Cernunnos is a Celtic god worshipped in Gaul and Britain; the name “Cernunnos” appears only once on a monument in Paris, France, but his iconography is distinctive enough that he can be identified at a number of other sites as well.

The most famous depiction of Cernunnos is probably the one found on the Gundestrup cauldron. but there are others. He is usually depicted in art with antlers and may also be shown wearing a torc or torc (sometimes on his arms or hanging from his antlers). He often sits cross-legged on the ground and is accompanied by various animals, most commonly a stag, and a snake with the horns of a ram. He is sometimes shown with a group of different animals, illustrating his connection with wild beasts in general.

In at least one carving he is shown holding a sack of gold or grain, in either case a symbol of plenty; he appears elsewhere with cornucopiae, bowls of fruit, and purses of money, indicating his association with abundance.

In one instance Cernunnos is depicted with a female consort, an unidentified antlered goddess who appears on her own elsewhere in Gaul.


Cernunnos received votive and dedicatory offerings from his worshippers; otherwise little is known of the specifics of his cult.

Cernunnos’ name may be derived from the Indo-European *k´er-n- or “horn.”

Cernunnos’ worship was widespread, and he was known over much of Gaul and Britain, as far east as Romania and as far north as England; he was particularly honored in the north-central part of Gaul.

Literary evidence

Archaeological evidence
Gundestrup, Denmark; Cirencester, England; Petersfield, England; Autun, France; Etang-sur-Arroux, France; Montagnac, France; Nuits-Saint-Georges, France; Paris, France; Reims, France; Saintes, France; Sommerecourte, France; Vendoeuvres, France; Camonica, Italy; Paspardo, Italy; Polenza, Italy; Verespatak, Romania