Wine Mythology

January 11, 2007

There are various mythical stories about the god of wine in different cultures. For the Greeks it was Dionysos, for the Romans Bacchus and for the Celtic Treverer in the Mosel river valley it was Sucellus. Sucellus was not the god of the wine consumer as were Bacchus and Dionysos, but the god of the grape and wine producers, the vintner, the cooper, and the winemaker.

The picture below shows this Celtic god as he is usually depicted, with a sledge (or long-shafted hammer), grapes and some barrels. The statue was found in 1976 in a Roman villa near Kinheim in the district of Bernkastel-Kues, 50 km from Trier downriver on the Mosel (www.bernkastel-kues.de). You can see it in a wonderful book by Karl-Josef Gilles with the title “Bacchus and Sucellus” . The book gives a wonderful insight into grape and wine cultivation along the Mosel river during Roman times.

Sucellus