Okay, so now this looks like:
> 33. Im rīgh Ēile na n-ech n-ard,
>> im rīgh Delbhna dar balbh sreabh,
>> im rígh Urmuman ō chrīch Tāil,
> im rīgh bFer cCeall ag dáil slegh.
> 33. About the king of Ely of the horses of the heights,
around the king of Delbna for whom the stream fell silent,
around the king of Ormond from the territory of Tál
around the king of Fer Ceall at the meeting of spears
Line 1: Janet has suggested that ‘n-ech n-ard’ which I originally translated
as ‘of the high horses’ might be a poetic form for Slieve Aughty. I agree
that my translation must be wrong: n-ard can’t possibly be an adjective, but
I wonder if Aughty can be so reduced as to lose its ‘t’ component? Ely as I
understand it is the territory around Roscrea, Thurles, and the Devilsbit
Mountains, the wrong side of the Shannon altogether for Sl. Aughty. The
kings of Ely might very well have been allies of Uí Máine, but I don’t think
by any stretch of the imagination they could have been considered part of
Line 2. Delbna. According to Hogan there were some seven different groups
of the Delbna. One or more of them certainly seem to have been in Uí Máine;
he speaks of one just west of Galway city, and another around
were in Meath and Westmeath. Distribution maps in Byrne’s *Irish Kings and
High Kings* and in Ó Corrain’s *Ireland Before the Vikings *show the Delbna
Nuadat and the Delbna Bethra straddling the Shannon in the area between L.
Derg and L. Ree. As for the stream falling silent, Liz, all I can say is
that I take my hat off to you.
Line 3. Ormond and crích Tál. A very curious combination. Ormond I would
(and I am quite willing to stand corrected) describe as very roughly Co.
Kilkenny and parts of E. Tipperary today, it extended over to Cahir and the
Galtees in the medieval lordship, anyway. Tál came up in verses 5 and 7, as
an ancestor of the Dál Cais. (The term is frequently used to describe Dál
Cais in bardic poetry in general.) The Dál Cais never, as far as I know,
laid claim to own Ormond, but then, Ormond wasn’t even called that in Mac
Liag’s day: the Kilkenny area would have been described as Osraige, which
was a kind of pivotal area between Munster and Leinster. Brian Boroimhe
certainly took Osraige’s hostages, but as I understand it, that wouldn’t
mean that Osraige could be described as his land. I wonder if we are
translating ‘Urmuman’ right here? But while we are on this subject, I may
as well bring up that verse 6 spoke of Brian being ‘on the Shannon, on the
Suir’. Now the Suir River is definitely in the Ormond/Osraige area. Riddles
Line 4. Fer Ceall. Hogan lists this as Fir Cell, alias Feara Ceall, in
Offaly, ‘coterminous with Eile Ui Chearbail in Mun.’ It looks to me
altogether as though the peoples being listed in this verse are a range of
allies in a belt running down the E side of Uí Máine and on S.
Oh, yes, Liz you mentioned a problem with the number of syllables in line
3. Could I suggest humbly, that 'Muman' became 'Mumhan' which I've heard
pronounced Moo-an, and might hence be treated as a single syllable? You
spoke of something happening with the u, but it's the a that recedes out of
existence as far as I can see.
Great scott, this is taking a lot of work. I wanted to send 34 as well, but
there's a pile more stuff to work out there, and I see responses coming in
already to what I've sent so far today. Back soon.