Celtic God

Neit

Neit was the Celtic god of war and husband to both Nemain and Badb, members of the fearsome Morrígan. Celebrated for his ferocity in battle, he fought alongside the Tuatha dé Danann against the powerful Fomorians.

By Gregory WrightLast updated on Nov. 18th, 2021
  • Was Neit a Fomorian or one of the Tuatha dé Danann?

    Neit was related to both of the powerful factions fighting for Ireland, but he came down on the side of the Tuatha dé Danann.

  • Was the Dagda the son of Neit?

    Neit was the father of the Fomorian Dot, but more is known about his relationship with his nephew, the Dagda, than with his own son.

  • How did Neit die?

    Neit was killed while the Tuatha dé Danann fought against the Fomorians, in the Second Battle of Moytura in County Sligo.

Neit was the Irish god of war, and father of the fearful Fomorians. A pan-Celtic war deity known to the Romans, Neit was celebrated for his mastery of war and his ferocity.

Etymology

Neit likely came from the Proto-Celtic *nei-t-, meaning “impassioned” or “fighting.”

Attributes

Neit was a powerful god who was able to earn the respect of many factions in Ireland, from the Firbolg, to the Fomorians, and the Tuatha dé Danann. He fought alongside alongside the Tuatha dé Danann. A multifaceted god of war and passion, he gave as he received, allowing a storehouse built by his nephew, the Dagda, to be used as a grave for the Dagda’s son, Aed.

Family

Neit was the husband of both Nemain and of Badb, a member of the fearsome Morrígan. He was the father of Fomorian Dot, grandfather of the fearsome Fomorian king, Balor of the Evil Eye, and the Dagda’s uncle.

Family Tree

  • Consorts
    wives
  • Children
    son
    • Dot

Mythology

Neit’s role in mythology was relatively small.

Cath Maig Tuired

‘Then Nuadu Silverhand and Macha the daughter of Ernmas fell at the hands of Balor grandson of Net.’
-Cath Maig Tuired, trans. Elizabeth A. Gray

Although he fathered members of the Fomorian race that predated the Children of Danu, Neit joined the Tuatha dé Danann, including his wives and nephew, in their war for dominion of Ireland. At the Second Battle of Moytura in County Sligo, Neit fell, but the Tuatha dé Danann were ultimately victorious in their effort to take control of the Emerald Isle.

Other Mythology

Neit appeared across the Celtic world by various names. He was known to the Romans of the Iberian Peninsula as Mars Neto, and elsewhere as simply Neto, a powerful Gaulish god of war. These forms of Neit were associated with the Roman Mars and Apollo, and may be related to the similar pan-Celtic deity, Taranis.



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