provinces of Gallia Belgica and Lugdunensis.

Onomastics: from Greek onoma (‘name’); branch of lexicology - i.e. study of the meaning and uses of words - which studies the origin of proper names. It is composed of anthroponomy –study of personal names - and toponymy –study of place-names.

Optio: subaltern commander of the century who replaced the centurion* in his absence.

Origo: origin or provenance of a person mentioned in an inscription, such as his or her country, region or tribe of origin.

Pagus (plural Pagi): rural district of the civitas.

Pallium: large rectangular cloak or mantle worn by men, especially by philosophers in Greece and by early Christian ascetics.

Patera: broad shallow dish or cup with a curving rim, which was used for drinking or offering drinks to the gods in ritual religious contexts.

Peregrine: in Gallo-Roman times, peregrines were free men who did not have Roman citizenship, rights and judicial status, and bore the ‘unique name’, i.e. a single name.

Peristyle: a columned porch or open colonnade in a building which surrounds a court or an internal garden in Greek and Roman architecture.

Petasus or Petasos: Winged hat; emblem of the Roman god Mercury.

Plectrum (plural plectra or plectrums): a small piece of metal, held between the fingers and thumb ,and used for striking the lyre or the cithar.

Praenomen (‘first name’): is the first constitutive element of the official name of a Roman citizen. It precedes the nomen* or gentilice* and the cognomen* .

Prefect: commander of a cohort.

Re-employment or re-use: practice, in the 4th c. AD, which consisted in re-using an altar or an inscribed stone to build new monuments, houses and city walls.

Relief: from Italian relievare , ‘to raise’; in sculpture, any work in which the figures project from a supporting background, usually a plane surface. Reliefs are classified according to the height of the figures’ projection or detachment from the background. See Bas-relief* and High-relief* .

Runes: characters or letters composing the ancient alphabet of the northern and eastern Germanic languages (Gothic and Old Norse), known from inscriptions engraved on wood and stone.

Rupestral: composed of or inscribed on rock.

Sept: tribe.

Stamnos (plural Stamnoi): broad-shouldered, round-shaped Greek vessel, with a low foot and a low neck, and two stubby handles relatively high on its sides, used to store liquids.

Stele: slab of stone or terra-cotta, usually oblong, set up in a vertical position, for votive or memorial purposes.

Taboo: called a geis (plural geasa) in the Irish language; prohibition or obligation, comparable to a curse or, paradoxically a gift. If someone under a geis violates the associated taboo, the infractor will suffer dishonour or death. On the other hand, the observing of one's geasa is believed to bring power. For instance, the Ulster hero Cú Chulainn had a geis to never eat dog meat, and he was also bound by a geis to eat any food offered to him by a woman. When tree witches offered him dog meat, he had no way to emerge from the situation unscathed; this led to his death.

Tabularius: accountant. A tabularius sevir augustalis is a freed slave who was chosen to be an accountant and to supervise the Imperial cult of the city.

Tenon:a projecting piece of wood made for insertion into a mortise in another piece of wood.

Theonym: from Greek theos (‘god’), and nym (‘name’), the name of a god.

Thyrsus: staff or spear, tipped with an ornament like a pine cone, carried by Bacchus and his followers.

Topical: local; belonging to a particular place.

Topography: from Greek topos (‘place’) and graphein (‘to describe’); science of describing an area of land or making maps of it, giving the natural and artificial details of its shape, disposition and relief (hills and valleys).

Toponyms: place-names.

Toponymy: from Greek topos (‘lieu’) and onuma (‘name’); the study of place-names.

Torque: traditional Celtic necklace, dating from around the 8th c. BC to the 3rd c. AD, made from twisted metal, usually gold or bronze, which is open-ended at the front. The ends typically bore sculpted ornaments, such as globes, cubes or animal heads, and sometimes human figures.

Triad: collection of three deities, usually linked in some way.

Tumulus (plural Tumuli): burial mound.

Urceus: a single-handed jug.

Vicus (plural Vici): secondary town situated within the civitas, apart from the county town. It was characterized by agricultural, artisanal, commercial, religious and sometimes administrative activities.

Villa rustica: Roman ‘country house’.