Irish: Mana, Manau
A large island in the Irish Sea with a long Celtic history. Irish legend says that it was the island to which some of the Fomhoiré were exiled after their defeat by the people of Partholán, other exiles going to the Hebrides. Later tradition made it the home of Manannán mac Lir. Cormac mac Cuilennáin (fl. 900) attempted to establish Manannán mac Lir as a historical person by declaring him a magnificent navigator and merchant who hailed from the island, and by saying that it was these skills that led both the Irish and the British to regard him as a god.
The island was, during the traditional Arthurian period, ruled by a number of Celtic kings about whom very little is known. The enchanted knight Gromer became king with the help of Gawain. The island also figures in a tale concerning Merlin, who allegedly defeated a number of giants and interred them in caves beneath Castle Rushen on the island.
Recent works have attampted to connect the Isle of Man with Avalon, perhaps because of the naming of Avalon as the Isle of Apples by Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Irish connection of the island with Emhain Abhlach (‘Emhain of the Apple Trees’), the home of the Irish sea god Manannán mac Lir.