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Subject:Baile Bricín §10.3-5
From: David Stifter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 3 Nov 2004 08:53:00 +0100

text/plain (33 lines)

Dennis wrote:

> Is the text really saying that a "demon" who will trivialize/discount
> the great and magnify the small is the same person as the abbot of two
> monasteries?  I don't get it.

I admit, this sounds quite problematic, even more so as "demon" seems 
to have exclusively negative connotations in Irish. It seems 
inconceivable that "demon" is used in a kind of laudatory fashion. 

> > Bid demon dogênai bec do môr, dogêna môr do biuc. Tuirigen dâ lethi
> > in sen."
> Could "demon/deman" possibly be a scribal error for "deimin" (certain,
> certainty)?  That would allow us to read it as "It will be certain
> that he will make little of the great and will make great of the
> small."
> I know you hate to tamper that much with the spelling!

It's true, I don't like fiddling with the spelling too much. But it 
could be that your suggestion is the right one. Having looked at 
Meyer's edition again, I see that what he gives is "dem_on_", i.e. 
"dem" is written in MS H, but "on" has been expanded by Meyer from an 
abbreviation. The question is, what the reading of the MS actually 
is. Is it "dem-"? Or is it some kind of abbreviation that 
unequivocally suggests an "o"?

It seems - from Meyer's apparatus criticus - that the varia lectio 
"deman" in E is fully spelt out. Again it would be most helpful to 
have a look at the MSS.


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