An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 eBook

Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 946 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.
The real names of the last chiefs of this line, are said to have been respectively Ethur, Cethur, and Fethur.  The first was called MacCuill, because he worshipped the hazel-tree, and, more probably, because he was devoted to some branch of literature which it symbolized; the second MacCeacht, because he worshipped the plough, i.e., was devoted to agriculture; and the third obtained his appellation of MacGriene because he worshipped the sun.

It appears from a very curious and ancient tract, written in the shape of a dialogue between St. Patrick and Caoilte MacRonain, that there were many places in Ireland where the Tuatha De Dananns were then supposed to live as sprites and fairies, with corporeal and material forms, but endued with immortality.  The inference naturally to be drawn from these stories is, that the Tuatha De Dananns lingered in the country for many centuries after their subjugation by the Gaedhils, and that they lived in retired situations, where they practised abstruse arts, from which they obtained the reputation of being magicians.

The Tuatha De Dananns are also said to have brought the famous.  Lia Fail, or Stone of Destiny, to Ireland.  It is said by some authorities that this stone was carried to Scotland when an Irish colony invaded North Britain, and that it was eventually brought to England by Edward I., in the year 1300, and deposited in Westminster Abbey.  It is supposed to be identical with the large block of stone which may be seen there under the coronation chair.  Dr. Petrie, however, controverts this statement, and believes it to be the present pillar stone over the Croppies’ Grave in one of the raths of Tara.

A Danann prince, called Oghma, is said to have invented the occult form of writing called the Ogham Craove, which, like the round towers has proved so fertile a source of doubt and discussion to our antiquaries.

The Milesians, however, did not obtain a colonization in Ireland without some difficulty.  According to the ancient accounts, they landed at the mouth of the river Slainge, or Slaney, in the present county of Wexford, unperceived by the Tuatha De Dananns.  From thence they marched to Tara, the seat of government, and summoned the three kings to surrender.  A curious legend is told of this summons and its results, which is probably true in the more important details.  The Tuatha De Danann princes complained that they had been taken by surprise, and proposed to the invaders to re-embark, and to go out upon the sea “the distance of nine waves” stating that the country should be surrendered to them if they could then effect a landing by force.  The Milesian chiefs assented; but when the original inhabitants found them fairly launched at sea, they raised a tempest by magical incantations, which entirely dispersed the fleet.  One part of it was driven along the east coast of Erinn, to the north, under the command of Eremon, the youngest of the Milesian brothers; the remainder, under the command of Donn, the elder brother, was driven to the south-west of the island.

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An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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