Greetings all.

I found this passage from The Irish version 
of the Historia Britonum of Nennius
from: CELT: The Corpus of Electronic Texts
The author is unknown and the dating uncertain.
The manuscripts are from the 13th and 14 centuries.


      Who settled in Breagh-magh, 
      Six demon-like druids. 
37. - Necromancy and idolatry, druidism, 
      In a fair and well-walled house, 
      Plundering in ships, bright poems, 
      By them were taught. 
38. - The honoring of sredhs and omens, 
      Choice of weather, lucky times, 
      The watching the voices of birds, 
      They practiced without disguise.


      nad cesead for Breagmach 
      seisear demnach druadh.  
37. - Druidheacht is idlacht, maith, 
      in ailc min glan mur glan, 
      barc dibeirgi, duain gil, 
      is uaidib ro munadh. 
38. - Moradh sred is mana, 
      raga sin, am sona, 
      gotha Ún do faire 
      cairi gach ceol cona.

This translation is by a 19th century scholar. They sometimes 
seem to rely on rather literal translations (not to mention 
antagonistic) at the expense of the context.

Now I understand the author may himself have been antagonistic 
in his view of Celtic polytheism in general and druids in particular, 
but in my attempts at researching alternate meanings, I can't 
find any support for some of the translations.  I make no 
pretense at being a language scholar yet, and readily admit to being a 
beginning student, but it seems to me that this translation is in 
desperate need of un update.

For example, line one of division 37.  I can find no definitions of 
"maith" that are related to anything in the translated line... quite 
the contrary every definition I can find relates to goodness... morally 
good, and the like. What was translated as idolatry seems to be more 
accurately polytheism.

Another oddity; line 3 of division 37: "barc dibeirgi".  The plundering 
of ships is not generally regarded as an art taught by the druids.  
Can anyone suggest an alternate meaning?

I suspect "sredhs" in line 1 of division 38 might refer to streams, but 
that's mostly a guess.

Thanks for any help you can offer.