Posted 12 April 2004 - 02:11 PM
Irish Invasion Cycle;
1. THe coming of the Partholan into Ireland
2. The coming of the Nemed into Ireland.
3. The coming of the Firbolgs into Ireland
4. the invasion of the Tuatha De Denaan, or people of the God Dana
5. The invasion of the Milesians (sons of miled) from Spain and their conquest of the people of Dana.
Once the Milesians arrive we have the arrival of history. The ruling families of Ireland were said to descend from the Milesians, The people of Dana were gods, those pre-danaan were "huge phantom-like figures, whihc loom vaguely through the mists of tradition, and have little definate characterisation. Because nothing was writted down much accounts are many, varied, and conflicting.
Partholan was said to come from the west, and the vast unsailed Atlantic ocean the Irish Fairyland, the land of the living (or at least the happy dead). PArtholan's father was Sera, which possibly means west. The country at the time was different, with only three lakes and nine rivers and only one plain
The Partholonians, it is said had to do battle with a strange race, called the Famorians- they were huge, mishapen violent and cruel. The Partholonians drove them off to the north but eventually died out as a result of pestillance
THe Nemidians came, like the Partholonians, came from the mysterious regions of the dead (though this was later attemped to be altered to fit more christian ideas). They had to do constant battle with the Famorians, only banished to the north (later legends make these out to be pirates from overseas). AFter much fighting the Famorians became tyrinical rulers of Ireland, but the Nemidians revolted against them, during which period all but 30 are killed. They leave Ireland in dispair
Firbolg means men of the bags, it was said that after settling in greece they were forced by the people of that land to carry fertile land up to the rocky hills, which they did by using leather bags. When they grew weary of this they made thier bags into boats and sailed to Ireland. Not much happened with this lot.
Tuatha de Denaan literally means the folk of the god whose mother is Dana- Dana also sometimes appears as her daughter Bridid. Brigid appears all over under various variations of her name. Dana was the daughter of Dagda, the good god. She had one son named Ecne meaning knowledge and Poetry. The Tuatha De Danaan are alone called Gods in all of this invasion business. They were the powers of Light and Knowledge. Christian influence reduced them to the rank of fairies, or identified them with fallen angels. There's a lot here about the interactions between the Tuatha De Denaan and the Firbolgs, but its all very tedious and the Famorians come back in- the problem here being that much of the Irish mythology and many of the Irish Heros are associated with this period of time, and quite a bit of that info is conflicting depending on what sources you use etc.
But anyway, after a while and much questing, the Milasians come in and kick BAD_WORD, but despite them beating the Tuatha De Denaan and booting them out of Ireland there is still a general feeling that it was a good time when they were around, and they kept their exalted status- until christianity came along of course.
Many Fairies are demoted gods, aside fromt the Tuatha De denaan... river gods for example became nixes and sprites, the gods of the home became Brownies and Kobolds. Just about all of the various creatures in folklore that have slightly dubious characters were at one point Gods, or thought as such.
Yes, many people say that Fairies are the Dead, or Fallen Angels, but the problem is that when Christianity came along, many of the old gods were turned into fallen angels and the Gods were already associated with the dead becuase that's where it was believed they came from. Celtic beliefs have Death and the underworld down as a good thing, it was the nice place to be, perhaps because life was so hard. So their gods were obviously going to have come from death.
The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods.
Sonnet XCIVBut if that flower with base infection meet,The basest weed outbraves his dignity:For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds