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Re: Wand or wreath or what?


Neil McLeod <[log in to unmask]>


Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>


Tue, 5 Sep 2000 07:31:36 +0800





text/plain (28 lines)

At 11:00 2/09/00 -0700, Dennis wrote:
>The Book of Leinster tells us (as quoted in DIL) "is amlaid
>documlai in mac 7 craeb airgdide uaso... Cráeb óir... uasna
>ollamnaib. Craeb umai úasna filedaib archena" [So the son
>sets out with a silver branch above him... A golden branch...
>above the chief poets. A branch of bronze (or copper) above
>all the other poets]. DIL translates "cráeb óir" as "a golden
>wand". On the other hand, Ó Dónaill gives Modern Irish
>"craobh óir, airgid" as meaning "golden, silver, wreath (of
>distinction)", which could also fit with the description
>of a "cráeb" being "ós" (= over, above) the poet.

This passage is dealt with in passing by Liam Breatnach at p 94 of his
edition of Uraicecht na Ríar (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1987).
He doesn't advert to the specific issue you refer to, simply translating
'branch'. Nor does he mention any parallels for these badges of rank, and
he is always extremely thorough.

Not much help I know! But I thought it might be worth reporting.


Professor Neil McLeod
School of Law, Murdoch University
([log in to unmask])
Ph (08) 9360 2981, Fax (08) 9310 6671

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