On Sun, 6 Jan 2008 02:48:35 -0000, Patrick Brown wrote:
> 1. Cid diatá A[i]ded Ceit maic Mágach? Ní hansa. Luidh fecht ann a crich
>nUlad do chuinghi[d] gona duine, inní ba minic lais .i. Ulaid do goin, úair
>ní dechaid asa nóendin ríam [cen] guin Ultaig.
>"úair ní dechaid asa nóendin ríam [cen] guin Ultaig" - this is a bit tricky.
>The "cen" has been added by Meyer, who interprets the clause as
>from his childhood he never went without the slaughter of an Ulsterman", but
>I don't think that's right. DIL says "noínden" is either "a period of nine
>days" or "warlike gathering, melée, fray", and "ríam" is the preposition
>"ría" plus 3 sg. pronoun, "before it", so I think a better emendation would
>be "úair ní dechaid nóendin ríam asa guin Ultaig", "for a period of nine
>days has not gone before that from his killing of an Ulad" - i.e. the last
>time he killed someone from the Ulaid was less than nine days ago.
Thanks for typing this up for us.
I can understand where Meyer got the idea of 'childhood'. We have
Modern Irish 'naí (infant, babe) and 'naíonacht (infancy), as well as Old
Irish 'noídiu/noídin...an infant, a young child' (DIL N 59.54) but I agree with
you that 'nine days' is more likely here.
'asa nóendin' looks like the preposition 'a' (out of, from) plus the 3rd
singular or plural possessive pronoun which I would translate 'out of his' or 'out
of their'. Since Cet mac Mágach is going to Ulster, I would favor 'out of their'.
Maybe 'nóendin' refers to "the name given to the Ulster couvade or period
during which the Ulstermen were debilitated and unable to fight" (DIL N 61.
15). DIL says "there are two independent accounts of the cause" from one
of which "it appears that [noínden] equals "nine periods of twelve hours".
Is this the same as the time when the Ulstermen had labor pains as a
result of their cruelty to a pregnant woman, which is why Cúchulainn had to
fight the army of Connacht alone?
DIL gives a few examples of the word used with a preposition plus
"bátár Ulaid inna noendin" (my translation: (the) Ulstermen were in their
I'm not sure how to best translate 'noendin'.
"ma dodeochaid assa noennin"(my translation: if he came out of his noendin)
'ríam' can translate "before (the time spoken of), previously" (DIL R 57.24) and
I think 'ní....ríam' could translate literally 'not.....previously' or even 'never' like
in Modern Irish.
an alternate translation:
since he had never left their noendin without killing an Ulsterman or
he had never let their nine defenseless days go by without killing an Ulsterman
In other words, every time the Ulstermen were incapacitated he went to
Ulster and killed one. Liz Gabay