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Irish Mythology

The Tuatha de Danaan: Midhir and Etain

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

Fuamach found Etain in the hill of Angus Og and turned her into a fly.

Once, when the Tuatha de Danaan had taken to the hills and the secret places of Ireland, Midhir lived in the ground with his wife Fuamach; but he fell in love with Etain Echraide and brought her to live with him as well.

Fuamach was jealous of this and commissioned a druid to put a spell on Etain. Etain was forced to move away and was taken in by Angus Og, the son of the Dagda, into a hill whose entrance was one of the large passage graves beside the river Boyne.

But when Fuamach saw how keen Midhir was to get her back and how well Etain was being looked after by Angus Og, she arranged a meeting between Midhir and Angus and when Angus left his home unguarded she found Etain there and turned her into a fly.

Etain flew around Ireland for seven years as a fly, until she came one day to the house of a warrior chieftain, and she fell from a beam of the roof into the golden cup that was beside Etar's wife. And Etar's wife drank her down with the wine, and at the end of nine months she was born again as Etar's daughter.

Story fragment 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 IV: The Ever-living Living Ones. Chapter 7: Midhir and Etain, pp 100–111.


Tuatha de Danaan – Wikipedia

Etain – Wikipedia

Myths and Legends of the Celts – English translations by Thomas Rolleston

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


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