Sequana is a Celtic goddess worshipped in Gaul; she was the goddess of the Seine and in fact “Sequana” was the name given to that river. The best-known surviving image of Sequana depicts her standing in a boat in the shape of a duck, which may indicate that the duck is significant to the goddess.
Sequana is a healing goddess, not uncommon for a water deity; this is evident from the many anatomical votive offerings left at her great shrine near Dijon.
Sequana had a major shrine located at the source of the Seine. The shrine predated the Romans but what we know of it dates from the Roman era, when it was fully Romanized and functioned in much the same way as other Roman healing shrines.
Sequana was the name of the river Seine in ancient times, but the meaning of the word is not certain. It may come from the Indo-European *sikw or “to drip or flow,” which would be appropriate for a river goddess.
Tribal and other associations
Sequana’s name is similar to that of the Sequani tribe, who were not located near the Seine river but were rather near the Saone (a river name that is not cognate with the name of the goddess). No other association between Sequana and the Sequani is known but it is worth noting.
As the eponymous goddess of the Seine, Sequana’s worship was mainly focused in the area of that river.
In Caesar’s Gallic Wars, the river name Sequana is given for the Seine; however, no mention is made of the goddess.
Vienna, Austria; Corot, France (statue on a nearby cliff); Fleury-sur-Ouche, France; Lyon, France; Saint-Germain, France; Salmaise, France; Sources-de-la-Seine, France (sanctuary); Ergolding, Germany; Weissenburg, Germany