Tag Archives: High King

Nuada of the Silver Arm

Nuada Airgetlám, Nuadu, Nodens (Gaulish), Nudd / Ludd / Lludd Llaw Eraint (Welsh)

Nuada was the first king the Tuatha Dé Danann, equivalent to the Gaulish Nodens and Welsh Nudd/Ludd.  He was also called Nuada Airgetlám (Nuada of the Silver Hand/Arm) or Lludd Llaw Eraint (Lludd of the Silver Hand).

Nuada was the god of the sea, healing, and warfare, linked to the Roman gods Mars and Neptune, and also the Norse god Týr/Tir.  He is also associated with the sun, youth, beauty, writing, sorcery and magic.

Nuada is associated with the Invincible Sword, the Sword of Light, one of the Four Treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann.  It was crafted by the poet (fili) and wizard Uiscias/Uscias in Findias, one of the ancient great cities of the Tuatha Dé.  The sword was thought to only inflict mortal blows when drawn, cleaving its enemies in half.

Nuada was king of the Tuatha Dé Danann before they arrived in Ireland.  Upon reaching the emerald isle, they met the Fir Bolg, and challenged them to battle after unsuccessfully bargaining half the land for themselves.  This was the First Battle of Mag Tuired, in which Nuada lost his hand/arm to the Fir Bolg champion Sreng.  The Tuatha Dé Danann won the battle, and Sreng and the Fir Bolg were granted a quarter of the island, of which he chose Connacht.

Since Nuada lost an arm in battle, he was no longer allowed to rule, as Tuatha Dé Danann kings must be physically perfect and ‘unblemished’.  He was replaced by the half-Formorian Bres, who was quickly found unfit by rule by the Tuatha Dé people for his tyranny.

Nuada’s brother Dian Cecht and the wright Creidhne crafted a beautiful silver arm for Nuada that would allow him to once again be king.  Bres was removed from the throne, which led to the Second Battle of Mag Tuired.  By this time, Lugh had joined Nuada’s court, and was a fierce opponent to the Formorians.  During the battle, Nuada was killed by the Formorian Balor of the Evil Eye, however was avenged by Lugh who then killed Balor.  Lugh then took over as king of the Tuatha Dé Danann and reigned for many years.

Wiki – Nuada
Wiki – Tuatha De Danann
Wiki – Four Treasures
Pantheon – Nuada

© The Celtic Journey (2013)

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Tuatha De Danann

The Tuatha Dé Danann, or “people of the goddess Danu”, were an ancient race of supernatural beings in Ireland.  They were said to have arrived from four great cities to the North, Failias, Gorias, Findias, and Murias, with several treasures.

The first was the Stone of Fal (Lia Fail) from Failias, which would scream whenever a true king of Ireland would place his foot on it. This was eventually placed on the mound at Tara, the mythical seat of the High Kings of Ireland. The next was the Sword of Nuada from Findias, a weapon that only inflicted mortal blows when drawn. The third was the Spear of Lugh from Gorias, which never missed its target. The last was the Cauldron of Dagda from Murias, from which a constant supply of food came forth.  These treasures also correspond to the four elements, with Lugh’s Spear representing Fire, Nuada’s Sword representing Air, Dagda’s Cauldron representing Water, and the Stone of Fal representing Earth.

With their King Nuada, they fought and defeated the Fir Bolg, the inhabitants of Ireland at the time.  Nuada lost an arm in battle, and was no longer allowed to be king because of it.  The half-Formorian Bres was chosen to be king instead, whose tyranny led to a battle against the Formorians.  In this second battle, King Nuada was killed by the Formorian King Balor.  However Lugh killed King Balor, defeating the Formorians, becoming High King of the Tuatha people.

They were eventually defeated at Teltown by the mighty Milesians (thought of as the first Celts).  Legend states that the Tuatha Dé Danann were allowed to stay in Ireland, but were forced underground.  They became known as the Faery People, or people of the Sidhe, and can be found in the faery mounds that still exist in Ireland today (such as the Brú na Bóinne, Newgrange).

The Milesians chose the name of the Tuatha Dé Danann goddess, Eriu, as the name of their new kingdom. Eriu (or Eire) is still used as the name of Ireland.  Eriu’s sisters, Banba and Fódla, are still sometimes used as poetic names for Ireland.

The Tuatha Dé Danann people are surrounded by myth and legend.  Ancient manuscripts depict the Tuatha people as real-life kings and queens, however they exhibit many ties to pre-Christian deities of Ireland.  The Tuatha Dé Danann included great heroes and deities, including Lugh, Danu, the Dagda,Brigid, Áine, Oghma, and the Morrígan.

And although defeated, they still exist in legends today.

Wikipedia
Magick and Mythology
Tuatha De Danann

© A Year And A Day (2012)

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