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OLD-IRISH-L  February 2009

OLD-IRISH-L February 2009

Subject:

Re: Poem by Cináed the Wise 1

From:

Neil McLeod <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 17 Feb 2009 14:37:51 +0900

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (78 lines)

Neil McLeod wrote:

>>>> BB Huallach doluig Tadg i tresaib
>>>>  ciarbo garg i n-aisib
>>>> isa tir ar druing tosaich
>>>>  i crich cian uill caisil.

>>>> Lec   Huallach doluid Tadc i treasaib
 >>>> ciarbo garg i n-aisib
>>>> Isa tir ar druing ar tosaig 
 >>>> i crich chian uill caisil

 > I think that the first verse of this poem is
 > chronicling Tadc's heroic deeds in Munster, prior to his service with
 > Cormac.

I have now done some work on the next two stanzas (should Liz feel like 
  transcribing some more) and I now think that this first one describes 
Tadg marching north with an army to assist Cormac. (Rather than 
recountign some of his exploits before that on behalf of Munster.)

[When we translated the story, I rather naively imagined Tadg winning 
his seven battles single-handedly, like some kind of superman. Coordign 
the the second stanza of this poem, it seems he brought a couple of 
hundred helpers with him.)


>> Proudly in battle came Tadc
> 
> Or 'Proudly came Tadg into battle'. I think it is a little clearer if we 
> leave the prepositional phrase where it is. On the other hand, 'into' 
> might take the accuasative plural, rather than the dative. So perhaps 
> the meaning is 'Proudly Tadg went [when] in battle'.

I think now this must be 'Proudly came Tadg into [the] battles', namely 
the seven battles he won for Cormac in one day, depite the fact that we 
have the dative rather than the accusative.

> I think the sense is "[marching] first into the enemy's land at the head 
> of a company of soldiers"; that is, he was alsways first into battle, at 
> the head of the vanguard.

I think now that 'tír' refers specifically to Cormac's kingdom (Brega).

> I think BB took 'ar tosaig' to describe 'drong' (the leading company), 
> and that is why it omitted the 'ar'. But given that the metre suggests 
> Lec. is correct in reading an 'ar' before it, I think it describes Tadg: 
> he is both 'ar tosaig' and 'ar druing' - first, and at the head of a 
> company of soldiers. The word order may be a bit strained beacuse of the 
> need to give the consonance with 'i treasaib'.

'Ar tosaig' need not mean 'first' here. 'Tosach' itself can refer to 
'the vanguard', so 'in front of the vanguard'. That means the word-order 
is quite straight-forward:

'Into the land, in front of company, in front of the van'

However, the last line of this stanza is a bit of a problem.

 >>>>  i crich cian uill caisil.

If Tadg is marching into Brega, he ought to be marching 'out of' distant 
Munster, not 'in' it. Could it be that the preposition  'i' here is an 
error for the preposition 'a' (out of)?

There are plenty of examples of the confusion going the other way: the 
preposition 'i' being written as 'a'; but I don't think I have seen 'a' 
(out of) being written as 'i'.

Anyway, here is my second effort:

"Proudly Tadg came into the battles,
Though it was fierce on all sides,
Into the land [of Brega], leading a warband, leading the van,
 From (?) the distant territory of the Realm of Cashel."

Neil

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