Also Smertrios, Smertrius
From *smert- "abundance"

Continental Celtic Deity

Serpent-slaying god of the Gauls, namely the Treveri; he is also god of abundance.

There are few examples of Smertios, and only two are of note--one of the reliefs of the Sailors' Pillar of Notre Dame, inscribed SMERTRIOS, depicted as a bearded man holding a club, ready to strike a snake; and an inscription in Trier to a "Mars Smertrius"--thus equating him with the war god. However, Mars is not only a war god, but was also a god of abundance.

There is no surviving literature about him, but there are things we may be able to extract from these slight pieces of information. As a serpent-killing god, he is similar to Apollo, Thor, and Indra, but also to the the British god Nodens (also equated with Mars) who, in his later form of Lludd Llaw Ereint was plauged by warring dragons. (See Cyfranc Lludd a Llefelys.)

If we can identify Smertios with Nodens and his Irish and Welsh counterparts, we may be seeing a variation on not only the serpent-slayer, but on another figure, best known from Norse myth--Tyr, the war god who loses a hand. Nuada Airgetlam--the Irish Nodens--also lost his hand, and was fitted with a silver one. The loss of the hand had caused Nuada to lose the kingship of Ireland, and bring the devestation of the Fomorian rulers; it is a version of the Fisher King myth, wherein the king must be physically perfect, or else the land will suffer and become a waste land.

This ties in with Smertios' name, meaning "abundance". As the serpent-slayer, Smertios is comprable to Indra, who let loose the waters that were hoarded by Vritra; and to Thor, who slew Jormungand the serpent encircling Midgardr and gnawing at the roots of Yggdrasil. As comprable to Tyr, he muzzles the monsterous sun-devouring wolf Fenrir. In either case, he is a monster-killer who ensures that the world remains abundand. And this, in turn, is not so far away from his identification with Mars, who is not only god of war, but originally a god of agriculture.

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