Lugaid Laígde

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The son of Dáire(1) who once slept with the lady of Sovereignty. Dáire had named all his sons (usually seven, sometimes five) Lugaid in response to the prophecy that a son of his with that name would become king of Ireland. Lugaid Laígde, who sometimes bears the patronymic mac Dáire, was, like nearly all the heroes named Lugaid, an ancestor of the Érainn of Munster. A druid had further predicted to Dáire that his successor would have to catch a golden fawn which would enter the assembly. When the entourage hunted the fawn, a magic mist settled between the brothers and the other hunters, allowing Lugaid Laígde to capture it. Following this he met an ugly sorceress who offered him warmth, food, and ale, and further invited him to lie with her. Initially he refused, at which she told him that he had deprived himself of Sovereignty. He then relented, and in the morning she was transformed into the beautiful maiden Sovereignty herself. While the sovereignty story is widely known in medieval literature, modern commentators feel that this retelling owes most to a comparable version in the story of Niall Noígiallach [of the Nine Hostages]. Elsewhere Lugaid Laígde is recorded as having killed Daui Ladrach to become king, and subsequently having been killed by Áed Ruad.

Subjects: Religion.

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