David Stifter wrote:
> > Cormac's definition of the word looks suspiciously like an
> > artificial understanding derived from his sense of the etymology:
> > indelb < in (= in) + delb (= image, likeness, statue), i.e. that in
> > which there is a statue.
> Here we arrive at the limits of interpretation, because on the other
> hand such a type of word formation looks enticingly like a good IE
> compound of the entheos-type (Gr. entheos "having god inside =
I would actually like to think that this is the genuine etymology,
and that the "indelb(a)" was originally a stone enclosure housing
sacred images of some sort. That would not necessarily conflict
with the later description of an "indelb" as the cell made up of
four large stones in which Mo Chreiche lived during Lent:
"ceithora cloch .i. cloch rena druim cloach cec[h]tar a dha taobh
7 cloch ara aghaid".
By then, the pagan associations of the "indelb" might have slipped
into the background, while its sacred character was still remembered
-- perhaps along the lines of the "fidnemed" (sacred grove) that is
mentioned in the annals as a part of monastic settlements?
Perhaps the list should vote? :-)