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OLD-IRISH-L  April 2005

OLD-IRISH-L April 2005

Subject:

Baile Bricín §54.1-4

From:

David Stifter <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 6 Apr 2005 14:38:37 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (121 lines)

Liz wrote:

> >54. "Bîaid dana in t-ardmoltaig 29) na fîrinia Inis Cloitgi ré cethri
> >mbliadna ar .xl. Bid ê in qûach 30) findruine forsin crois lûaidide
> >31) .i. tûaruscbâil tarbo a ciund êtarboi. 32) Cairidfid clôiniu."
> >33) "Is trôcor", ol Bricîn.

>   Then there will be the great admirer of justice of Inis Cloitge
>   before
> (for?) forty-four years.  He will be the white bronze bowl upon the
> leaden cross, that is, a useful appearance in a useless head
> (literally head of uselessness).  He will rebuke wicked things.”  “It
> is a mercy,” said Bricín.
> 
> I thought ‘in t-ardmoltaig’ was the masculine article plus a compound of
> the adjective ‘ard’ (high,tall) and a noun ‘moltaig’ which I couldn’t
> find in the dictionary but I thought it meant ‘praiser, one who
> praises, one who admires’.  

My first thought was also to take "moltaig" as an agent noun 
"praiser...". To explain the unexpected ending "-aig" I would suggest 
to read it as a spelling for the agentive suffix "-(a)id" which I 
recently wanted to see in "esérgid". "ardmoltaid" would therefore be 
the "high praiser" ("ard" could also be "loud"). DIL doesn't list 
"moltaid", but there are "moltaide" and "moltach" = "praiseworthy". I 
wonder if our word could be an error for it and that our man is "the 
highly praiseworthy one".

> In Modern Irish, one wouldn’t write ‘int
> ardmoltaig na fírinne’ with two articles like that.  A single article
> would suffice ‘ardmoltaig na fírinne’.  Is that also true in Old
> Irish?

It's basically true, but not unexceptionally.You occasionally do find 
double articles. As to "fírinia", I wonder if this is really 
"fírinne" or maybe something else. "fírinne" always has a double 
"nn". I also wonder if the "na" in front of it really is the article 
and not rather "i" + poss. pron. = "in his truthfulness".

> I thought ‘na fîrinia’ was the genitive of ‘fírinne’ an ia feminine
> stem noun “justice, righteousness”.

In MidIr. the word shouldn't be translated as "justice", but rather 
as "truth(fulness)". Neil probably could tell us what the ordinary 
word for justice was.

> I couldn’t find ‘Inis Cloitgi’ in the onomasticon.  I wondered if 
it
> was appropriate not to put ‘Inis’ into the genitive ‘Inse’ here.  Could
> use of the nominative ‘Inis’ in a genitive construction have been an
> acceptable variant at the time?  I don’t know.

Strange indeed. Maybe the final "a" of "fírinia" doesn't belong to 
the preceding word but is the preposition "out of". Then "Inis" would 
make sense.

> I used the dative form for ‘cethri’ which I found in Thurneysen p. 242,
> but I’m not sure it’s correct since it’s so different in spelling from
> the word in the source.

You normalised to classical OIr., but since this is MidIr., an 
erosion of the original inflection has taken place obviously in this 
word. I'd suggest to just keep the spelling of the MS.

> Here is part of the dictionary entry for ‘findruine’ –“Stokes 
> suggested that it was a corruption of ‘findbruine’ meaning ‘white
> bronze’... Thurneysen takes the word to be a derivative from ‘finn’ and
> ‘ór’ meaning ‘white gold’, gold from which the silver with which it is
> often found has not been entirely separated.  Apparently an amalgam of
> copper? Or gold?  with silver.  In value it is ranked below gold and
> above bronze.”

This is a long-disputed question and hasn't been solved so far, to my 
knowledge. AFAIK, the latest study of the word was undertaken by J.P. 
Mallory, I think at the Celtic Congress in Oxford.

> I thought ‘crois lûaidide’ was the accusative or dative of the a stem
> feminine ‘cros’ (cross) and the genitive singular of ‘lúaide’ (“the
> metal lead”).  I could make no sense out of the two ‘d’s in source H
> so I used the form from source E. 

"lúaidide" could be an adjective in "-(a)ide" derived from "lúaide" 
"lead".

> I couldn't make sense out of the
> imagery of a bowl upon a cross either so I wonder if I'm
> misunderstanding the image here.  Did the Irish attach bowls or other
> vessels to crosses for some ceremonial purpose?

I don't understand the picture either, but maybe "cros" doesn't refer 
to the religious symbol here, but to a cross-beam structure?

> I thought ‘tarbo’ was the genitive singular of ‘torbae’ an io-stem
> neuter later ia feminine  translating “profit, benefit...usefulness,
> labor, work”.  I used the feminine genitive form but I’m not sure
> whether or not the neuter is better;  I thought the neuter genitive
> would be ‘tarbai’.

We can't tell from the spelling of the MS, but since our text is in a 
"later language", I think the feminine is fine.

> Since ‘ciund’ clearly looked like a dative singular form of ‘cenn’ to
> me, I thought ‘a’ was the preposition ‘i’ with the dative meaning of
> ‘inside’. I suppose it could also be the preposition meaning ‘out of,
> from’.  Either is possible.

I think the whole is meant as a composite preposition "a/i ciunn". 
From the context my suggestion for a translation would be "on top 
of", but DIL doesn't give a parallel for this use.

> ‘Cairidfid’ looks like the 3rd singular future of ‘cairigid’ (“rebukes,
> accuses, blames”) and ‘clôiniu’ looks like the accusative plural  of
> the o stem masculine substantive use of ‘cláen’
> (“figurative..iniquity, wickedness”).

The acc. pl. of the adjective "cláen" shouldn't have a palatalised 
"n". I rather think we are looking at an acc. sg. or pl. of the fem. 
abstract noun "claíne" "crookedness, wickedness".

David

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