The Religion of the Ancient Celts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 445 pages of information about The Religion of the Ancient Celts.

[174] Professor Rh[^y]s thinks the Partholan story is the aboriginal, the median the Celtic version of the same event.  Partholan, with initial p cannot be Goidelic (Scottish Review, 1890, “Myth.  Treatment of Celtic Ethnology").

[175] HL 591.

[176] CM ix. 130; Campbell LF 68.

[177] RC xii. 75.

[178] US 211.

[179] D’Arbois, ii. 52; RC xii. 476.

[180] RC xii. 73.

[181] RC xii. 105.

[182] RC xxii. 195.

[183] Larmime, “Kian, son of Kontje.”

[184] See p. 78; LL 245_b_.

[185] Mannhardt, Mythol.  Forsch. 310 f.

[186] “Fir Domnann,” “men of Domna,” a goddess (Rh[^y]s, HL 597), or a god (D’Arbois, ii. 130).  “Domna” is connected with Irish-words meaning “deep” (Windisch, IT i. 498; Stokes, US 153).  Domna, or Domnu, may therefore have been a goddess of the deep, not the sea so much as the underworld, and so perhaps an Earth-mother from whom the Fir Domnann traced their descent.

[187] Cormac, s.v. “Neith”; D’Arbois, v. 400; RC xii. 61.

[188] LU 50.  Tethra is glossed badb (IT i. 820).

[189] IT i. 521; Rh[^y]s, HL 274 f.

[190] RC xii. 95.

[191] RC xii. 101.

[192] See p. 374.

[193] D’Arbois, ii. 198, 375.

[194] HL 90-91.

[195] HL 274, 319, 643.  For Beli, see p. 112, infra.

[196] Whatever the signification of the battle of Mag-tured may be, the place which it was localised is crowded with Neolithic megaliths, dolmens, etc.  To later fancy these were the graves of warriors slain in a great battle fought there, and that battle became the fight between Fomorians and Tuatha De Dananns.  Mag-tured may have been the scene of a battle between their respective worshippers.

[197] O’Grady, ii. 203.

[198] It should be observed that, as in the Vedas, the Odyssey, the Japanese Ko-ji-ki, as well as in barbaric and savage mythologies, Maerchen formulae abound in the Irish mythological cycle.



The meaning formerly given to Tuatha De Danann was “the men of science who were gods,” danann being here connected with dan, “knowledge.”  But the true meaning is “the tribes or folk of the goddess Danu,"[199] which agrees with the cognates Tuatha or Fir Dea, “tribes or men of the goddess.”  The name was given to the group, though Danu had only three sons, Brian, Iuchar, and Iucharbar.  Hence the group is also called fir tri ndea, “men of the three gods."[200] The equivalents in Welsh story of Danu and her folk

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