Saturday, March 17, 2012


In Irish mythology Goibniu (Old Irish) or Goibhniu (Modern Irish – pronounced ˈɡovʲnʲu or gov-nu) was the smith of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The name of his father appears as Esarg or Tuirbe Trágmar, the 'thrower of axes.' Irish texts do not mention his mother but his counterpart in Welsh mythology, Gofannon, is a son of Dôn. Grouped together alongside Luchtainé the carpenter, Creidné the goldsmith and Dian Cecht the physician, in the Lebor Gabála Érenn, he is described as ‘not impotent in smelting,’ and is said to have died, along with Dian Cecht, of a ‘painful plague’. He and his brothers Creidhne and Luchtaine were known as the Trí Dée Dána, the three gods of art, who forged the weapons which the Tuatha Dé used to battle the Fomorians. His weapons were always lethal, and his mead gave the drinker invulnerability. His name can be compared with the Old Irish gobae ~ gobann ‘smith,’ Middle Welsh gof ~ gofein ‘smith,’ Gallic gobedbi ‘with the smiths,’ Latin faber ‘smith’ and with the Lithuanian gabija ‘sacred home fire’ and Lithuanian gabus ‘gifted, clever’. According to Altram Tige Dá Medar, the feast of Goibniu protected the Tuatha Dé from sickness and old age. In the St. Gall incantations, he is invoked against thorns, alongside Dian Cecht

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