Lugh

Definition

Lugh (also Lug, Luga) was one of the most important Celtic gods, particularly in Ireland, and he represented the sun and light. Although originating as an all-wise and all-seeing deity, Lugh was later thought of as a historical figure, great warrior, and Irish cultural hero. Lugh often has an epithet such as Lugh Lámfada (or Lámfhota), meaning long-armed or 'of the long hand', which refers to his prowess with throwing weapons, or Lugh Samildánach, meaning 'skilled in many arts and crafts'. He is a prominent figure in many stories in Irish mythology where he leads the Tuatha Dé Danann race to victory against the seafaring Fomorians at the Battle of Mag Tuired. Lugh kills one-eyed Balor with his magic spear or sling and so establishes a 40-year reign of peace and prosperity. Lugh is similar in many ways to the Celtic god Lugus, the figure the Romans described as Gaulish Mercury.

More about: Lugh

Timeline

  • c. 1100
    The Lebor Gabála Erenn ('Book of invasions') recounts, through tales of mythology, the ancient and medieval history of Ireland.
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