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Author Topic: What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?  (Read 1190 times)

Pteranotropi

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What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?
« on: January 28, 2016, 12:29:49 pm »
So in my studies of celtic and iberian pantheons I inevitably come across the examining of the god known among the irish as Lugh, among main celts as Lug, among celto-romans as Lugus and possibly among the welsh as Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

From my understanding he appears to have been a very important deity with tons of roles, but I can't quite discern what or how he is in general, given that a lot of what we have on him comes from syncretism with the roman Mercury. Furthermore there's the issue of his name, whose etymology is not fully resolved

How would you describe him in general?

Louisvillian

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Re: What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 07:09:49 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;185885
So in my studies of celtic and iberian pantheons I inevitably come across the examining of the god known among the irish as Lugh, among main celts as Lug, among celto-romans as Lugus and possibly among the welsh as Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

I am, for one, still uncertain as to whether it's the same god worshipped by many Celtic peoples or if it's several different gods given a similar name due to having similar attributes and holding a similar religious and mythical role among these several but linguistically interrelated peoples.

sionnachdearg

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Re: What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 10:55:42 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;185885
So in my studies of celtic and iberian pantheons I inevitably come across the examining of the god known among the irish as Lugh, among main celts as Lug, among celto-romans as Lugus and possibly among the welsh as Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

From my understanding he appears to have been a very important deity with tons of roles, but I can't quite discern what or how he is in general, given that a lot of what we have on him comes from syncretism with the roman Mercury. Furthermore there's the issue of his name, whose etymology is not fully resolved

How would you describe him in general?

 
Nobody knows from what I have read. The Celts appeared to have a tribal or clan god/goddess and they may have shared some similarities but there is more evidence that the greek/roman model of a pantheon of gods and goddesses with divided responsibility does not seem to apply to the Celts. Another problem is most of what we have some reliable  information is from the Celts if Ireland. The Irish Celts seem to have a Goddess connected with the land associated with a god of the tribe or clan with Lugh being one that was associated with certain clan and Dagda or one if his other titles associated with another clan or tribe. Dagda had several titles which could have been used by different Clans. Lugh which some sources believe mean crow may have been a title among other titles for this chieftain-god if a tribe/clan. Some think he is a newer introduction since he is described in more human like presentation than the chieftain-god Dagda. The name and its entomology has been debated but I have never seen and clear conclusions. The Irish gods are certainly associated with the construction of the amazing hinges and passage tombs the Celts encountered as well as a close association with the natural world with the ability to use magic as well as skill in combat. When the monks of Ireland recorded the tales it appears that they tried to recreate a family of gods and goddesses which may have been the influence of Roman literature and connected to the Biblical events. This makes it harder to know how the pre-christian Celts really saw their gods and goddesses. The goddesses in particular are associated with the Natural world and connected with the land.

Littlewolf

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Re: What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2016, 11:38:10 am »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;185885
So in my studies of celtic and iberian pantheons I inevitably come across the examining of the god known among the irish as Lugh, among main celts as Lug, among celto-romans as Lugus and possibly among the welsh as Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

From my understanding he appears to have been a very important deity with tons of roles, but I can't quite discern what or how he is in general, given that a lot of what we have on him comes from syncretism with the roman Mercury. Furthermore there's the issue of his name, whose etymology is not fully resolved

How would you describe him in general?

 
There is strong evidence of the following:

one, he could perform any skill better than most could, so he is called the many skilled.
As a result today he is seen as a patron to artisans. (though aside from artistic things like smithing, sculpting, painting, carving wood and stone, music, etc. he was also skilled at chess, magic, different forms of fighting, and story-telling.)

Two, he replaced the first Dagda as the new Dagda of the Tuatha De Danann, (Dagda means "Good god" not "he's a good person" but as in "he is good at doing things", it's a title not a name.)

Three, he evolved into a sun god at some point, he was known as the shining one.

Four, he eventually evolved into the first leprechaun.

Lastly, the Holiday Lughnasadh is his holiday.

Because so little knowledge remains about the Celtic religions and legends it is hard to discern who were considered gods and who were just very successful humans or mortal demi-gods. Traditions that are stretched geographically over long periods of time will eventually go their own direction and evolve.
Now with what i just said in mind, today he is worshiped by many as a god; generally as the sun god, and as a patron to artists so sort of a muse. You may have better luck getting information from the Hazel and Oak SIG.

