Crom Cruach was a god of pre-Christian Ireland. According to Christian writers, he was propitiated with human sacrifice and his worship was ended by Saint Patrick.
He is related to the folkloric figure Crom Dubh. The festival for Crom Cruach is called Domhnach Crom Dubh, Crom Dubh Sunday.
A decorated stone known as the Killycluggin Stone has been interpreted by some as the cult image of Crom Cruach. It was found at Killycluggin, County Cavan. It was discovered broken in several pieces and partly buried close to a Bronze Age stone circle.
Aah yes...sacrifice in exchange for milk and grain suggest that Crom had a function as fertility god. The description of his image as a gold figure surrounded by twelve stone or bronze figures has been interpreted by some as representing the sun surrounded by the signs of the zodiac, suggesting a function as solar deity.
According to an Irish dinsenchas ("place-lore") poem in the 12th century Book of Leinster, Crom Cruach's cult image, consisting of a gold figure surrounded by twelve stone figures, stood on Magh Slécht ("the plain of prostration") in County Cavan, and was propitiated with first-born sacrifice in exchange for good yields of milk and grain. Crom is said to have been worshiped since the time of Érimón. An early High King, Tigernmas, along with three quarters of his army, is said to have died while worshiping Crom, but worship continued until the cult image was destroyed by St. Patrick with a sledgehammer.
Crom Cruach's name takes several forms "bent, crooked one", "bloody crooked one", "crooked stack of corn", "crooked one of the mound".
An old reference to Crom in ogham writing is translated: 'In it Cruach was and twelve idols of stone around him and himself of gold'.
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