Ancient inscriptions containing names of gods and religious terms on monuments and small finds are of outstanding importance for knowledge of Celtic religion in its various forms. Equally revealing are the evidence of votive offerings, the groups of dedicators and their motives. So far, these sources have never been systematically documented and analysed; a research gap shall be closed through the F.E.R.C.AN. Project of the Austrian Academy of Sciences launched in 1998.
The aim of this major international project is the complete documentation, new edition and analysis of Greek, Latin and Celtic written records of religious content. As part of the edition, archaeological and historical findings, as well as linguistic-philological and religious studies, will be taken into account. For this reason, an interdisciplinary research advisory committee was established to support the epigraphic research.
Preliminary results of the F.E.R.C.AN. Project, which collaborated with the project studying ancient literary sources for the religion of the Celts’ supervised by Gerhard Dobesch (»Die antiken literarischen Quellen zur Religion der Kelten«):
The main goal of the project is the edition of the CORPUS-F.E.R.C.AN. It is intended to present a monograph comprising the epigraphic testimonies together with their translations and a commentary and an analysis of the deities in their linguistic and ritual context for every major find area. The following volumes are planned within the new publication series of the Austrian Academy of Sciences: »Alpine Provinces«, »Asia et Africa«, »Britannia«, »Dacia«, »Tres Galliae« und »Narbonensis«, »Germaniae«, »Hispaniae«, »Italia«, »Noricum«, »Pannonia«, »Raetia«, »Roma«, as well as a separate volume on »ancient Celtic religious inscriptions«. Supplementary volumes with comprehensive analyses will follow. In the final phase of the project it will be possible to compile a comprehensive »dictionary of ancient religious terms and divine names« based on the respective analyses of the »numina«. A number of publications have been already produced as the result of the regularly scheduled F.E.R.C.AN. workshops, in which various data and methodological issues are discussed.
FWF [Projekt P 14306]