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By J. A. MacCulloch
The meaning formerly given to Tuatha De Danann was “the men of science who were gods,” danann being here connected with DAN, “knowledge.”
But the true meaning is “the tribes or folk of the goddess Danu,” which agrees with the cognates Tuatha or Fir Dea, “tribes or men of the goddess.”The Tuatha Dé Danann were descended from Nemed, leader of a previous wave of inhabitants of Ireland. They came from four cities to the north of Ireland–Falias, Gorias, Murias and Finias–where they acquired their magical skills and attributes.
The name was given to the group, though Danu had only three sons, Brian, Iuchar, and Iucharbar. Hence the group is also called fir tri ndea, “men of the three gods.”
The equivalents in Welsh story of Danu and her folk are Don and her children.
We have seen that though they are described as kings and warriors by the annalists, traces of their divinity appear.
In the Cuchulainn cycle they are supernatural beings and sometimes demons, helping or harming men, and in the Fionn cycle all these characteristics are ascribed to them
The Tuatha Dé Danann brought four magical treasures with them to Ireland, one apiece from their Four Cities:
There is a lot of information dealing with this subject and its an interesting task to research this for yourself. All things emanate first from the Plane of the Mental.
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