The "tech midch˙arta", or sometimes simply the "midch˙airt",
has been translated as "drinking hall" and "feasting hall"
by McCone, "mead-hall" by Kuno Meyer, and "the house's mead
circuit" by Jeffrey Gantz. Eleanor Knott glossed "midch˙airt"
rather tentatively as "middle-circuit(?)" in TBDD, while DIL
defines "midchuairt" thus:
'mid-court', a central court or hall in a dwelling,
generally used for banquets, also called tech midchuarta
although it acknowledges "mead-court" as a competing definition.
In "Fled Bricrenn", Bricriu builds a great hall in order to
host a feast for the Ulster warriors, and it is said to be
patterned on the "Tech Midch˙arta", apparently the legendary
banquet hall of Tara: "Is amlaid trß dorˇnad a tech sin sudigud
Tige Midch˙arta fair."
My naive understanding of the word "midch˙airt" has always been
"mead-circuit", which seems to make good descriptive sense in
the phrase "tech midch˙arta" = "house of the the circle/circling/
circuit/passing around of mead". I was surprised to see DIL
identify the first element as "mid = middle" rather than "mid =
mead", although both are common enoungh words in OI. I'm even
more surprised to see "c˙airt" interpreted as "cuirt = court",
a borrowing from Latin "co(ho)rs, co(ho)rtis", which does not
seem to occur widely in OI.
What is the latest scholarly opinion on this word?