LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for OLD-IRISH-L Archives


OLD-IRISH-L Archives

OLD-IRISH-L Archives


OLD-IRISH-L@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

OLD-IRISH-L Home

OLD-IRISH-L Home

OLD-IRISH-L  January 2008

OLD-IRISH-L January 2008

Subject:

Re: Some thoughts on the origin of the Táin and Cú Chulainn

From:

Patrick Brown <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 31 Jan 2008 12:55:46 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (69 lines)

There's bits of your post that have gone way over my head, but if you're
saying that the text as we have it is the result of an attempt to collect
together and reconcile variant versions that have arisen as the tale has
been spread orally, then I agree with you. I also agree that some kind of
monolithic tradition is an illusion - the degree of creativity and
consistency of characters we see in the existing versions of the stories
says to me that the cycle as we have it was still being written, not
something that was simply recorded from immemorial traditions. The
difference between the Ulster Cycle and the County Cavan folklore you
mention is, at the time of writing of the stories we have at least, it was
not a folk tradition, but a literary one.

It was of course based on and developed from earlier traditions - early
poems like Conailla Medb Michuru show that certain elements of it at least
were in circulaton in the early 7th century, and were probably part of a
common historical tradition even then - but how much of what we know know as
the Ulster Cycle was associated together then is impossible to say. Conailla
Medb Michuru uses the story of Fergus's exile with Ailill and Medb as a part
of the history of a Munster dynasty, and mentions Conchobar but not
Connacht - Fergus seems to go into exile at Tara. There's mention of raiding
Ulster's cattle, but not to a bull, and nothing that can be taken to refer
to Cú Chulainn. Perhaps there were a number of distinct story-cycles - a Cú
Chulainn cycle, a Conchobar-Fergus-Medb cycle, a Conall Cernach-Cet mac
Mágach cycle, and so on, that became fused into one, similar to the way
stories and characters like Lancelot and Tristan and Iseult started out
independently but found themselves drawn into the Arthurian orbit. Then,
based on the fused story-cycle, new stories were generated that were
consistent with it.

Patrick


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tarzia, Wade" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 3:09 PM
Subject: Re: [OLD-IRISH-L] Some thoughts on the origin of the Táin and Cú
Chulainn


Interesting post!  Perhaps a helpful approach is to think of the "cycle" as
never very monolithic but instead a sort of process combining both orality
and ethnogenesis, such that regional identity crystallized around variants
popular (and internally sensible) in locales, but once gathered up in an
editorial net, something that appears to be stratigraphy results.  I
remember how much I used to be excited thinking 'oh, this part has the
oldest language so it is the more original/less tainted by editorial messing
about' but in cynical old age I now wonder if age of language always helps
us get at some original or what an archaeologist might call a 'horizon',
itself suggesting a monolithic tradition that may be an illusion.  I am
sparked to think this way because, as I was collecting folklore in Co.
Cavan, I saw a miniature form of ethnogenesis occurring around a couple of
archaeological sites, one a folly tower in Ballinagh, Fleming's Folly, and
the other a dyke called Worm Ditch and The Black Pig's Race. The Race had
Protestant vs. Catholic politics attached to its lore, but also had other
traditions, contemporaneously held. The Folly may have had two traditions
depending on what side of Belville Hill you lived on (Protestant = folly
built as famine relief project;  and Catholic = folly built by a crazy
landlord who thought he'd see the sea from its height; the political
statements should be obvious).  I imagined a compiler combining these
traditions, and a thousand years later a student at Lunar University
(looking a little like me ;-)  studying these two traditions and looking for
an original or earliest form that editorializing had muddled together. Of
course you can't argue with 'age of language' evidence, at least not much,
though it may be hard to say *where* that language was captured, and did it
represent not a broad horizon of folkoric sentiment but rather a local
valley.  Has much scholarly thinking gone on in this area for the UC? --
Wade

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.HEANET.IE

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager