What follows below is an attempt at an "edition" I tried to make of a short story with legal implications. The story appears twice in commentaries to the legal text Din
Techtugud "On Taking Possession of Land", in CIH iii 907.36-908.6 (= C) and in CIH v 1859.6-15 (= D). I am not aware that any edition or translation has been made of this
short story so far; but if any edition/translation exists, please tell me so: I'd be the more happy.
This is my attempt at normalising the spelling of the two MSS according to the rules of OIr. (I'll separate the text into manageable chunks):
1. Ninne mac Magach de fhéinib,
2. luid fo thúaid i crích nUlad triur marcach do shaigid charat and,
3. + scoirset a n-echu i tír ba cheníuil doib riam,
4. nibu do chuingid chota ind.
5. Co·n-eipert int-í ba thír friu:
6. 'Beirid far n-echu asin tír!'
7. As·bert didiu in dias boíe la Ninne:
8. 'Ní mó dán dún-ni ci ad·cotam scor ar n-ech sund,
9. nab ar cuingid cota and.'
10. 'Ní airassa son, robo lib-si riam.
11. Ní·biad and ém aire!'
12. Ní·fetatar-som co-sin armba leo riam a tír.
13. Ní·léicset a n-echu as.
14. Cartaid didiu int-í ba thír a n-echu as ar éicin.
15. Fo·gellsat íarum imbi Conchobor mac Nessa
16. + bert-side fiach n-ecair étechtai
17. forsinn-í cartas a n-echu asin tír
18. + comlóg ind-í cartas as,
19. + do·combaig selba doib a chummai-sin di thelluch.
Textual notes (I comment only on decisive or difficult forms):
1. C: Nin mac magach; D: Ninne mac matech [Since C allso has Ninne in 7, I took this to be the original form of the name; otherwise I do not know anything about this
3: C: chenel; D: ceniuil [I opted for genitive cheníuil.]
4: C: nimba do cuinnce; D: nabo chuinche [cuinche is a younger variant of OIr. cuingid, which I restored; I conflated nimba and nabo into the main clause form nibu, but
relative nabu could also be argued for, see line 9.]
4: C: hinn; D: ind [both MSS point to ind = 3rd sg. neuter inflected preposition i "in" in accusatival meaning, but actually and = datival meaning would suit the context
better; compare also line 9.]
9: C: nab ar cuinnchi; D: nabu ar cuinche [I took nab here to be relative "which would not be"; I translated ar as the possessive pronoun "our" here, but maybe it is the
preposition "on account of".]
10: C: hurusa; D: hurasa
11: C: ni biad anad em aire
16: C: + isbert-side doib f.e.e. forsani; D: + bert-side f.e.e. forsanti
17-18: C: forsani cartas as [I followed D who has the longer version.]
18: D: inní cartas as
19: C: + documbaig selb doib a chomai-sin di tellug; D: + dochombi selba doib a come-sin di telluch [I took chomai/come to be a spelling variant of cummae "like".]
Here's my provisional translation:
Ninne mac Magach of the Féini went north into the region of the Ulaid, three riders altogether, to search for friends there, and they unyoked their horses on a land which
had been their family's before. It was not to claim a piece (of land) there (that they had come).
The man whose the land was told them: "Take your horses off the land!"
The two who were with Ninne said: "Our business is not greater (= better off?) though we should be able to unyoke our horses here, which (however) would not be our claim
on a piece (of land) here."
"This is not very easy, it has been yours before. Therefore no watching (= staying) will be here (for you)!"
They had not known till then that the land had been theirs before. They did not take off their horses. The man, whose the land was, expels then their horses by force.
Then they submitted the case to Conchobor mac Nessa, and he put a fine for unproperly taking possession on the man who had expelled their horses from the land and an
equal value of him (?) who/whom (he?) had expelled, and he recovered possessions for them equal to it (? = the land?) by making legal entry.
I am not certain about my translation of lines 8-9 and if I correctly understood the legal details in lines 16-19. I'd be glad if anybody more knowledgeable could make some
comments on it. I am also open to any criticism as regards my constitution of the text.