Tuatha De Danann Picture

The Tuatha Dé Danann ("peoples of the goddess Danu", Modern Irish pronunciation: /t̪ˠuːəhə dʲeː d̪ˠan̪ˠən̪ˠ/, Old Irish: /tuːaθa ðʲeː ðaNaN/) are a race of people in Irish mythology. In the invasions tradition which begins with the Lebor Gabála Érenn, they are the fifth group to settle Ireland, conquering the island from the Fir Bolg.

They are thought to derive from the pre-Christian gods of Ireland. When the surviving stories were written, Ireland had been Christian for centuries, and the Tuatha Dé were represented as mortal kings and heroes of the distant past, but there are many clues to their former divine status. A poem in the Book of Leinster lists many of the Tuatha Dé, but ends "Although [the author] enumerates them, he does not worship them." Goibniu, Creidhne and Luchta are referred to as Trí Dé Dána ("three gods of craftsmanship"), and the Dagda's name is interpreted in medieval texts as "the good god." Even after they are displaced as the rulers of Ireland, characters such as Lugh, the Morrígan, Aengus and Manannan appear in stories set centuries later, showing all the signs of immortality. They also have many parallels across the Celtic world: Nuada is cognate with the British god Nodens; Lugh is a reflex of the pan-Celtic deity Lugus; Tuireann is related to the Gaulish Taranis; Ogma to Ogmios; the Badb to Catubodua.


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