The Celtic Literature Collective

Lebor Gabála Érenn: The Book of Invasions
§55-64: The Tuatha de Dannan

§55. So that they were the Tuatha De Danann who came to Ireland. In this wise they came, in dark clouds. They landed on the mountains of Conmaicne Rein in Connachta; and they brought a darkness over the sun for three days and three nights. 

§56. They demanded battle of kingship of the Fir Bolg. A battle was fought between them, to wit the first battle of Mag Tuired, in which a hundred thousand of the Fir Bolg fell. Thereafter they [the TDD] took the kingship of Ireland. Those are the Tuatha Dea - gods were their men of arts, non-gods their husbandmen. They knew the incantations of druids, and charioteers, and trappers, and cupbearers. 

§57. It is the Tuatha De Danann who brought with them the Great Fal, [that is, the Stone of Knowledge], which was in Temair, whence Ireland bears the name of "The Plain of Fal." He under whom it should utter a cry was King of Ireland; until Cu Chulainn smote it, for it uttered no cry under him nor under his fosterling, Lugaid, son of the three Finds of Emain. And from that out the stone uttered no cry save under Conn of Temair. Then its heart flew out from it [from Temair] to Tailltin, so that is the Heart of Fal which is there. It was no chance which caused it, but Christ's being born, which is what broke the owers of the idols. 

§58. Now Nuadu Airgetlam was king over the Tuatha De Danann for seven years before their coming into Ireland, until his arm was hewn from him in the first battle of Mag Tuired. Eidleo s. Alldai, he was the first man of the Tuatha De Danann who fell in Ireland, by the hand of Nercon ua Semeoin, in the first battle of Mag Tuired. Ernmas, and Echtach, and Etargal, and Fiachra, and Tuirill Piccreo fell in the same battle. Bress s. Elada took the kingship of Ireland post, to the end of seven years, till the arm of Nuadu was healed: a silver arm with activity in every finger and every joint which Dian Cecht put upon him, Credne helping him. 

§59. Tailltiu daughter of Mag Mor king of Spain, queen of the Fir Bolg, came after the slaughter was inflicted upon the Fir Bolg in that first battle of Mag Tuired to Coill Cuan: and the wood was cut down by her, so it was a plain under clover-flower before the end of a year. This is that Tailtiu who was wife of Eochu son of Erc king of Ireland till the Tuatha De Danann slew him, ut praediximus: it is he who took her from her father, from Spain; and it is she who slept with Eochu Garb son of Dui Dall of the Tuatha De Danann; and Cian son of Dian Cecht, whose other name was Scal Balb, gave her his son in fosterage, namely Lugh, whose mother was Eithne daughter of Balar. So Tailltiu died in Tailltiu, and her name clave thereto and her grave is from the Seat of Tailltiu north-eastward. Her games were performed every year and her song of lamentation, by Lugh. With gessa and feats of arms were they performed, a fortnight before Lugnasad and a fortnight after: under dicitur Lughnasadh, that is, the celebration (?) or the festival of Lugh. 
Unde Oengus post multum tempus dicebat, "the nasad of Lug, or the nasad of Beoan [son] of Mellan." 

§60. To return to the Tuatha De Danann. Nuadu Airgatlam fell in the last battle of Mag Tuired, and Macha daughter of Ernmas, at the hands of Balar the strong-smiter. In that battle there fell Ogma s. Elada at the hands of Indech son of the De Dmnann, king of the Fomoire. Bruidne and Casmael fell at the hands of Ochtriallach s. Indech. After the death of Nuadu and of those men, Lug took the kingship of Ireland, and his grandfather Balar the Strong-smiter fell at his hands, with a stone from his sling. Lugh was forty years in the kingship of Ireland after the last battle of Mag Tuired, and there were twenty-seven years between the battles. 

§61. Then Eochu Ollathair, the great Dagda, son of Elada, was eighty years in the kingship of Ireland. His three sons were Oengus and Aed and Cermat Coem; the three sons of Dian Cecht, Cu and Cethen and Cian. 

