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Subject: Re: Cath Crinna §24
From: Neil McLeod <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 11 Feb 2009 15:00:55 +0900
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Dennis King wrote:

>> LL
>> Luid Tadc i mMumain et triallais cath do Chormac & do-gnîat síd.
>>
>> BB
>> Luig Tadg & se slan a mMumain & giallaid do Cormac & do-gniad síd ar 
>> sin do-can in shai senchada .i. Cinaeth eolach cecinit.
>>
>> Lec.
>> Luig Tadg & se slan a mMumain & giallaid do Cormac & do-gniad síd & 
>> cora ar sin dad doib sin do-chan in seanchaid .i. Cinnaeth eolach 
>> cecinit.

> Whoa!  There's just a tad bit of difference between "triallaid cath do" 
> and "giallaid do", unless I misunderstand the first entirely.  "Tadg 
> went to Munster" and then "he offered battle to Cormac" or else "he 
> gives hostages / submits to Cormac" and then "they make peace".

Yes indeed. The LL version is the more credible. After all, it is Cormac 
who caused Tadc's wasting illness. The hostility seems to have been 
censored out of the version in BB and Lec.

It is interesting to see that hostility appear in the LL version, and 
the appalling behaviour of Cormac appear in both. The Cíannachta were a 
client state of of the Uí Néill kingdom of Brega; so I would have 
expected something rather more pro-Cormac in the story. Then again, 
maybe it was part of the literature produced by the Cíannachta 
Liberation Front.

> BTW, did you notice this lethrann s.v. "triallaid" that puts both 
> elements into play?
> 
> Is gat fás flaith cen giallu |  nî laech meni trialla treóir
> 
> = A lord without hostages is a withered rod*  |  he is no hero if does 
> not try to set the course

or 'if he doesn't offer guidance' (being a euphemism for 'give orders').

> *  "a withered rod" is the translation s.v. "gat" in DIL, but I submit 
> that another, possibly better image is "an empty bundle", since a "gat" 
> or "withe, willow shoot" was commonly used to tie things (and people?) 
> up.  

Yes, 'an empty withe' makes eminent sense. He is a restraint encircling 
nothing; an empty leg-iron.

Which brings us to the question of the poem by Cináed the Wise. The 
opening stanza has a nice series of idiomatic prepositional phrases. If 
anyone wants to look at it (apart from me), I suggest that the following 
approach might add some interest to it.

So far, I have been producing the transcripts from the manuscripts. This 
involves not only deciphering them, but making some decisions about word 
division and the expansion of contractions. This is all good fun, and a 
skill well worth developing.

If anyone feels they would benefit from having shot at producing the 
transcripts for the first stanza of the final poem, we could then 
discuss the palaeographics as well as attempt a translation.

The MSS (BB and Lec) are both available on the ISOS site

http://www.isos.dias.ie/english/index.html

They are both in the Royal Irish Academy collection (go to the 
COLLECTIONS box at the far bottom left of the screen).

For the Book of Ballymote (MS 23 P 12) you need folio 107 verso, column 
b. Our stanza starts with the word 'h-uallach' which is found in the 
last lot of coloured lettering, 11 lines up from the bottom of the column.

For the Book of Lecan (MS 23 P 2) you need folio 221 verso, column a: 
see the first large coloured lettering.

(Verso = the back of a folio, recto = the front.)

Neil

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