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Encyclopedia > Ériu

In Irish mythology, Ériu, daughter of Ernmas of the Tuatha Dé Danann, was one of the patron goddesses of Ireland. Her husband was Mac Gréine. She was the mother of Bres by Prince Elatha of the Fomorians. Although many of the manuscripts containing texts relating to Irish mythology have failed to survive, and much more material was probably never committed to writing, there is enough remaining to enable the identification of four distinct, if overlapping, cycles: the Mythological Cycle, The Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle and the... Ernmas is an Irish mother goddess. ... This article is about a mythical people of Ireland. ... A goddess is a female deity in contrast with a male deity known as a god. A great many cultures have goddesses, sometimes alone, but more often as part of a larger pantheon that includes both of the conventional genders and in some cases even hermaphroditic (or gender neutral) deities. ... In Irish mythology, Mac Gréine of the Tuatha Dé Danann was a son of Cermait, son of the Dagda. ... In Irish mythology, Bres, aka Eochaid Bres, Eochu Bres (Eochaid/Eochu the Beautiful), was a king of the Tuatha Dé Danann. ... In Goidelic mythology, Prince Elatha (or Elathan) of the Fomorians was the father of Bres by Ériu. ... In Irish mythology, the Fomorians (Irish Fomóire, Fomórach) or Fomors were a semi-divine race who inhabited Ireland in ancient times. ...

It is a great claim that Ireland was named after her. The original name for Ireland was "Eriuland."

Etymology of the Name

Entries in the University of Wales' reconstructed Proto-Celtic lexicon (http://www.wales.ac.uk/documents/external/cawcs/pcl-moe.pdf ) suggest that the name is likely to be ultimately derived from the Proto-Celtic * Hīwerjōnīā, a phrase with the Proto-Celtic semantic connotations of ‘Earthy Terrain,’ which aspect of nature she seems to embody. This would make her comparable to the Roman Ceres, Greek Demeter and Egyptian Isis. Apparently, an inherited form of the Proto-Celtic was transcribed in Ancient Greek as Ierne and in Latin as Hibernia.

Role & Mythic Portrayal

With her sisters, Banba and Fodla, she was part of an important triumvirate of goddesses. When the Milesians arrived from Spain each of the three sisters asked that her name be given to the country. Ériu (Éire) won the argument, but Banba and Fodla are still sometimes used as poetic names for Ireland, much as Albion is for Great Britain. In Irish mythology, Banba, sometimes spelled Banbha, was the patron spirit of Ireland, wife of King MacCuill, and a goddess of war and fertility. ... In Irish mythology, Fodla, daughter of Ernmas, was one of the patron goddesses of Ireland. ... In Irish mythology the Milesians or Sons of Míl Espáine were the final inhabitants of Ireland, representing the Goidelic Celts. ... Map of Éire Éire (pronounced AIR uh, in the Irish language, translated as Ireland) is the name given in Article 4 of the 1937 Irish constitution to the 26-county Irish state, created under the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty, which was known between 1922 and 1937 as the Irish Free... Albion (in Ptolemy Alouion), is the most ancient name of Great Britain, though often used to refer specifically to England. ...

Eriu, along with Banbha and Fodhla, is the goddess of sovereignty.

It is quizzical that in one moment this goddess was portrayed as being a beautiful queen and in the next moment a sharp beaked crow.

According to Seathrún Céitinn she worshipped the Badb, who is also sometimes named as a daughter of Ernmas. The two goddesses may therefore be seen as equivalent. Seathrún Céitinn, known in English as Geoffrey Keating, was a 17th century Irish clergyman, poet and historian. ... In Irish mythology, Badb (crow) or in modern spelling Badhbh was a goddess of war who took the form of a crow, thus known as Badb Catha (battle crow). ...

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