*n-m-: THE CELTIC AND ROMAN TRADITIONS
WE SAW that Nemed is recorded in Irish tradition as a mythic ancestor who led the third in a series of invasions of Ireland. We may remember that the root (*nem-) of his name is also found in (Dru-)nemeton and, therefore, in all sanctuaries (e.g., Augustonemetum, Medionemetum; Vendryes, N-9) or tribal groups similarly denoted ( Caesar, BG VI; Tacitus, Germania 28; Ammianus Marcellinus, XV, 11, 8 all mention the apparently Germanic Nemetes having this Celtic name). The radical (nem) by itself was the Old Irish word for "heaven" (Vendryes 1959-83. N-8). Of key significance to us are the connotations of this complex term.
"Heaven" for the ancient Indo-Europeans (and specifically for a people of archaic belief such as the Celts) was not an abstract theological notion. To them, as our own vocabulary and metaphors indicate, the dwelling place of the great gods was equated with the sky, the vault above the human-inhabited Earth. (In fact, there is an entire series of Indo-European words for "god," with cognates in Celtic