>>> Any chance Dennis could post the actual words used for "causing
>>> three waves to spill over the top of it" to compare
>>> with 'bruth'?
>> "ro dóirt a trí tonna dar borddaib di" is as much as I have
>> copied. I'll have to go back to the library for more of the
>> text leading up to the druid's poem.
> Ah, "bord" as well! How early is "airdech" in use for a vessel
> which floats on water as well as one which could contain water?
> If that and "bruth" as waves or movement of the sea were both
> justifiable for the time of the text, we might credit the writer
> in the choice of words with contrasting what happens outside
> the nautical vessel with what is happening inside this liquid
Even without any direct verbal correspondences, the sinking of a
'boat-like' bowl in a vat which then makes 'sea-like' waves could easily
have been seen as an evil omen. Consider the following extract from p
37 of Opie and Tatem's 'Dictionary of Superstitions' (from British
1869 N & Q 4th ser. IV 131 [Scarborough, Yorks.] No sailor will set out
on a voyage if he finds his earthenware basin turned upside down in the
morning when he is about to have breakfast. ... 1916 N & Q 12th ser. I
154. ... An overturned bowl - how could anything ... foreshadow more
plainly an upturned boat?"
I wonder if the three waves might have some significance as a portent as
well? A legal commentary on injuries describes the symptoms of the most
serious injury (crólige báis; deadly bed-wound) as consisting of 'na trí
tonna' (the three waves). These turn out to be three waves of blood:
blood from the wound, blood in the urine, and blood vomited up from the