>> Oc éirgiu do Chongal dos-beir Aedán in ngaí ind co
>> tarla trína chride.
Elliott Lash scríbas:
>..... Aedan brought the spear into him [Congal] so
>that it was thrust through his heart.
Thanks, Elliott, for your comments and translation.
Here are Greene’s notes:
“at-raig ‘rises’ ...dative singular éirgiú”
“do-beir ‘gives, brings...present indicative singular 3rd dos-beir”
“tre preposition with accusative ‘through’; with possessive pronoun
singular 3rd ...trína”
“críde ‘heart’ dative singular”
The phrase ‘Oc éirgiu do Chongal’ reminds me of a Modern Irish
construction that uses the preposition ‘do’ after a verbal noun. I’m not
sure how to analyze it grammatically, but here are some examples with my
ag teacht abhaile dom -- when I came home
ag éirí dó – when he got up
ag dul amach dó – when he went out
O’Dónaill’s Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla says that ‘do’ is “Expressing
virtual subject of verbal noun, preceded by preposition or prepositional
phrase...ag teacht dom, when I was coming. Ar imeacht dó, when he had
I’ll assume it translates the same way in Old Irish. ‘Congal’ should
be in the dative case after ‘do’.
The ‘s’ in ‘dos-beir’ looks like an infixed pronoun, but I can’t
think of a way to fit the pronoun into the sentence. Could this be a
Middle Irish thing? A superfluous infixed pronoun?
DIL discusses ‘do-beir’ used with the preposition ‘i’ at D 209.81.
In the examples, the translations are “puttest it into....is laid in...was
buried...has thrown me into”.
See my note on ‘tarlai’ in the previous verse. I could translate
both ‘dos-beir’ and ‘tarla’ as ‘put’ here but I prefer to use two
different words. Can anyone think of a better way to translate these two
verbs? I imagine Aedán pulling the spear out of MF and jabbing it into
Congal at close quarters.
An alternate translation:
When Congal got up Aedán put the spear into him and thrust (it) through
I have an idea, but it might be total garbage. MF (and Congal by
inference) had a reputation with the ladies. It was probably this
reputation that made Rónán so quick to believe his wife’s lies. MF
wasn’t even given an opportunity to defend himself against the charges.
Could the spear be functioning as a phallic symbol here? Live by the
sword, die by the sword??? Has the story been interpreted in relation to
what it says about women's power in sexual matters in ancient Ireland?
Comments and corrections appreciated. Liz Gabay