Pteranotropi

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Re: What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 08:50:44 am »
Quote from: Littlewolf;186576
Three, he evolved into a sun god at some point, he was known as the shining one.

 
This I know to not be considered factually correct anymore, his bright epithets seem to relate to lightning, and the sun in celtic religion appears to have been female

Littlewolf

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Re: What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2016, 03:59:31 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;186644
This I know to not be considered factually correct anymore, his bright epithets seem to relate to lightning, and the sun in celtic religion appears to have been female

 
yup, there you go, our factual knowledge is limited and we are constantly discovering new things that change or disprove what we thought we knew.

sionnachdearg

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Re: What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2016, 03:29:27 pm »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;186644
This I know to not be considered factually correct anymore, his bright epithets seem to relate to lightning, and the sun in celtic religion appears to have been female

 
What ever goddesses have been connected to the sun there is little support that that connection is so direct and not a latter attribute or misunderstood aspect. The goddesses of the Irish Celtic religions were more associated with the land or aspects of the land. Lug was portrayed as a male and a god of the clan or tribe. There are those who believe he was a new introduction than Dagda because he is portrayed more human like but others feel that Lug was just a god of a different clan/tribe with similar skills as Dagda.

Pteranotropi

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Re: What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 06:46:07 pm »
Quote from: sionnachdearg;186937
What ever goddesses have been connected to the sun there is little support that that connection is so direct and not a latter attribute or misunderstood aspect. The goddesses of the Irish Celtic religions were more associated with the land or aspects of the land. Lug was portrayed as a male and a god of the clan or tribe. There are those who believe he was a new introduction than Dagda because he is portrayed more human like but others feel that Lug was just a god of a different clan/tribe with similar skills as Dagda.

 
Well, both Grian and Sul/Sulis literally mean "sun" in their respective celtic languages and the latter is directly connected to virtually every other indo-european word for "sun", so I wouldn't call that a "later development". Plus, connecting the sun with the earth might not had been a very alien concept, as the minoans show.

sionnachdearg

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Re: What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2016, 01:39:21 am »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;186943
Well, both Grian and Sul/Sulis literally mean "sun" in their respective celtic languages and the latter is directly connected to virtually every other indo-european word for "sun", so I wouldn't call that a "later development". Plus, connecting the sun with the earth might not had been a very alien concept, as the minoans show.

 
Although the word Grain relates to the word sun in Irish its meaning is less clear from what I have tried to find in old Irish which i am not familiar with but the mythology we do have does seem as conclusive for her being a sun goddess. She is related with Aine who is the patron goddess of Munster and associated with the Hill of Anie but Grian appears to be associated with Leinster but held court in Tipperary  on the conc of Grian (hill of Grian). She is also famous for running off with Diarmuid and had to hide so Diarmuid would but up a dolmen every night to hide themselves from the Fianna. The more you read about her the more complicated it gets but she does not seem to directly equate with a sun goddess although one description of her is Grian of the bright cheeks.

Sulis was a pre-Roman goddess associated with the springs / healing springs at bath in England. She gets connected with Minerva later by the  Romans but I cannot find that much to associate her as a sun goddess other than similarity of name etymology.

Pteranotropi

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Re: What exactly is Lug/Lugus/Lleu?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 03:57:09 pm »
Quote from: sionnachdearg;186980
Although the word Grain relates to the word sun in Irish its meaning is less clear from what I have tried to find in old Irish which i am not familiar with but the mythology we do have does seem as conclusive for her being a sun goddess. She is related with Aine who is the patron goddess of Munster and associated with the Hill of Anie but Grian appears to be associated with Leinster but held court in Tipperary  on the conc of Grian (hill of Grian). She is also famous for running off with Diarmuid and had to hide so Diarmuid would but up a dolmen every night to hide themselves from the Fianna. The more you read about her the more complicated it gets but she does not seem to directly equate with a sun goddess although one description of her is Grian of the bright cheeks.

Sulis was a pre-Roman goddess associated with the springs / healing springs at bath in England. She gets connected with Minerva later by the  Romans but I cannot find that much to associate her as a sun goddess other than similarity of name etymology.

 
The former could just as easily imply the reverse, though; that she started as a solar goddess, but became specifically associated with Lainster. Many celtic deities did became "tethered" to some locations, even male gods like Taranis and Reo.

The latter is throughly associated with both epithets associated with light, and some of the actions she's called to do in curse tablets seem proper for solar deities, as with the greek Helios.

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