In Celtic mythology Taranis was the god of thunder worshipped essentially in Gaul, the British Isles , but also in the Rhineland and Danube regions amongst others, and mentioned, along with Esus and Toutatis as part of a sacred triad, by the Roman poet Lucan in his epic poem Pharsalia as a Celtic deity to whom human sacrificial offerings were made . He was associated, as was the cyclops Brontes ("thunder") in Greek mythology, with the wheel.
Many representations of a bearded god with a thunderbolt in one hand and a wheel in the other have been recovered from Gaul, where this deity apparently came to be syncretised with Jupiter.
The name as recorded by Lucan is unattested epigraphically, but variants of the name occur in inscriptions, including the forms Tanarus, Taranucno-, Taranuo-, and Taraino-.  The name is continued in Irish as Tuireann. His name is likely connected with that of the Germanic god of thunder, Norse Thor (Anglo-Saxon Þunor, German Donar), Tiermes of the Nordic Sami people,
Taranis is likely associated with the Gallic Ambisagrus (likely from Proto-Celtic *ambi-sagros = "about-strength"), and in the interpretatio romana with Mars.
The reconstructed Proto-Celtic form of the name is *Toranos "thunder". In present day Welsh taranu and taran means 'to thunder' and 'thunder' (taraniñ and taran in Breton), and in present day Irish Tarann means 'thunder'.
Taranis, as a personification of thunder, is often identified with similar deities found in other Indo-European pantheons. Of these, Thor/Thunor and the Hittite god Tarhun (see also Teshub) contain a comparable *torun- element. The Thracian deity names Zbel-thurdos, Zbel-Thiurdos also contain this element (Thracian thurd(a), "push, crash down").
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