Dennis King wrote:
>> in flaith find-c[h]enn cennach foraind
>> the fair-headed lord, [it was] a bargain with us,
> Does "cennach foraind" show up anywhere else, or really make sense as a
I wasn't taking it as a cheville, but rather as a reference to the
compact between Cormac and Tadg: Tadg would help expel the Ulstermen,
and in return he could have so much of the kingdom of Brega as he could
encircle in his chariot:
Luid ina c[h]arbat, at-cluinim, ... cennach foraind, do tim[ch]ell a
"He went in his chariot, I hear, ... [it was] a bargain with us,
to encircle his land"
Taken that way, 'it was a bargain with us' is parenthetical, but not
extraneous in the way chevilles tend to be.
Now that Tadg has fulfilled his half of the bargain, the preposition
'for' seems to refer to the obligation 'on us' to fulfill ours, Cf DIL
128.15 (air), 128.23-24 (ort), Both those examples are under the
sub-meaning 'reward, recompense', so a better translation might be 'it
was the payment agreed by us'.
> I wonder if there's a slim chance that this could be a one-off adjective
> based on "cenn", conditioned by the noun "cennacht", with "for" used
> with the sense of rank or rule "over".
Would that adjective then have to be treated as a substantivised one? If
so, it seems a bit odd to make an adjective of a substantive and then
substantivise it. Also, would 'us' be the Cíannachta? If the poet is
indeed Cináed úa hArtacáin, he was not of the Cíannachta, but of the Uí
Néill kingdom of Mide and "closely connected" with the Uí Néill king of
Brega ('Medieval Ireland: an Encyclopedia' 87) - for him 'us' would be
Cormac's people rather than Tadg's.
I wondered for a while whether 'cennach Foraind' might be 'a Pharaoic
bargain'. Was there a bargain between Pharaoh and the Israelites that
matches that between Cormac and Tadg? (I would have expected 'Foran',
(Pharaoh) to have a long 'á', as in the adjective 'forán'; but in
Saltair na Rann 3892 the rhyme requires the 'a' to be short.)