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Banba


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A poetic name for Ireland in early times, one of a divine trio of eponyms for Ireland along with Ériu and Fódla. Her father was Delbáeth (2) and mother Eirnin. A well-known fiction to explain how Ireland had three names appears in the Lebor Gabála [Book of Invasions]. When the advancing Milesians met Banba at Sliab Mis [Slieve Mish] she gave them her name, told them it was the name of the country, and begged that it remain so forever. The Milesians subsequently met Fódla and Ériu, who told them their names and made the same request; only Ériu's wish was granted. Banba was originally the name of either south Leinster or the plain of Meath containing Tara before becoming a name for all of Ireland. In other narratives Banba is the daughter of Cian and the wife of Mac Cuill. The assertion that the name Banba is at the root of the place-name Banff, Scotland, is disputed.

Subjects: Religion.


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