§62. Dian Cecht had three sons, Cu, Cehten and Cian. Miach was the fourth son though many do not reckon him. His daughter was Etan the Poetess, and Airmed the she-leech was the other daughter: and Coirpre, son of Etan was the poet. Crichinbel and Bruidne and Casmael were the three satirists. Be Chuille and Dianann were the two she-farmers. 

The three sons of Cermad son of The Dagda were Mac Cuill, Mac Cecht, Mac Griene: Sethor and Tethor and Cethor were their names. Fotla and Banba and Eriu were their three wives. 

Fea and Nemaind were the two wives of Net, a quo Ailech Neit. 

Flidais, of whom is the "Cattle of Flidais"; her four daughters were Argoen and Be Chuille and Dinand and Be Theite. 

The two royal oxen were Fea and Femen, of whom are the Plain of Fea and the Plain of Femen. Those were two faithful oxen. 

Torc Triath was king of the boars, from whom is Mag Treitherne. Cirba was king of the wethers, from whom is Mag Cirba. Math son of Umor was the druid. 

Badb and Macha and Anand, of whom are the Paps of Anu in Luachar were the three daughters of Ernmas the she-farmer. 

Goibniu the smith, Luicne the carpenter, Creidne the wright, Dian Cecht the leech. 

§63. Delbaeth after The Dagda, ten years in the kingship of Ireland, till he fell, with his son Ollom, at the hands of Caicher s. Nama, frater of Nechtan. Fiacha s. Delbaeth took the kingship of Ireland after his father, other ten years, till he fell, along with Ai s. Ollom, at the hands of Eogan Inbir. Twenty-nine years had the grandsons of The Dagda in the kingship of Ireland, to wit Mac Cuill, Mac Cecht, and Mac Greiene: they divided Ireland into three parts. To them came the Gaedil to Ireland, so that they fell by the hands of three sons of Mil, avenging Ith, Cuailnge, and Fust, of the three sons of Breogan. 

§64. Nuadu Airgetlam s. Echtach s. Etarlam s. Ordam s. Aldui s. Tat s. Tavarn s. Enda s. Baath s. Ebath s. Bethach s. Iarbonel s. Nemed s. Agnomain s. Pamp s. Tat s. Sera s. Sru s. Esru s. Braimend s. Rathacht s. Magoth s. Iafeth s. Noe. 

Neit s. Indui s. Alldui s. Tat 

Fiachna s. Delbaeth s. Ogma s. Elada s. Delbaeth s. Net 

Ai s. Ollam s. Delbaeth s. Ogma s. Elada. 

Lug s. Cian s. Dian Cecht s. Esarg s. Net s. Indui s. Alldui, he is the first who brought chess-play and ball-play and horse-racing and assembling into Ireland, unde quidam cecinit 

Lug son of Ethliu, a cliff without a wrinkle, with him there first came a lofty assembly: after the coming of Christ, it is no idle proclamation Conchobar the wise and violent died. 

Caicher and Nechtan, the two sons of Nama s. eochu Garb s. Dui Temen s. Bres s. Delbaeth s. Net. 

Siugmall s. Corpre Crom s. Eremair s. Delbaeth s. Ogma. 

Oengus mac Oc and Aed Caem and Cermait Milbel, those are the three sons of the Dagda. 

Corpre the poet s. Tuar s. Tuirell s. Cait Conaichend s. Orda s. Alldui s. Tat 

Galia s. Oirbsen s. Elloth s. Elada s. Delbaeth s. Net 

Orbsen was the name of Manannan at first, and from him is named Loch Orbsen in Connachta. When Manannan was being buried, it is then the lake burst over the land, [through the burial]. 

The six sons of Delbaeth s. Ogma s. Elada s. Delbaeth s. Net, were Fiachra, Ollam, Indui, Brian, Iucharba, Iuchar. Donann the daughter of the same Delbaeth was mother of the three last, Brian, Iucharba and Iuchar. These were the three gods of Danu, from whom is named the Mountain of the Three gods. And that Delbaeth had the name Tuirell Bicreo. 

Tuirill s. Cait moreover was the grandfather of Corpre the poet, and Etan d. Dian Cecht was mother of that Tuirill. 

