A Gaulish God, also known as Mars Lenumius, Mars Lenumio: He who binds [and heals] the wound

Lenumius (Mars Lenumius, Mars Lenumio) is a Gaulish god known from a single inscription found at Benwell fort, England where he is equated with Roman Mars and the Celtic healer deity, Lenus. He would seem to be a healer of wounds, perhaps those inflicted in battle.

Mars Lenumius is known from a single dedication from Benwell (the fort of Condercum) on Hadrian’s Wall in the territory of the Otadinii tribe. The full inscription to this deity reads: DEO MARTI LENVMIVS V S (To Mars Lenumius, in fulfilment of a vow).

The deity is equated with Mars by Interpretato Romana and the first element of the name Len(u) seems equivalent to the name of the healer deity Lenus. Though no satisfactory etymology for this name has been proposed there are a number of roots in the reconstructed proto-Celtic lexicon that may be relevant: *li-n-a- (stick to, but which also has the connotation of ‘dirty, pollute’), *lī-no- (pus), *lī-no- (linnen) and *linomn- (blot,erasure). These are all words associated with wounds and infection and possibly the bandaging or treatment of those wounds. Thus the len component of the name may relate to the healing of wounds. The second element in the name mi- may be related to the proto-Celtic root *mi-nu (to bind) and thus Lenumius may also be a martial healer deity: ‘He who binds [and heals] the wound’.