[Ir., Fénius the Pharisee].
Sometimes: Fénius the Ancient. Fabled linguist and ancestor of the Milesians and thus of the Irish people. According to the Lebor Gabála [Book of Invasions], Fénius was a king of the Scythians, contemporary with Moses; present at the Tower of Babel during the biblical separation of languages, he alone retained them all. His son Niúl went to Egypt and married the Pharaoh's Scota (2), producing the son Goídel Glas, who fashioned the Irish language out of the seventy-two tongues then in existence, following Fénius' instructions. Fénius appears to be created from Féni, a name for Ireland's earliest inhabitants.