Dis pater

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bronze statuette of the Dispater in the Archaeological Museum of Strasbourg (Alsace)

The Roman god Dis Pater (also Dispater or Dis for short ) was another name (or a facet) of the gods of the underworld Pluto and Orcus . He was also seen as the ruler of the underworld. His cult in Rome, like that of Proserpine , was only established by order of the Sibylline Books in 249 BC. Introduced as a state cult in the early days of the Roman Republic.

In addition to a chapel next to the altar of Saturnus , he shared an underground altar with Proserpine on the Marsfeld , which was only uncovered when sacrifices were made (e.g. at the secular games). Black animals were sacrificed to him.

Caesar reports in his work De bello Gallico that the Gallic Celts considered Dis Pater to be the progenitor of their people. Which Celtic god Dis Pater is identified here can no longer be reconstructed beyond doubt, some inscriptions point to Sucellus . Other researchers believe that the deer god Cernunnos was meant.



  1. Caesar, de bello Gallico 6:18. See Bernhard Maier : Dis Pater. In: Bernhard Maier: Lexicon of Celtic Religion and Culture (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 466). Kröner, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-520-46601-5 , p. 100.
  2. Alexander Demandt , Die Kelten , 6th edition, CH Beck, Munich 2006, p. 10.