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A small village of N Bas Berry 25 km W of Chateauroux, at the N edge of the pond country known as the Brenne and NW of the Forê de Lancosme. In antiquity it was part of the march between the territory of the Bituriges and that of the Turones and Pictones.

No ruins are clearly visible at Vendoeuvres, whose name is Gallic in origin and comes from Vindobriga, apparently meaning white fort. However, traces discovered there show that it was once a Gallo-Roman center of major importance.

An inscription is preserved in the Chateauroux museum. The text should be compared with a number of inscriptions in the region, in particular some dedications of Néris and that of the theater at Tours Mirandes. It indicates that the city had a forum, several basilicas, some baths, and offices (diribitoria) grouped around a temple and erected by a number of distinguished citizens, former duumviri, and flamines of the Bituriges. Complexes of this type are probably conciliabula, ca. 40 are known, the most remarkable being at Sanxay and Tours Mirandes in the territory of the Pictones, at Champlieu (the Silvanectes), and Genainville (the Veliocasses). There is another belonging to the Bituriges at Derventum.

An altar now in the church at Vendoeuvres is decorated on each of its four sides with a bas-relief framed by pilasters; the upper part of the altar is ornamented with a listel. On the main face of the listel is the dedicatory inscription, at the beginning of which the word num[ini] can be made out followed by the name of the dedicator, Martia. The carved relief beneath it shows the emblems of Apollo: the Delphic tripod, bow, and quiver, as well as an unidentified bell-shaped object and a garland. On the opposite side are two joined hands, the familiar symbol of Pax, Fides, or Concordia, with below them a garland. The right side has a bunch of acanthus at the foot and three figures above it: a goddess, seated and nursing a baby, and a winged figure holding two wands. The fourth side shows two billing doves.

Another relief with a religious subject is preserved at Chateauroux. It shows a crouching god, wearing a sagum; he holds between his legs a large round object, and has two antlers on his head, the tines are held by two putti standing on either side above some large snakes. This is the well-known Celtic god whose main name, Cernunnos, appears on the Nautes pillar in Paris and whose image appears on several documents, some of them dating from before Caesar's conquest. Cernunnos is essentially a chthonic god, a dispenser of riches. His image here is remarkable chiefly for its baroque character, showing the influence of Hellenistic sculpture. The figures accompanying him occupy the place that Apollo and Mercury hold at Reims; they are worshipers (the one on the right is holding a crown which he is about to place on the antlers of the god), but they are also symbols of Cernunnos' manifold power, power which Celtic art proper expresses by giving the god more than one face. The altar and bas-relief may be dated from the end of the 2d c.


CIL XIII, 11151 = Dessau 9361; cf. Néris, CIL XIII, 1376-77, and Mirandes, Gallia 25, 2 (1967) 270.


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