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    Gods and Goddesses : Danu

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    Soaring Bird
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    Gods and Goddesses : Danu

    Post  Soaring Bird on Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:40 pm

    Danu (Irish goddess)


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    In Irish mythology, Danu or Dana, also called Anu or Ana, was the mother goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann (peoples of the goddess Danu), although little is recorded about her as a character. Her Welsh equivalent is Dôn.

    [edit]
    Antiquity of her Recognition



    Based on the evidence of place-names, such as the river Danube (Latin: Danuvius), Dniestr, Dniepr and Don, she may have been worshipped throughout the Celtic world. Indeed, the presence of a goddess named Danu in Hindu mythology, associated with water and mother of a race of Asuras called the Danavas, may indicate a very ancient Proto-Indo-European origin for this figure. The name *dhanu seems to have originally meant "swift".

    [edit]
    Etymology of the name



    The reconstructed lexis of the Proto-Celtic language as collated by the University of Wales [1] suggests that the name is likely to be ultimately derived from the Proto-Celtic *Danoā. This Proto-Celtic word connotes the semantics of ‘Giving,’ ‘Bountiful’ and ‘Flow.’ This apparent semantic connotation has led Dr. John Koch at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies to propose that the original nature of this deity may well have been a personification of ‘overflowing abundance’ If this theory is correct, it would account for the deity’s associations with the a motherly ideal, the fertility of the earth and with rivers whose overflowing water surpluses may have been seen as a materialization of her presence. Equally, this would imply that she is not identical to Anann, but bears greater resemblance to the Roman Ops, the Greek Rhea and the Anatolian Cybele, all of whom are great mother goddesses symbolising abundance.

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