Eoghan Moody was looking for the etymology of Macha...
Angelique Gulermovich Epstein's dissertation "War Goddess: the Morrigan and
her Germano-Celtic Counterparts"
<http://www.loop.com/~musofire/diss/index.html> contains a lot of
information on Macha and her "sisters". She has dug up some info from
glosses and glossaries which might shed some light.
from O'Mulconry's Glossary:
Machæ .i. badb. nó así an tres morrígan, unde mesrad Machæ .i.
cendæ doine iarna n-airlech (Stokes 1899a: 271).
Macha, i.e. a crow, or one of the three morrígna. Mesrad Machae,
the mast of Macha, i.e. the heads of men that have been
A gloss in MS H.3.18:
Maiche .i. bodb. No isi in tres morrigan .i. maiche 7 bodb 7
morrigan. Unde mesrad maiche .i. cenna daoine iarnanairlech. Ut
Garbae adbae innon fil,
i llomrad fir maiche mes,
i n-agat láichliu i llés
i llúaidet mná trogain tres (Stokes 1859: 213; Meyer 1919: 98).
Macha, i.e. a crow, or one of the three morrígna, that is, Macha
and Badb and Morrígan. Whence Mesrad Macha, the mast of Macha, i.e.
the heads of men that have been slaughtered. As Dub Ruis said:
There are rough places yonder
Where men cut off the mast of Macha;
Where they drive young calves into the fold;
Where the raven-women instigate battle.
One quibble is that she translates ".i. badb" as "that is, a crow", when it
could easily mean "that is, the Badb" as proper names are not capitalised. A
third quote comes from O'Clery's Glossary, which is "apparently late in
Macha .i. badhb, no feannóg . mol macha .i. cruinniughadh
badhb, no feannóg
Macha, i.e. Badb, or a hooded crow. The heap of Macha, that is the
collection of the badba, or hooded crows" (Miller 1879-83: 19).
In this case "badhb" is understood to mean "crow" rather than the goddess of
30 Wynard Park, Belfast BT5 6NS, Northern Ireland
[log in to unmask]
The Ulster Cycle - Heroic Myths and Legends from Ireland
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com