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Lochlainn


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Realm of dangerous invaders, often, but not necessarily, identified with Scandinavia, especially Norway. Sir John Rhy^s suggested (1886) that Lochlainn may initially have described the fabulous abode under lakes or waters of hostile, supernatural beings, like the Fomorians of the Lebor Gabála [Book of Invasions]; the Welsh cognate Llychlyn retains this implication. After the Viking invasions (8th cent.), Lochlainn came to describe the seemingly invincible Norsemen. In Modern Irish Lochlannach means both ‘Scandinavian’ and ‘marauder, robber’. Cf. ScG Lochlann, ‘Norway, Scandinavia’; Manx Loghlin, ‘Scandinavia’. Invaders from Lochlainn, especially under King Colgán, make frequent appearances in Fenian stories. The most dangerous task Lug Lámfhota gives to the sons of Tuireann in Oidheadh Chlainne Tuireann is to retrieve three shouts from the hill of Miodhchaoin in Lochlainn. There is much fascination with Lochlainn in Irish folklore, especially the city of Berbha or Berva [Bergen, Norway?], the home of Lon mac Líomtha the smith.

Subjects: Religion.


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