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Encyclopedia > Mag Mell

In Irish mythology, Mag Mell ("plain of joy"), also called Tír na nÓg ("land of the young"), Land of the Living, the Many-colored Land and the Promised Land, was a mythical realm achievable through death and/or glory. Unlike the underworld in some mythologies, Mag Mell was a pleasurable paradise, identified as either an island far to the west of Ireland or a kingdom beneath the ocean. In its island guise it was visited by various Irish heroes and monks forming the basis of the Adventure Myth or "echtrae" as defined by Myles Dillon in his book Early Irish Literature. This otherworld is a place where sickness and death do not exist. It is a place of eternal youth and beauty. Here, music, strength, life and all pleasurable pursuits come together in a single place. Here happiness lasts forever, no one wants for food or drink. It is the Celtic equivalent of the Greek Elysium or the Valhalla of the Norse. The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it was preserved, shorn of its religious meanings, in medieval Irish literature, which represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branches of Celtic mythology. ... Underworld relief - an artists depiction of where dead souls go. ... In changing European conceptions of the afterlife, Elysium or the Elysian Fields have changed their character too. ... In this illustration from a 17th century Icelandic manuscript Heimdallr is shown guarding the gate of Valhalla. ...


Legends say its ruler is the Fomorian King Tethra, or more frequently Manannan mac Lir. It is perhaps best known from the myth of Oisín and Niamh of the Golden Hair. In Irish mythology, the Fomorians, Fomors, or Fomori (Irish Fomóiri, Fomóraig) were a semi-divine race who inhabited Ireland in ancient times. ... In Celtic mythology, King Tethra of the Fomorians ruled Mag Mell after dying in the First Battle of Mag Tuireadh. ... In Irish mythology, Manannan mac Lir was a sea and weather god. ... Oisín, son of Fionn mac Cumhail, is a poet and warrior of the fianna in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology. ... In Celtic mythology, Niamh was the daughter of Manannan mac Lir and Queen of Tir na n-Og. ...


Oisín's story is familiar. To get to Tír na nÓg an adventurer needed a guide, in Oisín's case, Niamh plays the role. They travel together to the Blessed Realm and the hero spends some time there. Eventually homesickness set in and Oisín wants to return to his native land. He is devastated to learn a hundred years have passed in Ireland since he had been with Niamh, though it seemed to him only one. He can see Ireland from the back of Niamh's magical horse, but she warns him not to touch the ground, as the the weight of all those years would descend upon him in a moment. Oisín doesn't heed the advice, and he instantly withers away into an old man. He is able to tell St. Patrick his story and be blessed before dying. This story bears a striking similarity to many other tales, including that of Urashima Taro. Statue of Saint Patrick Saint Patrick (died March 17, 462, 492, or 493), is the patron saint of Ireland. ... Urashima Tarō (浦島太郎) is a Japanese fairy tale about a fisherman who rescues a turtle and is rewarded with a visit to the RyÅ«gÅ«-jō, the Dragon Palace. ...


Mag Mell's allure extended from the pagan era to Christian times. In later stories, the realm is less an afterlife destination than an Earthly Paradise which adventurers could reach by traveling west from Ireland, often blown off course by providential tempests while on an inspired mission. They typically explore many other fantastic islands before reaching their destination and returning home (or sailing on). Among these voyagers are St. Brendan, Bran (see the Voyage of Bran), and Mael Dúin. This article is about the Biblical location. ... Saint Brendan, (484 (?) – 577 (?)) called the Navigator, is one of the early Irish monastic saints whose legends have overshadowed their history. ... Bran can mean: Dietary bran, the combined testa and fruit skin of grains in the family Poaceae Bran the Blessed, a character in Celtic mythology. ... The Beginning In Irish Mythology, Bran, son of Febal, embarks upon a quest to the Other World. ... Mael Dúin was a hero in Celtic mythology who travelled on an epic journey. ...


Irish monks were celebrated sailors, they doubtless inspired such stories and were inspired by them. They reached and colonised any number of faraway islands, and St. Brendan is even speculated to have reached the New World a thousand years before Columbus. Carte dAmérique, Guillaume Delisle, c. ... The expression pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact usually refers to possible interactions between the Native American peoples and the cultures of other continents — Europe, Africa, Asia, or Oceania — before the historically recorded European discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Mag Mell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (304 words)
In Irish mythology, Mag Mell ("plain of joy") was a mythical realm achievable through death and/or glory (see also Tír na nÓg and Ablach.
Unlike the underworld in some mythologies, Mag Mell was a pleasurable paradise, identified as either an island far to the west of Ireland or a kingdom beneath the ocean.
In later stories, the realm is less an afterlife destination than an Earthly Paradise which adventurers could reach by traveling west from Ireland, often blown off course by providential tempests while on an inspired mission.
Mag Mell - Encyclopedia, History and Biography (455 words)
In Irish mythology, Mag Mell ("plain of joy"), also called Tir na nOg ("land of the young"), Land of the Living, the Many-colored land and the Promised Land, was a mythical realm achievable through death and/or glory.
Unlike the underworld in most mythologies, Mag Mell was a pleasurable paradise, either an island or at the bottom of the ocean or lake.
For, though he spent only a year and a day in Mag Mell, three hundred years had passed in Ireland and if he touched the ground the weight of those years would descend upon him in a moment.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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