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Subject: sowing confusion
From: Dennis King <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 30 Mar 2007 07:59:56 -0700
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Thanks to the action unfolding in a mill in our current reading,
I discovered a nice concatenation of three images of 'sowing
confusion' -- for the "Quotations" collection, of course.

In the tale "Cath Ruis na Ríg" Féic mac Follomuin volunteers
to scope out the enemy forces for Conchobor.  He impetuously
decides, for the sake of individual glory, to cross the ford
and confront the opposing army by himself.  His unexpected
foray surprises and momentarily confuses them.  The text says:

   "Tuc bleith mulind tuathbil forthu. Tuc a n-airthiur fora
   n-iarthur & a ndesciurt fora tuasciurt."

"He put grinding of a mill [going] backwards on them.  He put
their east on their west on them, and their south on their north."

Unfortunately for the would-be hero, the enemy quickly recovers
and moves to surround him.  His bravado fails him and tries
to flee back across the river, but miscalculates his jump and
is drowned.

Dennis

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