> The passage in SR, as quoted in DIL (s.v. "lám"), is:
> "tuc lea lámdeo á athar (of Rachel), SR 3016"
> = she took her father's household gods with her
It would be of interest to know what expression for "household gods"
the Vulgate uses in this episode.
> It occured to me this afternoon that the Irish compound "lám-día"
> (lit. "hand-god" = domestic god/idol) might have come from a
> misunderstanding of the the common Latin phrase "dîs/diis manibus
> sacrum = sacred to the gods of the Manes / to the underworld gods/ to
> the dear deceased ancestors". My Latin is a little shaky, but
> wouldn't "mânibus = of the Manes" be easily confused with "manibus =
> of the hands"?
> Does this explanation make sense? If so, I'm sure it's been
> propounded before!
No idea, it is has been proposed before, but the explanation is
interesting. Anyhow, it would require someone whose knowledge of
Roman habits wasn't very evolved in order to make this confusion. But
such a scenario is easily conceivable in early medieval Ireland.