Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles.

Tag Archives: Early Irish Language

Some questions answered by The Story Archaeologists

We regularly receive questions from listeners and readers. We try to answer them as soon as we can but many are well worth exploring in more detail. Here we discuss just three. Firstly there is the problem of ‘coir’, a word that we use regularly in episodes to express an important but complex concept. Another …

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Verba Scathaige – Scathach’s Words

We opened the episode “Women Warriors: The Training of Cú Chulainn“, with a reading, in Irish and English, of Verba Scathaige. This is the poem that Scáthach creates using her imbás forosna, one of the most advanced poetic techniques, used in story to see events far off in time and space. This attribute of Scáthach’s …

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The Story of Rúadán from Cath Maige Tuired

from Cath Maige Tuired, The Battle of Moytura edited by Elizabeth Gray translation and notes by Isolde Carmody [Terms in bold have notes and discussions below]   544] Tánic didiu frisna Fomore annísin, go tudciset-som fer n-úadaibh de déscin cathai & cosdotha Túath nDéa .i. Rúadán mac Bresi & Bríghi ingene in Dagdai. Ar ba mac-side & ba úa do Thúaith Déa. 124. Things were going against …

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The Story of Airmed from Cath Maige Tuired

from Cath Maige Tuired, The Battle of Moytura edited by Elizabeth Gray translation and notes by Isolde Carmody [Terms in bold have notes and discussions below]   133] Boí dano Núadae oga uothras, & dobreth láim n-argait foair lioa Díen Cécht go lúth cecha lámha indte. Meanwhile, Núada was debilitated.  A silver hand / arm was set on him by Dían Cécht, with the power of every …

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Many Shades of Darkness

Irish colour words and concepts In primary school,  I was very confused to learn two different Irish words for “green”: glas and uaithne.  I knew there was a difference, but I wasn’t clear what that difference was.  As my schooling continued, more confusion arose: black people were referred to as daoine gorma, “blue people” (according to the dictionary) and …

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Revisiting the Importance of the Source

When I chose to study Early Irish, the principal reason was so that I could read the Irish stories and poetry that I so loved in their original language.  As a student of literature and philosophy, I knew that translation meant interpretation.  Being both cynical and a control freak, I wanted to remove the filter …

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Repost – Imbas: Poetry, Knowledge and Inspiration

The filid, “poets”, of early Irish society were not poorly paid struggling artists: they were held in the highest esteem and a crucial part of culture.  Indeed, the word fili, “poet”, more literally means “seer“, and the ollamh, “great poet, chief poet”, had comparable status with the king of the túath, “petty kingdom”, and the …

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Revisiting Sinann in the Metrical Dindshenchas

from the Metrical Dindshenchas, Volume 3 edited by Edward Gwynn; translated by Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody. pp. 286 – 297; poems 53 and 54

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Story Archaeology goes Kind of Epic!

  Just when you thought there wasn’t enough Story Archaeology around, we go and do an interview for the Kind of Epic Show! We’re featured in a St. Patrick’s Day special on this “weekly look at all things geek” with Gabe Canada. Here’s a direct link to the episode which will play automatically: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/kind-of-epic-show/e/37361615?autoplay=true Here’s a …

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Fer Fio’s Cry: A Poem for Long Life

In exploring the Dindshenchas of Inber Ailbine, we looked at the poem Nuall Fer Fio, “Fer Fio’s Cry”, to gain some understanding of the nine daughters of the sea in their bronze boats.  In the episode, I incorrectly attributed the translation to Dr. John Carey.  This is because I first read about the poem in …

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