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They would later be regarded as Celtic deities by the pagan Irish, and as fairies to the Christians. Like the Firbolgs, they were descedants of Nemedians. The Danann were learned in all sorts of arts and crafts, philosophy and medicine, music and warfare, science and magic. They were scholars, bards, druids, craftsmen, and warriors. They won the First Battle of Moytura against the Firbolgs, because of their technologically superior weapons and magic. At first, the Fomorians were their allies, but later became their deadly enemies.

Ireland enjoyed a long period of peace and prosperity. After the Milesians defeated the Dananns, the Dananns either retreated to the Land of Youth or they continued to lived on the land with the Milesians, but their homes subterranean palaces were hidden by magic from the eyes of mortals. Their homes were commonly called Sidhe or the Otherworld. In the Otherworld, the Danann remained young and seemingly immortal.

Immortal in the sense, they can live a very long life and remain young, but they can be killed and destroyed, just like any mortal. There were frequent visits of the Dananns with the mortals. Sometimes they aided mortals, while other times they seek their destruction.

Sometimes they sought marriage with mortals. Most of the times, the Dananns would come to the surface and meet their lovers, other times the mortals were allowed to live with them. Cuchulainn, the greatest of Celtic heroes of the Ulster Cycle endowed with superhuman qualities, was the son of Lugh, the sun god, leader of the Danann. With him he took his hurley, his silver ball, his javelin and his spear. He would hit the silver ball with the hurley, leap forward and hit it a second time before it touched the ground, toss the javelin ahead and then the spear, run after them all, catch the ball and javelin with one hand and the spear with the other.

Cuchulainn became the leader of the Red Branch Knights. His body turned right around inside his skin so that his heels, calves and hams appeared in front. One of his eyes drew right back in his head, the other stood out huge and red on his cheek. His hair stood up on his head like hawthorn, and there was a drop of blood on every single hair. When this happened the only way he could be calmed down was by being dunked three times in cold water. During his lifetime he made a number of enemies, and one of these Queen Maeve of Connaught brought about his downfall.

The chieftan of Louth refused to let Maeve have his bull, so she resolved to get it by force. Secretly she promised her beautiful daughter in marriage to every leader in her army and so secured the help of every warrior outside Ulster.


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Birog brought the child to Cian. Cian put the child, whom he named Lugh, into the care of his brother Goibhniu. Cian's death was only briefly given in the Lebor Gabala Erren , saying that he was murdered by the sons of Tuirill Biccreo - Brian, Iuchar and Iucharba. The story was greatly expanded a lot later, in the Oidheadh Chlainne Tuireann or the "Death of the Children of Tuireann". When the Danann gathered an army to oppose the Fomorians. Cian was sent to enlist fighting men from Ulster.

On his journey, he transformed himself into a pig to avoid the sons of Turenn, whom he had blood feud with. However, the sons of Turenn weren't fooled by Cian's disguised and mortally wounded the pig Cian. Cian pleaded with the sons of Turenn that he wished to transform back to a man, they granted his boon.


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When Lugh discovered his father's death, Lugh captured Turenn's sons. Lugh sent them in impossible quests eric , if they were to escape execution. The brothers fulfilled most of the tasks. Most of the eric, Lugh sent them were obtaining items to help the Danann with the war, such as the magic spear from Persia, and the magical pig-skin that can heal any wound or disease. In their last tasks, the brothers were mortally wounded. Turenn pleaded with Lugh to heal his sons with the healing pigskin. Lugh refused. The sons of Turenn died from their wounds, thereby avenging Cian's murder.

War dogs among the early Irish

The master smith. Goibhniu was the smith god. The other two craftsmen were Credne and Luchta. He also possessed the Mead of Youth. Goibhniu had two brothers: Cian or Kian father of Lugh , and Sawan. The three craftsmen were a triad of gods of skills called "Na tri dee dana". Some say that the other two craftsmen were his brothers. In Welsh myths, his Welsh counterpart was called Govannon , who had killed Dylan , the son of Aranrhod. The master artificer. Credne was the god of gold. The other two craftsmen were Goibhniu and Luchta.

WikiZero - Irish mythology

The master carpenter. Luchta was the divine carpenter or wrights. The other two craftsmen were Goibhniu and Credne. God of agriculture. After the war against the Firbolgs, Bres became king of Erin Ireland , when the Danann leader Nuada lost one of his hand; Nuada could not become king because of the mutilation.

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Most Danann kings were gifted with leadership, fighting, poetry, learning, or magic, but Bres lack the skill of leadership. Bres became a tyrant. Since Bres was half Fomorians, Balor aided Bres to regain rulership. War broke out between the Dananns and Fomorians. The Fomorians defeated the Dananns. The Dananns suffered from Fomorian oppression, until the arrival of Lugh Lamfada.

His son died when the youth tried to murder Goibhniu. When the Danann defeated the Fomorians, they captured Bres. Bres was spared when the former king promised to tell Lugh when it was the right time to plant and harvest the crops in the seasons.

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Lugh was a popular sun god, worshipped throughout the Celtic world. In Gaul, he was identified as Lugus or Lug. Because Lugus was identified as the solar god, the Greeks identified Lugus with the sun god Apollo. Lugh was considered as a later arrival of deity to Ireland, who probably originated from Gaul France and northern Italy.

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Lugh probably displaced the ancient tribal god named Tograin. Lugh was associated with a Celtic autumn festival called Lugnasad, held in August 1.