Wednesday, November 23, 2011


In Irish mythology, Nuada or Nuadu (later Nuadha), known by the epithet Airgetlám ("Silver Hand/Arm"), was the first king of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He is cognate with the Gaulish and British god Nodens. His Welsh equivalent is Nudd or Lludd Llaw Eraint.

Nuada was king of the Tuatha Dé for seven years before they came to Ireland. They made contact with the Fir Bolg, the then-inhabitants of the island, and Nuada sought from them half of the island for the Tuatha Dé, which their king rejected. Both peoples made ready for war, and in an act of chivalry allowed their numbers and arms to be inspected by the opposing side to allow for a truly fair battle. During this first great battle at Mag Tuired, Nuada lost an arm[1] in combat with the Fir Bolg champion Sreng. Nuada's ally, Aengaba of Norway, then fought Sreng, sustaining a mortal wound, while the Dagda protected Nuada. Fifty of the Dagda's soldiers carried Nuada from the field. The Tuatha Dé gained the upper hand in the battle, but Sreng later returned to challenge Nuada to single combat. Nuada accepted, on the condition that Sreng fought with one arm tied up. Sreng refused, but by this point the battle was won and the Fir Bolg all but vanquished. The Tuatha Dé then decided to offer Sreng one quarter of Ireland for his people instead of the one half offered before the battle, and he chose Connacht.[2]

Having lost his arm, Nuada was no longer eligible for kingship due to the Tuatha Dé tradition that their king must be physically perfect, and he was replaced as king by Bres, a half-Fomorian prince renowned for his beauty and intellect. The Fomorians were mythological enemies of the people of Ireland, often equated with the mythological "opposing force" such as the Greek Titans to the Olympians, and during Bres's reign they imposed great tribute on the Tuatha Dé, who became disgruntled with their new king's oppressive rule and lack of hospitality. By this time Nuada had his lost arm replaced by a working silver one by the physician Dian Cecht and the wright Creidhne (and later with a new arm of flesh and blood by Dian Cecht's son Miach). Bres was removed from the kingship, having ruled for seven years, and Nuada was restored. He ruled for twenty more years.[3]

Bres, aided by the Fomorian Balor of the Evil Eye, attempted to retake the kingship by force, and war and continued oppression followed. When the youthful and vigorous Lugh joined Nuada's court, the king realised the multi-talented youth could lead the Tuatha Dé against the Fomorians, and stood down in his favour. The second Battle of Mag Tuired followed. Nuada was killed and beheaded in battle by Balor, but Lugh avenged him by killing Balor and led the Tuatha Dé to victory.[4]

Nuada's great sword was one of the Four Treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann, brought from one of their four great cities.[5]

Nuada may be the same figure as Elcmar, and possibly Nechtan.[6] Other characters of the same name include the later High Kings Nuadu Finn Fáil and Nuadu Necht, and Nuada, the maternal grandfather of Fionn mac Cumhaill. A rival to Conn of the Hundred Battles was Mug Nuadat ("Nuada's Slave"). The Delbhna, a people of early Ireland, had a branch called the Delbhna Nuadat who lived in County Roscommon. The present day town of Maynooth in County Kildare is named after Nuada (its Irish name is Maigh Nuad, meaning The throne of Nuada).

Nuada's name is cognate with that of Nodens, a Romano-British deity associated with the sea and healing who was equated with the Roman Mars, and with Nudd, a Welsh mythological figure. It is likely that another Welsh figure, Lludd Llaw Eraint (Lludd of the Silver Hand), derives from Nudd Llaw Eraint by alliterative assimilation.[7] (The Norse god Týr is another deity equated with Mars who lost a hand).[8]

From: Wiki
Nuada Airgetlam
Nuada of the Silver Arm

King of the Tuatha Dé Danann, particularly during the war with the Formoraig. Like the Norse god Tyr, his hand was struck off by evil forces, and he was forced to have a hand of silver. Because of this disfigurement, he lost his throne to the half-Formor Bres, who persecuted the TDD. When Lugh came, he rallied the TDD while Nuada had a new arm made.

The relationship between Nuada and Lugh are not only similiar to the Welsh figures of Lludd and Lleuelys, but also Týr and Oðinn, and Varuna and Mitra in Vedic myth. Nuada represents sovereignty, justice, and war, while Lugh is god of "many skills", magic, prophecy, and oath-making.

Nuada is no doubt related to the Romano-British god Mars Nodens, and the Welsh figure Lludd Silver-Hand, also known as Nudd. He may also be related to the Irish figure Neit, who is also said to be a war god, and married to Nemhain. Nuada's wife is usually one of the three Machas.

In the 1973 British film The Wicker Man, Nuada is refered to as the sun god; this is incorrect. Nuada represents divine justice, not the sun. As far as can be reconstructed, the Celts usually believed in a sun goddess, not a sun god; the word for sun--grene in Irish--is usually feminine.

From: here

Also Nudd or Ludd. "Silver Hand." The Irish/Celtic chieftain-god of healing, the Sun, childbirth, youth, beauty, ocean, dogs, poetry, writing, sorcery, magic, weapons, and warfare. Similar to the Roman god Neptune, Nuada also had an invincible sword, one of four great treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann, that he used to cleave his enemies in half.

After Nuada lost his hand in battle, he was deemed ineligable to by king and was replaced by Bres. His brother Dian Cecht, the great god of healing, fashioned him a silver hand for a substitution. By this time Bres had become a tyrannical leader and was exiled by the Tuatha Dé, and Nuada returned to his position as king. He was later killed by the god of death Balor.

From: here
King of Erin (Ireland) and leader of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Nuada had being called the son of the goddess Danu. Usually Nuada had also being called the son of Echtach and the grandson of Etarlaim. Though he had also being named as one of seven sons of Ethliu. This would make him the brother of Dagda, Dian Cécht, Goibhniu, Credne, Luchta and Lug Mac Cein.

He was either married to Macha or Nemain, or even both. These two women were both associated with Morrígan (Morrigan).

During the first battle of Moytura (Magh Tuiredh), the Dananns defeated the Firbolgs, killing Mac Erc, king of the Firbolgs. However, Nuada lost his right hand in the fighting. The people had a law that stated the mutilation of his hand prevented Nuada from ruling Ireland as their king. So the Dananns chose Bres as their king. However, Bres' rule was so harsh that the Dananns felt oppressed.

Dian Cécht (Dian Cecht) was the great physician, who had replaced Nuada's hand with magical silver hand. Nuada became known as Nuada Airgedlámh (Nuada of the Silver Hand). With a new hand, the Dananns willingly accepted Nuada as king, and had Bres stepped down from the throne. Bres however reconquered Ireland, aided by his grandfather Balor, the Fomorian leaders.

The Dananns then had to suffer from oppression from the Fomorian overlord, until the arrival of Lugh, son of Cian (Kian). Lugh sided with Nuada, and in the second battle of Moytura (Magh Tuiredh). During the battle, Balor killed Nuada. The Fomorians were defeated when Lugh killed Balor with his sling.

Nuada was said to be father of Murna of the White Neck, mother of the hero Finn MacCumhaill.

The Welsh equivalent of Nuada was either Nudd Llaw Ereint or Lludd Llaw Ereint, which is "Llud the Silver Hand".

From: here
Other sites:
Nuada of the Silver Hand
Short summary
Nudd - Welsh counterpart

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