Na Fathaigh

A modern view of the Irish fathach or giant - Feargal agus an Fathach by Liam Mac Uistín
A modern view of the Irish fathach or giant – Feargal agus an Fathach by Liam Mac Uistín

Na Fathaigh

Fathach (gs. & npl. Fathaigh, gpl. Fathach) “Giant”

As indigenous Irish and Scottish literature developed the prodigious nature of the Fomhóraigh led some late writers to present them as Fathaigh “Giants” (Old Irish aitheach, Modern Irish fathach “giant”) a theme emphasised in the folkloric period. However the term was also applied to some mortal or legendary heroes in a few pre-modern folktales including a handful relating to Fionn mac Cumhaill. Despite this it is clear that Irish versions of “Giant” stories are derived from the imagery associated with the Fomhóraigh mixed with Classical and Biblical influences, as well as recent English and Germanic fairylore. At no point did Gaelic tradition include a “race of Giants” unless one includes the Fomhóraigh in their most florid literary form.

© An Sionnach Fionn

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s