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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tomus tighe mec ind Ócc

Newgrange from the air. Office of Public Works (OPW), date unknown This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Tomus tighe mec ind Ócc

Tomus tighe mec ind Ócc,
fót cen bine buidnib sét,
etir dá fraigid rosícht,
mó secht traigid, mó secht cét.
Cethri dorais ind cen brón,
bith oc ól tria bitha sir,
turib ciprib, úair is caem,
cóel fo tuighib d'itib én.
Dabuch deargiubair mór lucht,
slóg óss a ucht cen nach socht,
suide fichet co ba secht,
coire cert ocht fichet torc.

Harleian MS 5280, fo 74a

The Measure of the House of Mac Ind Og

The measure of the house of [Aengus] Mac ind Óc,
a territory without fault, warrior band's treasure,
declared between its two walls,
more than seven feet, more than 700.
Four doors at the edges, without sorrow,
land engaged in revelry through all time,
towers of cypress, because they are fitting*,
wattling under thatching of bird's wings.
A vat of red yew-wood --great its contents--
A host over it, the interior without any rest,

The aforementioned twenty times seven cows
a proper cauldron [for] eight-score warriors*

*ciprib is actually a word of unknown meaning, but thought to relate to cipresus/cypress
also in this line caem could be read as beautiful rather than fitting/suitable
*literally 'boar'


  1. Since CODECS is looking for a translation of this, and they use Disqus, I went ahead and left a comment pointing to this blog entry as a provisional translation. They still need to approve my comment, and who knows how long that will take. Academics, in my experience, aren't usually in a hurry.

    1. no pressure then :)
      I edited the final lines after giving some thought to them. I think its more likely that boar is a euphemism for warriors, honestly.

    2. That does seem at the very least to be plausible, and it makes sense to me that the cauldron is described in context in terms of how many it can feed.