Dennis King wrote:
>> arnarab foumus íar ngremaim,
My typo - read 'fomus'
>> arnarab taithbech íar nadmaim,
>> arnarab gáes íar mbaís
> 1. "Secht comarthai déc drochthacgrai" (The seventeen signs of bad
> pleading), of which the last one is:
> lugae íar mbreith = swearing after judgement (trans. Colin Ireland)
> 2. ba tinnsccra iar n-indsma = it would be (like) bride-price after
That's an interesting one. I wonder does it refer to a late payment
after the marriage has been consumated, or marriage to a woman known not
to be a virgin? (A woman of renowned promiscuity was not entitled to a
bride-price.) Probably that question is irrelevant, though - the point
is rather thant the correct order of things is the other way round.
> #2 is one of a long litany of images of useless or impossible actions
> found in "Aislinge Meic Con Glinne", all of which take the form "ba X
> PREPOSITION Y". It's the only one with "íar", however.
Does that matter? If we are examining the candidature of 'slaughter
after betrayal' to qualify as a proverb, wouldn't any preposition do
provided it linked a before and after?
> "Écht íar n-athbrath" looks like a horse of another color. "Slaughter
> after betrayal" (betrayal first followed by slaughter), seems more in
> the natural, expected order of things, unlike "fomus íar ngremaim".
I see what you mean, but I'm not sure it does 100%. It is more like
'insult to injury' - it might come as no surprise, but it is an added
and unnecessary indignity. 'Betrayal' is bad enough, 'butchering' the
victim afterwards is really nasty, and an unnecessary overkill. (It
looks like gratuitous spite - after all, it was only Cormac's 'vanity'
that drove him to do it rather than fear of war with Tadg.)
> The meaning of "écht" seems pretty straightforward in our context. I
> wonder if "athbhrath", however, means something other than what we have
Perhaps, but as far as I can gather, it is a good fit for the context
here. There seems to be a general acceptance (among modern scholars at
least) that somehow Cormac tricked Tadg in the matter of his circuit of
Breg. (In 'Fled Dún na nGédh', another King of Tara, this time the 7th
century Domhnall mac Áeda, plays pulls a similar fast-one on his own
henchman, this time Congal Cláen.)