A Fomorian king associated with the sea.
In Lebor Gabala Erenn, the bard Amergin refers to "the cattle of Tethra" which only he can call forth. In Tochmarch Emire, Cuchulain explains "the cattle of Tethra" as a kenning for fish, and the sea as the plain of Tethra.
Tethra fought the Tuatha Dé Danann in the Cath Magh Turedh and was killed, and his sword Orna was found by Ogma; the sword recounted its deeds to him.
In Echtra Connlae, a fairy woman appears to Connla and says:
The living, the immortal call to you;
They summon you to the people of Tethra
Who behold you every day
Connla subsequently falls in love with the woman and follows her to an Otherworld island populated by women.
In Immacallam in Dá Thúarad, Nede, the precocious poet, is asked what he is undertaking. He answers:
l.90. Not hard (to say): (to go) into the plain of age,
into the mountain of youth,
into the hunting of age,
into following a king (death?),
into an abode of clay,
between candle and fire,
between battle and its horror;
among the mighty men of Tethra
among the stations of...
among the streams of knowledge.
The significance of these passages paints not only a king of the sea, but of the Otherworld--specifically, an Otherworld beyond or beneath the sea, perhapse with a secondary association with the Land of the Dead, which in Irish myth is associated with an island in the west/southwest.
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Mary Jones © 2008