Goibniu

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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.' [1] Irish texts do not mention his mother but his counterpart in Welsh mythology, Gofannon, is a son of Dôn. Grouped together alongside Luchtaine the carpenter, Creidné the goldsmith and Dian Cecht the physician,[2] in the Lebor Gabála Érenn, he is described as ‘not impotent in smelting,’ [3] and is said to have died, along with Dian Cecht, of a ‘painful plague’.[4] 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 ~ gobannsmith,’ Middle Welsh gof ~ gofeinsmith,’ Gallic gobedbi ‘with the smiths,’ Latin fabersmith’ and with the Lithuanian gabija ‘sacred home fire’ and Lithuanian gabus ‘gifted, clever’.[5] According to Altram Tige Dá Medar, the feast of Goibniu protected the Tuatha Dé from sickness and old age. In the St. Gall incantations,[6] he is invoked against thorns, alongside Dian Cecht.


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Part I Book IV: The Dagda of ‘Gods and Fighting Men,’ by Lady Gregory, (1904), available at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/gafm/gafm12.htm
  2. ^ Section 62 of the Lebor Gabála Érenn, available in translation at http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/lebor4.html#55
  3. ^ Section 64 of the Lebor Gabála Érenn, available in translation at http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/lebor4.html#55
  4. ^ Section 64 of the Lebor Gabála Érenn, available in translation at http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/lebor4.html#55
  5. ^ Blažek, Václav 2008, Celtic ‘smith’ and his colleagues, in Alexander Lubotsky, Jos Schaeken and Jeroen Wiedenhof (eds.) Evidence and counter-evidence: Festschrift for F. Kortlandt 1, Amsterdam–New York: Rodopi, 35-53.
  6. ^ The St. Gall Incantations. Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus edited and translated by Whitley Stokes and John Strachan. Cambridge: University Press, 1903.

Primary sources[edit]

Secondary sources[edit]

  • James MacKillop (1998). Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. London: Oxford. ISBN 0-19-860967-1.