Romans believed in many gods. Their cults arrived with Roman culture in Canterbury, where the Britons already had other gods. The religions gradually merged. Small figurines, for dedication at shrines or home and burial use, were mass-produced from bronze and clay. Parts of what are now France and Germany specialised in hollow-casting local fine white clay in moulds.
Figurines of Roman gods in Canterbury Roman Museum include:
- Venus, goddess of love and fertility
- Epona, the horse goddess of fertility and healing, of Celtic origin
- Dea Nutrix, the Romanised version of a Celtic goddess of fertility and childbirth represented as a seated breastfeeding woman
- A bronze figurine that is probably a Genius or personal protective spirit.
There is also a small figure of a bearded male wearing a native Gaulish hooded ‘cucullus’. The figure was a popular one but its identity is unclear. Modelled in terracotta the figurine was originally coated to imitate bronze.
Dea Nutrix, the Romanised version of a Celtic goddess of fertility and childbirth represented as a seated breastfeeding woman.