Today, when picturing a faery (or, more commonly, fairy), most people imagine diminutive little creatures with tiny little wings, flitting about from flower to flower. However, accounts of medieval fairies show them to have been neither small nor particularly kindly, while traditional understanding in Ireland before the Middle Ages was that the Faery were mythical characters, often referred to the Tuatha De Danann.
Perhaps the earliest form of faeries can be found loosely in the mythical beings in Greek mythology, such as the nymphs, satyrs and sileni. The nymphs from ancient Greek myths can be considered as fairies and they existed as early as the time of Homer writing the Iliad and the Odyssey. Even the river gods in Greek myths can be classified as fairies. These are spirits or minor deities of nature or of the natural phenomena.
The Norse versions of the fairies are the wide variety of elves and the dísir that exist in the Teutonic traditions. The Faery underwent many alterations, from the powerful and respect-inspiring Tuatha De Danann down to the classic Folk Tale Fairy and picturesque Flower Fairy. The Fairy Lineage is an attempt to describe the various realities that have been associated with the word faery.
Origins of fairies