Dennis and I want to start a new reading list. Following the discussion we had in the last, we decided to read Baile Bricín "The Frenzy of Bricín". As a matter of fact, I
cannot tell you anything about the tale. It's as new to me as it is to you. It seems to be a religious tale. Apparently it has never been translated before, so we will be laying
some groundwork here on the list. As we go along, we will be able to decide whether the language of the text is basically OIr. or Middle Irish, or something in between.
Dennis and I decided to swap the jobs we had taken in reading Echtrae Nerai. Now I will post the instalments of the text to be translated and edited, and he will make
further comments about the translations. The text survives in two MSS, Harleian 5280, fo. 44b-48a and Egerton 1782, fo 17a-19a. The text has been edited without
translation or comments by Kuno Meyer in ZCP 9, 449-457. I will give you the text from this source sentence by sentence. Meyer's edition basically follows the Harleian
MS (abbr. H), variant readings from Egerton (abbr. E) are given in footnotes (i.e. numbers followed by a leftward looking parenthesis). Sometimes the forms found in H will
be more "correct", sometimes those in E. It will be our job to decide which is which in each individual case. Meyer has supplied missing length marks by putting macrons
over the long vowels. These will be represented by small "roofs" over the vowels in my mails.
What I suggest we do is to try to edit and translate the tale. "Translate" is clear, but what I mean with "edit" is to try to apply OIr. spellings conventions on the text, e.g.
remove h's after lenited voiced consonants (for example, change "aidhche" to "aidche" in the sentence below), put in OIr. endings where the text displays confusion of final
vowels, and, of course, insert raised dots and hyphens, like we did in Echtrae Nerai, and do other superficial and automatic things like that. I'd suggest, though, not to
correct Middle Irish inflectional forms, if we encounter any, to what the forms would be in OIr., but leave it at that (only apply spelling normalisations). In Echtrae Nerai it
was our specific goal to create a text in an idealised classical OIr. grammar. Maybe we could try this time to be more relaxed about this question. If you have any
questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Anyway, here's the first installment. The title goes in H (E lacks a title):
H: Baili Bricîn sund. Mesi an Gillo Ríabach
And the first sentence is:
H: 1. Bâi Bricîni Tûama Reccon 3) aithliu corgois cêstai 4) môir
aidhche câsc, forêmid 5) techt asa tigh abbad dond eclois 7 lobrusi,
6) co côla 7) gâir muinntiri nimi i 8) celiubrud na câsc.
4) aithli chorguiss césta
5) aidhchi chasc forrémid
6) ocus bobrai
Alright, who wants to give it a try?