Tuan mac Cairill

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The sole survivor of the Partholonians who tells the story of the Lebor Gabála [Book of Invasions] to St Finnian of Moville. The son of Starn and brother of Partholón, Tuan somehow survives the plague that has killed his people and then lives through many generations under a series of metamorphoses as a stag, a boar, and an eagle. Finally he is changed into a salmon who is caught and eaten by the wife of Cairill, who gives birth to him again in human form so he may recite the early history of Ireland. See John Carey, ‘Scél Tuain meic Chairill’, Ériu, 35 (1984), 92–111. See also TALIESIN; GWION BACH.

Subjects: Religion.

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