The three sons of Cermait, moreover, ut diximus; Mac Cuill - Sethor, the hazel his god; Mac Cecht - Tethor, the ploughshare his god; Mac Greine - Cethor, the sun his god. Fotla was wife of Mac Cecht, Banba of Mac Cuill, Eriu of Mac Greine. Those were the three daughters of Fiachna son of Delbaeth. Ernmas daughter of Etarlam s. Nuada Airgetlam was mother of those three women, and mother of Fiachna and Ollom. 

Ernmas had other three daughters, Badb and Macha and Morrigu, whose name was Anand. Her three sons were Glon and Gaim and Coscar. 

Boind daughter of Delbaeth s. Elada. 

Fea and Neman, the two wives of Net s. Indiu, two daughters of Elemar of the Brug. 

Uillend s. Caicher s. Nuadu Airgetlam. 

Bodb of the Mound of Femen, s. Eochu Gab s. Dui Temen s. Bres s. Elada s. Delbaeth s. Net. 

Abean s. Bec-Felmas s. Cu s. Dian Cecht, the poet of Lugh. 

En s. Bec-En s. Satharn s. Edleo s. Alda s. Tat s. Taburn. 

At Tat s. Tabourn the choice of the Tuatha De Danann unite. Of that the historian sang -

Ireland with pride, with weapons, 
hosts spread over her ancient plain, 
westward to the sunset were they plunderers, 
her chieftains of destruction around Temair. 

Thirty years after Genand 
goblin hosts took the fertile land; 
a blow to the vanquished People of Bags 
was the visit of the Tuatha De Danann. 

It is God who suffered them, though He restrained them--
they landed with horror, with lofty deed, 
in their cloud of mighty combat of spectres, 
upon a mountain of Conmaicne of Connacht. 

Without distinction to descerning Ireland, 
Without ships, a ruthless course 
the truth was not known beneath the sky of stars, 
whether they were of heaven or of earth. 

If it were diabolic demons 
the black-cloaked agitating expedition, 
it was sound with ranks, with hosts: 
if of men, it was the proteny of Bethach. 

Of men belonging to law (is) 
the greeborn who has the strong seed: 
Bethach, a swift warrior-island (?) 
son of Iarbonel son of Nemed. 

They cast no assembly or justice 
about the place of Fal to the sunset: 
there was fire and fighting 
at last in Mag Tuired. 

The Tuatha De, it was the bed of a mighty one, 
around the People of Bags fought for the kingship: 
in their battle with abundance of pride, 
troops of hundreds of thousands died. 

The sons of Elada, glory of weapons, 
a wolf of division against a man of plunder: 
Bres from the Brug of Banba of wise utterance, 
Dagda, Delbaeth, and Ogma. 

Eriu, though it should reach a road-end, 
Banba, Fotla, and Fea, 
Neman of ingenious versicles, 
Danann, mother of the gods. 

Badb and Macha, greatness of wealth, Morrigu--
springs of craftiness, 
sources of bitter fighting 
were the three daughters of Ernmas. 

Goibniu who was not impotent in smelting, 
Luichtne, the free wright Creidne, 
Dian Cecht, for going roads of great healing, 
Mac ind Oc, Lug son of Ethliu. 

Cridinbel, famous Bruinde, 
Be Chuille, shapely Danand, 
Casmael with bardism of perfecdtion, 
Coirpre son of Etan, and Etan. 

The grandsons of the Dagda, who had a triple division (?) 
divided Banba of the bugle-horns; let us tell of the 
princes of excellence of hospitality, 
the three sons of Cermat of Cualu. 

Though Ireland was multitudes of thousands 
they divided her land into thirds: 
great chieftains of deeds of pride, 
Mac Cuill, Mac Cecht, Mac Greine. 

He swept them clean from their land, did the Son of God, 
from the royal plain which I make manifest: 
for all the valour of their deeds, 
of their clear division, their seed is not over Ireland. 

It is Eochu without enchantment of leapings who fashions 
the distinction of his good quatrains; 
but knowledge of the warriors when he relates it, 
though he enumerates them, he adores them not. 

Adore ye the name of the King who measured you, 
who apportions every truth which he (Eochu) narrates: 
who hath released every storm which we expect, 
who hath fashioned the pleasant land of Ireland. 

