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Irish Mythology

The Tuatha de Danaan

12th century—present. Old Irish | Modern Irish, folklore.

The Tuatha de Danaan continued to make their presence known in Ireland, and would often invite warriors into their world beneath the hills and the burial mounds.

The Tuatha de Danaan were people of the goddess Dana and they were once the principal people of Ireland. They had seized Ireland from the Firbolgs, so the legends say, and their druids were very capable. When the Milesians came to conquer Ireland, the druids of the Tuatha de Danaan were at first able to protect their inheritance. But at the battle of Tailltin, the Tuatha de Danaan were defeated and they withdrew into the ground beneath the hills and the burial mounds, or across Otherwordly seas, or into a land beneath the waves.

But they continued to make their presence known, and would often invite warriors into their world beneath the hills or the water. They might lead a man to their homes by taking on the form of a deer or a wild pig. Many of Fionn mac Cumhaill’s adventures, in the ancient stories of Ireland, involve members of the Tuatha de Danaan. His son Oisin was led over the waves once by the daughter of the king of the Country of the Young. On his return, Oisin found that many hundreds of years had passed in his absence.

Story fragments recounted from: Gregory, Lady A., 1904. Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha de Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland, Arranged and put into English by Lady Gregory. John Murray, London. Reprinted, 1998. Irish Myths and Legends. Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia, USA. Part One: The Gods. Book III: The Coming of the Gael, and Book IV: The Ever-living Living Ones, pp 80–144. Part Two: The Fianna. Book X: The End of the Fianna. Chpater 2, The Call of Oisin, pp 399–402.

references

Tuatha de Danaan – Wikipedia

Gods and Fighting Men – ancient tales of Ireland put into English by Lady Augusta Gregory. 1904. Project Gutenberg.

Myths and Legends of the Celts – by Thomas Rolleston

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