The Danaans
The people of the goddess Dana, often mentioned in Irish
medieval romance. They were one of the three Nemedian families
who survived the Fomorian victory and returned to Ireland
at a later period. Some said they came ‘‘out of heaven,’’ and
others that they sprang from four cities, where they learned science
and craftsmanship. They were said to have brought a treasure
from each city from Falias the Lia Fail (Stone of Destiny),
from Gorias an invincible sword, from Finias a magical spear,
and from Murias the cauldron of the Dagda. They were believed
to have been wafted to Ireland on an enchanted cloud,
carrying their treasures with them. After a victorious battle they
took possession of the whole of Ireland, except Connacht,
which was given to the vanquished.
The Danaans represented power, beauty, science, and poetry
to the writer of the myth; to the common people they were
gods of earth. In their battles they were subject to death, but
they conquered their mortal foes with special powers.