Tanaide sang:

The Tuatha De Danann under obscurity, 
a people without a covenant of religion; 
whelps of the wood that has not withered, 
people of the blood of Adam's flesh. 

Nobles yonder of the strong people, 
people of the withered summit, let us relate, 
in the course in which we are, 
their periods in their kingdom. 

A space of seven years oq Nuadu noble--
stately over the fair-haired compnay, 
the rule of the man large-breasted, 
flaxen-maned, before his coming into Ireland. 

In Mag Tuired, heavy with doom, 
where fell a champion of the battle, 
from the white defender of the world--
his arm of princedom was lopped off 

Seven years of Bres, which was not a white space, 
through its fair prospect for the song-abbot, 
in the princedom over the plain, generous in nuts, 
till the arm of Nuadu was healed. 

Nuadu after that twenty years, 
he brought the fairy-folk a-hosting, 
till Lugh the spear-slaughterous was made king--
the many-crafted who cooled not. 

Forty to Lugh--it was balanced--
in the kingship over the Palace of Banba; 
he reached no celestial bed of innocence; 
eighty to The Dagda. 

Ten years to vehement Delbaeth 
till one wise in course and royal (?) arrived, 
faultness over the brink of the ocean--
ten other to Fiachna. 

Twenty-nine years, I have proclaimed it, 
over every peace--land of Ireland, 
in the kingdom over Banba eduringly great 
had the grandons of The Dagda skilled in denseng. 

Thereafter the sons of Mil came, 
they arrived to redden them--
children of the great hero 
who burst out of Spain without growing cold. 

Till the deedful Gaedil wounded them, 
without a troop, through their cunning, 
it is not a matter of fable or of folly 
that small was the weakness of the Tuatha. 

Fland Mainstrech cecinit 

Hearken, ye sages without sorrow, 
if it be your will that I relate the deaths yonder, 
with astuteness, of the choise of 
the Tuatha De Danann. 

Edleo son of Alldai yonder, 
the first man of the Tuatha De 
Danann who fell in virgin Ireland, 
by the hand of Nerchon grandson of Semeon. 

Ernams, high her valour, fell, 
Fiachra, Echtach, Etargal, 
Tuirill Picreo of Baile Breg 
in the first batle of Mag Tuired. 

Elloth with battle fell--
the father, great and rough, of 
Manannan--and perfect, fair Donand, 
at the hands of De Domnand of the Fomoraig. 

Cethen of Cu died 
of horror in Aircheltra; 
Cian far from his home did Brian, 
Iucharba dn Iuchar slay. 

Of a stroke of the pure sun 
died Cairpre the great, son of Etan: 
Etan died over the pool of sorrow 
for white-headed Cairpre. 

In Mag Tuired, it was through battle 
Nuadu Airgetlam fell: and Macha
--that was after Samhain--by the hand of Balar 
the strong-smiter. 

Ogma fell, without being weak 
at the hands of Indech son of De Domnann: 
breasted Casmael the good fell at the 
hands of Oichtriallach son of Indech. 

Now of painful plague died 
Dian Cecht and Goibnenn the smith: 
Liughne the wright fell along 
with them by a strong fiery dart. 

Creidne the pleasant artificer 
was drowned on the lake-sea, the sinister pool, 
fetching treasures of noble gold to 
Ireland from Spain. 

Bress died in Carn ui Neit by the treachery of Lug, 
with no fullness of falsehood: 
for him it was a cause of quarrel 
indeed drinking bog-stuff in the guise of milk. 

De Chuille and faithful Dianann, 
both the farmeresses died, 
an evening with druidry, 
at the last, by gray demons of air. 

He fell on the strand eastward in the trenches of Rath 
Ailig, Did Indui the great, 
son of pleasant Delbaith, at the 
hands of Gann, a youth bold, white-fisted. 

Fea, lasting was his fame, 
died at the end of a month after 
his slaying at the same stronghold--we think it fitting--
for sorrow for Indui the white-haired. 

Boind died at the combat 
at the wellspring of the son of noble Nechtan: 
Aine daughter of the Dagda died for the 
love that she gave to Banba. 

