Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles.

Tag Archives: Goibniu

How to Get Help from a Craftsman

There are a number of intriguing Irish texts which can only be described as spells or charms, and they still lie in great obscurity, despite calls for attention from Kuno Meyer nearly 100 years ago, and from Dr. John Carey in his excellent article in 2000 (Léachtaí Cholm Cille, issue 30). There are two “charms” …

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Goibniu and the Gobbán Sáor

In the podcast episode on “The Four Craftsmen”, we discussed the manner in which characters found only within the saga of Moytura developed an enduring popularity in folklore and story. This would seem to have particular relevance in the case of Goibniu the Dé Danann smith. Goibniu is certainly connected, if not cognate, with the …

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The Judgements of the Four Craftsmen

Throughout this part of our discussion of Cath Maige Tuired, we have talked of the four craftsmen: Dían Cécht, the physician; Goibniu the smith; Luchta the wright; and Creidne Cérd the brazier.  This might be surprising, considering that the latter three so often appear together, and only rarely with Dían Cécht, who is more usually …

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Metal Crafting ~ Some notes

The descriptions of the preparation for the battle of Moytura by the various skilled craftsmen lead to intriguing speculation about  the skills and technologies of the builders and weapon-makers within the story. For example, Section 122, which describes the daily restoration of the Dé Danann weapons, creates an entertaining and “high-octane action” picture of the …

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The Forge and the Well

from Cath Maige Tuired, Sections 122-3, Lines 526 – 543 Edition: Elizabeth Gray Translation: Isolde Carmody To accompany our discussion of the Four Craftsmen, here are the sections of the text describing the beautifully choreographed work in the forge.  I’ve also included the following section describing the family of physicians working around the well of …

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The Craftsmen and the Fomoire Spy

The battle lines were drawn up. Spear-tips glinted in the sunlight, a forest-line of readiness. The sharpness of swords behind shields. He would not stand in that line. He would not shed the redness of his blood in that battle Rúadán was not a fighter, but he might have been. Too young, they told him, too …

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The Battle of Moytura 05: Inna Cethóir Cerdi – The Four Craftsmen

The technology of Dían Cécht, Goibniu, Luchta and Creidne Cerd is pivotal in the Battle of Moytura.  As People of Craft, the Túatha Dé Danann treasure the skills of their makers and shapers. The Story Archaeologists find evidence of their crafting on every stratum of the Battle of Moytura and far beyond. Don’t forget to …

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Brig and Rúadán

  It was the first time keening had been heard in the green land of Ireland.  The poetry of mourning, the ritual of the eulogy.  Brig keened for her lost son, her impetuous red-headed boy, Rúadán. Rúadán was dead, killed by the spear of Goibniu, and the smithcraft of the Dé Danann, killed as a …

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The Story of Rúadán from Cath Maige Tuired

from Cath Maige Tuired, The Battle of Moytura edited by Elizabeth Gray translation and notes by Isolde Carmody [Terms in bold have notes and discussions below]   544] Tánic didiu frisna Fomore annísin, go tudciset-som fer n-úadaibh de déscin cathai & cosdotha Túath nDéa .i. Rúadán mac Bresi & Bríghi ingene in Dagdai. Ar ba …

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