> From: Alexei Kondratiev [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> It's more than "linguistic similarity" -- the two names are identical, and
> internal evidence suggests the Welsh name was borrowed from the Irish.
If the name of Mannana/n was borrowed from Irish, does that mean
that the figure was, too? And which came first, then, the name of the island
or the name of the deity?
> 'Manawydd' means a Manxman, with the suffix -an imitated from the same
> construction in 'Manannán', interpreted as meaning something like "Great
> Manxman". That they are both "son of Lir/LLyr" could hardly be a
OTOH, even when all the linguistic evidence points to figures
having, as you say, identical names, that does not mean that their cults
were identical in every place. It is not unusual for some aspects of a
figure to be emphasized in one place, while other aspects are emphasized or
even added to the figure in another place. The example of the Celtic
hammer-god comes to mind: in wine-growing regions, he carried equipment for
that job; in other areas, he was outfitted as a hunter. While the essential
nature of the hammer god may have been the same in both contexts--a provider
of plenty for his clients--the figure is still different in terms of his
expression in the society. So, while I can see that the linguistic
similarities are striking, I don't think that, in itself, proves that the
figures were identical.
> While the figure of Manannán in the most famous Irish literary texts in
> he is mentioned may appear quite different from Manawyddan in the
> this may only reflect the limitations of the extant material, and does not
> exhaust the roles he may have played in living oral tradition. Note that
> Manannán in Fiannaíocht has something of the image of the wandering
> and also displays the qualities of a trickster-figure, dangerous as well
While the apparent differences may be due to the inadequacies of the
tradition that has remained, if we take that approach every time we see
differences among traditions, it will be difficult to discuss the
significance of those differences. And, as noted in the example of Sucellus,
sometimes the differences are significant.
Which brings us back to my other question: what was his role?
> The familiar Manx image of 'Manannaun Beg Mac-y-Lheir' spinning about
> his three legs could very easily be a modern folk invention inspired by
> trinacria, not the other way around.
Certainly--that's why I asked about it, because its origin is
unclear to me and I'm wondering about its possible connection with earlier
figures like the triskele and swastika--or was it simply a late medieval