Dane Pestano wrote:
> I should state that this
> verse relates to Mac Erca and his death and burial in the part of the story
> it comes from.
Yes, but is it not bishop Cairnech's description of a virtuous Christian
life? I think he is the one reciting the poem, isnt he? (Is there a
translation of this text somewhere?)
>>> Note that 'reilcibh' is plural here. This might suggest a plurality of
> kings - but I think the king here is Christ the King. Note that the 'king'
> in question is unambiguously singular later in the poem.<<
> As above, I actually think it is plural and does not relate to Christ but to
> Mac Erca himself.
I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean here. Mac Erca isn't plural either.
>> fín, fín don uisqui cen bréig
>> Wine Wine, evil water, no lie
>>> 'Don' in the sense 'evil' is a noun. You seem to be treating it as an
> adjective (though it proceeds 'uisqui' rather than following it). Perhaps
> you are reading 'uisqui' as a genitive ('evil of water').<<
> Yes, I did read it that way and then summarised it. I tend to try and get
> the sense of it then make up an expression.
Until you are fully confident of the sense of the poem, it is best to stick
to a literal translation. Otherwise your initial presumptions about what
the poem ought to say (as opposed to what it turns out to say) can prove
very obstinate to dislodge.
> Mac Erca died in a vat of wine. Hence why it was evil for him.
Or did he rather drink magical wine transformed from water? (A pagan
miracle in direct competition to the blessed Christian one. His fairy wife
who made the magic wine banished all clergy from the house - with
malevolent intent: she wanted to kill him.)
If it is wine from water (whether the miracle is Christian or pagan), don =
dind is still the obvious option.
>> dál, dál ic duine im airecht;
>> A meeting, a meeting of men in assembly
>>> I don't think 'ic' (= 'oc') can mean 'of', and 'duine' cannot be dative
> plural. Nor does 'im' mean 'in'. But otherwise this is nearly there I
> It's these small words such as ic/oc and im etc that I have problems with as
> the meanings can be so different it's hard to tell what applies.
Yes, but it does have to be one of the available meanings. You have lots to
choose from, but you do have to choose one of those, not something else you
would rather it meant.
>> A relic, relic ríg ruaid
>> A burial, a burial of the red king.
>>> Looks fine. Though as the king is Christ, 'mighty' might be better than
> Mac Erca was the red king. Erc can also mean `red'.
'Ruaid' is a common epithet for kings, regardless of their names. Even
assuming that Mac Erca means 'son of red', that does not make Muirchetach
himself red - it makes his progenitor red.