Celtic Mythology A to Z ca ad

Saint Patrick brings new era of religion, education, and literature to Ireland

Christianity starts to spread to Wales

Earliest written texts of Celtic literature

MAP OF CELTIC EUROPE 800-200 bce

Celtic Europe 800-200 BCE

"Nuclear" homeland of Celtic tribes

Celtic settlement at its greatest extent in the fifth century BCE

Etruscan lands, ca. 500 BCE Celtic migration

ATLANTIC

OCEAN Brittany,

Celtic Europe 800-200 BCE

"Nuclear" homeland of Celtic tribes

Etruscan lands, ca. 500 BCE Celtic migration

Europe 500

a-to-z entries

Abartach (Abarta, Performer of Feats) A god of the Tuatha De Danann. He used trickery to lure a group of Fianna warriors to the Otherworld on a magic horse. Their leader, Fionn, rescued them.

Adar Llwch Gwin In Welsh tales, fierce and magical birds that looked something like griffins. They could understand and obey their owner, Drudwas Ap Tryffin. In preparation for a battle with Arthur, Drudwas told the birds to kill the first man on the field. But Arthur was late and Drudwas arrived first. The birds promptly ripped their master to shreds.

adder stones Magical glass or crystal charms said to be made of the hardened spittle bubbles of the adder—the only poisonous snake in the British Isles. Druids collected the adder stones in summertime and wore them around their necks for luck and protection.

Adhnuall A loyal hound of Fionn, the great and wise Fenian leader. The young son of a king stole the dog, but the Fianna chased after him and reclaimed it. Adhnuall died of sorrow after a battle at Leinster, in which many of the Fianna were killed. The dog circled Ireland three times before returning to a hill near the battlefield where three of the Fianna were buried. He let loose three tremendous howls before lying down to die.

AdnA (Adra, Ladra) A member of the first group of people to invade and settle Ireland in the part mythical, part biblical Book of Invasions. His sister, Cesair (1) was the group's leader; Adna sometimes filled the role of her husband. Their father was Bith, brother of the biblical Noah.

adventures One of the story types found in Celtic myth. The Irish word for adventure is Echtea, which is the first word in the title of several tales. The stories often involve a hero's journey to the Otherworld. The heroes of adventure tales include Art Mac Cuinn, his brother Connla (1), Cormac

Mac Airt, and Loegaire. *

Aed (1) (Aedh) The son of the Irish hero Lir (2). He and his unfortunate siblings were turned into swans by AiiFE (2), who was both their aunt and stepmother.

Aed (2) (Aedh) King of Connacht. His wife was wooed by the shape-shifter Mongan, disguised as King Aed himself. *

The son of the father god Dagda. Aed was killed by the Irish hero Coincheann for seducing his wife. Dagda could not bring Aed back to life, but he exacted an eric, or honor price, for the murder. As punishment, Dagda forced Coincheann to carry Aed's corpse until he found a boulder big enough to cover it.

An Otherworldly king of Ulster and the father of the Irish war goddess Macha (1). He took turns ruling with two other kings. Each ruled for a term of seven years. When Aed drowned, Macha went to war for the right to rule in his place.

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