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Fomorians were a semi-divine race who inhabited Ireland in ancient times, constantly warring against invading groups. They may have once been believed to be the beings who preceded the gods, similar to the Greek Titans. It has been suggested that they represent the gods of chaos and wild nature, as opposed to the Tuatha Dé Danann and Fir Bolg, who represent the gods of human civilization. Alternatively, they may represent the gods of a proposed pre-Goidelic population of Ireland.

They are sometimes said to have had the body of a man and the head of a goat, according to an 11th century text in Lebor na hUidre (the Book of the Dun Cow), or to have had one eye, one arm and one leg, but some, for example Elatha, the father of Bres, were very beautiful. Bres himself, for example, carries the epithet "the Beautiful."

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