Celtic Mythology

HE annalistic account of the groups of people who succes-

__sively came to Ireland, some to perish utterly, others to remain as colonists, represents the unscientific historian's attempt to explain the different races existing there in his time, or of whom tradition spoke. He wrote, too, with an eye upon Biblical story, and connected the descendants of the patriarchs with the folk of Ireland. Three different groups of Noah's lineage arrived in successive waves. The first of these, headed by Noah's granddaughter, Cessair, perished, with the exception of her husband. Then came the Fomorians, descendants of Ham; and finally the Nemedians, also of the stock of Noah, arrived. According to one tradition, they, like Cessair's people and another group unconnected with Noah — the race of Partholan (Bartholomew) — died to a man, although another legend says that they returned to Spain, whence they had come. Spain., figures frequently_in these annalistic stories, and a close_œnnexion be-tweenjjL_andJreland is takenior granted. This may be a reminiscence of a link byway of trade between the two countries in prehistoric days, of which, indeed, archaeology presents some proof—Possibly, tooT early Celtic colonista.reached Ireland di-rectlyjrom Spain, rather than through Gaul and Britain. Still another tradition makes Nemedian survivors wander over the world, some of their descendants becoming the Britons, while others returned to Ireland as a new colonizing group — Firbolgs, Fir-Domnann, and Galioin. A third grmip nf thpir descendants who had learned magic came to Ireland — the

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