Patrick Brown's citation on Macha brought up a point which has been
intriguing me for some time. I have actually seen this same passage before
and have wondered as to it's translation. In the last line it states:
i llúaidet mná trogain tres
which is translated as :
Where the raven-women instigate battle.
Now what gets me here is the word "trogain" in reference to a raven. The
only reference I have found for trogain is "bron trogain" to wit "the sorrow
of the earth" with regard to the harvest and Lughnassadh. In fact the
Lughnassadh festival was also known as "Trogain" or the "Trogain month". I
have read this is an old term for the earth, yet information is scarce. I am
wondering how this translation metes out as "raven" when I can find no usage
for "trogain" being raven ("bran" being the most common, I believe), and no
dictionary of mine even has "trogain" in it.
Is there some correlation between the Badb, Macha and Morrígan and
Lughnassadh? Can anyone shed some light on the "trogain" mystery for me? It
actually has some personal, familial associations, so I would be very
interested in whatever develops.
>Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 12:21:50 BST
>From: Patrick Brown <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Re: 'Macha' ?
>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
> dixit dubruis
> 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.
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