From Academic Kids

This article is about a mythical people of Ireland. See Achaeans for the homeric Greek Danaans.

The Tuatha Dé Danann ("peoples of the goddess Danu") were the fifth group of inhabitants of Ireland according to the Lebor Gabála Érenn (Book of Invasions) tradition. They are thought to represent the gods of the Goidelic Irish; their Christian redactors have reduced them to historical kings and heroes, but this mask slips often enough.

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 Dée 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 Lug, the Mórrígan, Aengus and Manannan appear in stories set centuries later, showing all the signs of immortality. They have many parallels across the Celtic world. Nuada is cognate with the British god Nodens; Lug is a reflex of the pan-Celtic deity Lugus; Tuireann is related to the Gaulish Taranis; Ogma to Ogmios; the Badb to Catubodua.

The Tuatha Dé were descended from Nemed, leader of a previous wave of inhabitants of Ireland. They came from four northern cities, Falias, Gorias, Murias and Finias, where they acquired their occult skills and attributes. They arrived in Ireland, on or about May 1 (the date of the feastival of Beltaine), on dark clouds, although later versions rationalise this by saying they burned their ships to prevent retreat, and the "clouds" were the smoke produced.

Led by their king, Nuada, they fought the First Battle of Magh Tuiredh (Moytura), on the west coast, in which they defeated and displaced the clumsy and ill-armed Fir Bolg, who then inhabited Ireland. Nuada lost an arm in the battle. Since he was no longer perfect, he could not continue as king and was replaced by the half-Fomorian Bres, who turned out to be a tyrant. The physician Dian Cecht replaced Nuada's arm with a working silver one and he was reinstated as king.

The Tuatha Dé then fought the Second Battle of Magh Tuiredh against the Fomorians. Nuada was killed by the Fomorian king Balor's poisonous eye, but Balor was killed by Lug, who took over as king.

A third battle was fought against a subsequent wave of invaders, the Milesians, from Spain, descendants of Míl Espáine (who are thought to represent the Goidelic Celts). The Milesians encountered three goddesses of the Tuatha Dé, Ériu, Banba and Fodla, who asked that the island be named after them; Ériu is the origin of the modern name Éire, and Banba and Fodla are still sometimes used as poetic names for Ireland.

Their three husbands, Mac Cuill, Mac Cecht and Mac Gréine, who were kings of the Tuatha Dé at that time, asked for a truce of three days, during which the Milesians would lie at anchor nine waves' distance from the shore. The Milesians complied, but the Tuatha Dé created a magical storm in an attempt to drive them away. The Milesian poet Amergin calmed the sea with his verse, before his people landed and defeated the Tuatha Dé at Tailtiu. The Tuatha Dé were led underground into the Sidhe mounds by The Dagda.

The Tuatha Dé Danann fought against the witch Carman and her three sons. They are said to have brought chariots and druidry to Ireland.

Preceded by:
Fir Bolg
Mythical invasions of Ireland
AFM 1897 BC
FFE 1477 BC
Succeeded by:

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The Four Treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann

The Tuatha Dé Danann brought four magical treasures with them to Ireland:

Tuatha Dé Danann High Kings of Ireland

AFM: chronology from the Annals of the Four Masters; FFE: chronology based on reign-lengths given in Seathrún Céitinn's Forus Feasa ar Erinn.

Tuatha Dé Danann family tree

The following table is based on the genealogies given by Seathrún Céitinn and in the Lebor Gabála Érenn, and references in Cath Maige Tuireadh. It is not clear whether the various Elathas and Delbáeths are meant to be different figures of the same name or different traditions regarding the genalogy of the same figure. It is also notable that Fomorians such as Elatha and Balor are closely related to the Tuatha Dé.

                                    Iarbonel Faidh
     Allai                                                                 Indai
__________________________ |
     Orda                                         Nét                                               Elatha
______________________________________________ | | | |
    Etarlám                 Esar Brec                           Delbáeth                        Dot  Bres
| | | |
    Eochaid                Dian Cecht                            Elatha                        Balor
| | ___________ _________________|______________________ |
     Nuada          |    |     |    |     |        |         |          |       |         |      |
    (Elcmar)       Cu Cethen Cian Miach Airmed   Dagda    Fiacha    Delbáeth   Ogma     Allód  Ethniu
   (Nechtan)        |          |                   |                    |       |       (Ler)
  _____|____        |          |      _____________|____________        |       |         |
| | | | | | | | | |
Etarlám Nemain  Bec-Felmas    Lug  Cermait Aengus Bodb Midir Brigid   Boann  Delbáeth  Manannan
| (Tuireann) _________|_________ ______________________|__________________________________ | | | | | | | | | | | |
Ernmas            Abean  MacCuill MacCecht MacGréine   Fiachna Brian Iuchar Iucharba Danu Goibniu Credne Luchta Ollam
| |
 Ériu  =  Badb      |                                                                                            Aoi
Banba  = Macha      |
Fódla = Mórrígan = Anu

Other members of the Tuatha Dé Danann include:

fr:Tuatha De Danann ja:トゥアハ・デ・ダナーン nl:Tuatha Dé Danann no:Tuatha de Danaan pl:Tuatha de Danaan sv:Tuatha de Danann


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