Cairpre fell--remember thou! 
by the hand of Nechtan son of Nama: 
Nechtan fell by the poison at the hands of 
Sigmall, grandson of Free Midir. 

Abean son of cold Bic-felmais, 
the bard of Lug with full victory, 
he fell by the hand of Oengus 
without reproach in front of Midir of mighty deeds. 

Midir son if Indui yonder 
fell by the hand of Elemar: 
fell Elemar, fit for fight, 
at the hands of Oengus the perfect. 

Brian, Iucharba, and Iuchar there, 
the three gods of the Tuatha De Danann 
were slain at Mana over the bright sea 
by the hand of Lug son of Ethliu. 

Cermait son of the divine Dagda Lug 
... (?) 
wounded him it was a sorrow of grief 
upon the plain in the reign of Eochu Ollathair. 

Cermat Milbel the mighty fell 
at the hands of harsh Lug son of Ethliu, 
in jealousy about his wife, great the fashion, 
concerning whom the druid lied unto him. 

By the hand of Mac Cecht 
without affection the harper fell: 
moreover Lug fell over the wave, 
by the hand of Mac Cuill son of Cermat. 

Aed son of The Dagda fell at the hands 
of Corrchend the fair, of equal valour; 
without deceit, it was a desire of 
strictness, after he had gone to his wife iniquitously. 

Corrcend from Cruach fell
--the harsh very swift champion, 
by the stone which he raised on the strand 
over the grave of shamefaced Aed. 

Cridinbel squiting and crooked fell
--the chief spell-weaver of the Tuatha De Danann--
of the gold which he found in the idle Bann, 
by the hand of The Dagda, grandson of Delbaeth. 

As he came from cold Alba he, 
the son of The Dagda of 
ruddy form, at the outlet of Boinn, 
over here, there was Oengus drowned. 

The only son of Manannan from the bay, 
the first love of the aged woman, 
the tender youth fell in the plain at the 
hands of Idle Bennan, on the plain of Breg. 

Net son of Indui and his two wives, 
Badb and Neman without deceit, 
were slain in Ailech without blame by 
Nemtuir the Red, of the Fomoraig. 

Fuamnach the white (?) who was wife of Midir, 
Sigmall and Bri without faults, 
In Bri Leith, it was full vigour, they 
were burnt by Manannan. 

The son of Allot fell, with valour, 
the rich treasure, Manannan, 
in the battle in harsh Cuillend by the hand of 
Uillend of the red eyebrows. 

Uillend with pride fell 
at the hands of Mac Greine with pure victory: 
the wife of the brown Dagda 
perished of plague of the slope in Liathdruim. 

The Dagda died of a dart of gore in the Brug
--it is no falsehood--
wherewith the woman Cethlenn gave him mortal hurt, 
in the great battle of Mag Tuired. 

Delbaeth and his son fell 
at the hands of Caicher, the noble son of Nama: 
Caicher fell at the idle Boinn, 
at the hands of Fiachna son of Delbaeth. 

Fiacha and noble Ai fell 
before sound Eogan of the Creek: 
Eogan of the cold creek fell 
before Eochaid the knowing, hard as iron. 

Eochaid of knowledge fell thereafter 
At the hands of Ed and of Labraid: 
Labraid, Oengus, Aed, fell 
At the hands of Cermat of form all fair. 

Eriu and Fotla with pride, 
Mac Greine and Banba with victory, 
Mac Cuill, Mac Cecht with purity in the battle of 
Temair of clear wave. 

Mac Cecht at the hands of noble Eremon: 
Mac Cuill, of perfect Eber: 
Eriu yonder, at the hands of Suirge 
thereafter: Mac Greine of Amorgen. 

Fotla at the hands of Etan with pride, 
Of Caicher, Banba with victory, 
Whatever the place wherein they sleep, 
Those are the deaths of the warriors; hear ye. 

Those are the adventures of the Tuatha De Danann.

Lebor Gabála Érenn: Book of the Taking of Ireland. vol. 4. ed. and tr. by R. A. S. Macalister. Dublin: Irish Texts Society, 1941.

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