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~ Danu  ~

by Dean Morrissey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

In Irish mythology, Danu (/'dɑnu/ ("u" short); modern Irish Dana /'dɑnə/) is the mother goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann (Old Irish: "The peoples of the goddess Danu"). Though primarily seen as an ancestral figure, some Victorian sources also associate her with the Land.[1]

Contents

1 Antiquity of her recognition

2 In mythology

3 Etymology of the name

4 References

5 External links

Antiquity of her recognition

Based on the evidence of place-names, such as the river Danube (Latin: Danuvius), Dniestr, Dniepr and Don, Danu may have been worshiped throughout the Celtic world. Indeed, the presence of a goddess named Danu in Hindu mythology, associated with water and mother of a race of Asuras called the Danavas, may indicate a very ancient Proto-Indo-European origin for this figure.

In mythology

As the mother of the gods, Danu has strong parallels with the Welsh literary figure (or goddess) Dôn, who is the mother figure of the medieval tales in the Mabinogion.

Etymology of the name

The genitive form of "Danu" is Danann, and the dative Danainn.

Köbler[2] and Pokorny[3] both reconstruct *dānu as a Proto-Indo-European root denoting ‘fluvial water.’ The Old Irish forms - nominative danu, genitive danann, dative danainn suggest pre-Irish *Danona, which may contain the suffix -on- 'Great' (as in Matrona Great Mother, Maqonos/Maponos Great Son, and Catona Great War (a title of the Goddess of War).

References

^ Squire, Charles Celtic Myth and Legend, p. 34: "Danu herself probably represented the earth and its fruitfulness, and one might compare her with the Greek Demeter. All the other gods are, at least by title, her children."

^ Köbler, Gerhard, (2000). Indogermanisches Wörterbuch, (3rd Edition): p.181. Available at: [1]

^ Julius Pokorny’s Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. Entry 313. Available at: [2]

External links

Associations between the Welsh Dôn and the Irish Dana

[hide]v • d • eIrish mythology: the Mythological Cycle

Early invaders Cessair • Partholón • Nemed

Fomorians Balor • Bres • Buarainech • Cethlenn • Cichol Gricenchos • Conand • Corb • Elatha • Ethniu • Tethra

Fir Bolg Eochaid mac Eirc • Fiacha Cennfinnán • Fodbgen • Gann and Genann • Rinnal • Rudraige • Sengann • Sláine • Sreng • Tailtiu

Tuatha Dé Danann Abartach • Abhean • Aed • Aengus • Aí • Áine • Airmed • Anann • Badb • Banba • Beag • Bé Chuille • Bébinn • Boann • Bodb Derg • Brea • Brian • Brigid • Caer • Cermait • Cian • Cliodhna • Creidhne • The Dagda • Danand • Danu • Delbáeth • Dian Cecht • Ecne • Egobail • Elcmar • Ernmas • Étaín • Ériu • Fand • Fiacha mac Delbaíth • Fionnuala • Flidais • Fódla • Goibniu • Iuchar • Iucharba • Lí Ban • Lir • Luchtaine • Lugh • Mac Cuill • Mac Cecht • Mac Gréine • Macha • Manannán • Miach • Midir • Morrígan • Nechtan • Neit • Nemain • Niamh • Nuada • Ogma • Tuireann • Uaithne

Four Treasures; • Lia Fáil

Milesians Amergin Glúingel • Breogán • Éber • Érimón • Fenius Farsa • Goídel Glas • Míl • Scota

Others The Aos Sí • Biróg • Bran mac Febail • Cailleach • Carman • Crobh Dearg • Crom Cruach • Donn

part of a series on Celtic mythology

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danu_(Irish_goddess)"

Categories: Fertility goddesses | Irish goddesses | Sea and river goddesses | Mother goddesses

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danu_(Irish_goddess)

January 24, 2010 at 6:19 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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