>> Possible. Of course, I grew up with the understanding that the names
>> "Setanta" and "Séadna" were theoretically identical, but, to us, as
>> denizens of Ireland, different linguistic entities capable of mutual
> Now I may betray my utter ignorance, but it never occurred to me
> before that those two names would - or could - be related, let alone
> identical. Unless some irregular changes occurred I can't see how one
> can arrive at "Séadna" from "Setantae". I recall that we discussed
> the question of the length of the first syllable of "Setantae" before
> on this list. If "Séadna" should indeed be its modern descendant,
> this would point to a long é.
This has been posted to the list by Dennis before - Thu, 30 Sep 2004 -
Eoin Mac Neill, "Varia I.: 1. Setanta, Setantii", Ériu, Volume 11,
Royal Irish Academy, 1932, p. 131:
"Tentatively, I would suggest that Setanta in the Middle-Irish texts
stands for Old-Irish *Setante and that this is a boy-name
corresponding to the name Sétne, Middle-Irish Sétna, modern Séadna.
For the ending, compare Ca(o)ilte, also a boy-name, for the Fian-her
whose proper name was Daelgus, Dóilgus. The ending -ittios, -ttios,
apparently hypocoristic, is found in the Ogham names Branitti,
Curcitti, Lugutti (O.I. Luchte, Mid.I. Luchta), corresponding to Bran,
Crc, and any one of the names compounded of Lugu-. Sétne is the
equivalent of the Gaulish *Santonios, gen. 'Santoni', the name of one
of the master potters of La Graufesenque, related to the people-name
'Santoni' or 'Santones'. These names and the Irish 'sét' 'a thing of
value' (modern 'séad, seód'), have been connected etymologically with
the participial 'snt [sub-dotted 'n']' 'being' (cp. Greek 'ousía').
From 'Sétne', with the ending -ittios, we expect in the first instance
*Sétn(a)itte, but metathesis of 'l, n, r' in a syllable between
consonants is frequent (e.g. 'cotulta', gen. of 'cotlud').""
- Chris Gwinn