Here is my transaltion, and a comment on one of the place names of
Tadg's 'seven battles'
Cath Argetruis is cath Conaig
ro-forbartrois (sic) fedaig
cath Âtha Crô, crû [for] sligid
robo dû do-debaig
Cath Argedrois is cath Conaig
ro-foirbeartrus (sic) feadaig
cath Âtha Crô, crû for sligid
robo dû rin[d]-deabaig
The Battle of Airgetros and the Battle of Conach
- The branches would grow back -
The Battle of the Bloody Ford, gore upon the road,
It was a site of spear-fighting.
Perhaps the second line can be read as meaning 'the branches would grow
back, but not the fallen warriors'.
I take 'Áth Cró' here to refer to Crinna, which is located at a crossing
on the Boyne, a little to the east of Newgrange. When we looked at §11
of 'Cath Crinna', I mentioned the version of §11 found in Keating:
Tadhg mac Céin thúaidh i Ráith Cró,
ro bris seacht gcatha i n-aonló,
for Ultaibh go rionna réin
ó áth Crionna go hArd-Céin.
Tadc mac Céin north at Ráith Cró
Broke seven battles in one-day
Upon the Ulstermen with the advance of a spear (?)
from the Ford of Crinna to Ard Céin.
Notice that the first line of Keating's stanza refers to 'Ráith Cró' and
the last to the 'ford' at Crinna. The name 'Ráith Cró' also turns up in
Cath Crinna §§12 & 17 - both times explicitly indicating that it is at
Crinna. Compare that with the name 'Áth Cró' here in stanza 5 of our
poem. I wonder whether at some time, long before the sources we are
reading were written, the name 'Áth Cró' (describing the crossing at
Crinna) gave rise to a doublet 'Ráth Cró'?
Cath Crinna §17 begins:
Forsind ôenchloich i rRáith Chró
tuttim na trî Fergussó ...
Upon the one stone in Ráith Cró
The fall of the three Ferguses ...
This 'one stone' has been perplexing me. What were the three brothers
doing on the one stone, and why isn't its significance explained for us?
Well, it would make perfect sense if they were defending a ford (áth)
rather than a fort (ráth). If it was a ford, then as each Fergus fell,
his brother would take his place on the stone in the crossing, so as to
Perhaps, though, it was well known to the intended audience that the
fort was by the ford, and we are meant to realise that the stone was in