Nuada of the Silver Arm Picture

Second important character of Irish mythology.

Nuada Of The Silver Arm.

Nuada also known as Nuada Airgeatlámh, meaning "silver hand/arm"), was the first king of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

When the Tuatha arrived in Ireland they first made contact with the Fir Bolg, the people who lived in Ireland before them. Nuada made an offer to them: they would share Ireland in two halves and there would be no bloodshed.

The king of the Fir Bolg, Eochaid, refused: the two sides would fight for Ireland’s kingship. The first battle was the great battle of Magh Tuiread, during which Nuada lost his arm, cut from him by the Fir Bolg Champion, Sreng. His life was saved by the Dagda, who protected him from further harm and got fifty of his men to take him away from the battlefield.

The Tuatha rose up and fought stronger for their king, meanwhile Sreng was shouting to Nuada to come fight again. Nuada accepted to fight Sreng, if he would fight with only one arm. Sreng refused and saw the Fir Bolg being beaten. The Tuatha took three quarters of Ireland, and left one for the Fir Bolg.

With his arm lost, Nuada , by law, lost his kingship, for the tradition of the Tuatha De Danann was that a king must be physically perfect. He was replaced by Bres the Beautiful, an half Fomorian known for his beauty and mind.

Bres however happened to be a terrible ruler, he imposed great tribute from the Tuatha to give to the Fomorians, who were the enemies of the people of Ireland. Anger was slowly rising among the Tuatha.

Meanwhile Nuada was healing, and a new arm was forged for him by Dian Cecht, his physician. A strong arm, entirely made of Silver. Nuada was whole again, and his people followed him with joy and relief as he took back the kingship from Bres, and ruled for twenty more years.

Bres wanted his revenge. He sought help from the Fomorian ruler, Balor, and tried to retake the kingship. But Lugh, God of the Sun, was now on Nuada’s side, and he helped him to lead the Tuatha against the Fomorian threat.

During the Second battle of Magh Tuiread, Nuada was killed and beheaded by Balor.

Lugh fought against Balor and killed him with his Sling Stone and his spear, the Gae Assail. The Tuatha victory followed soon after.

Nuada was buried on a hill, in the great sorrow of his people. His great sword was laid by his grave, one of the Four Treasures of the Tuatha De Danann.

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