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Scél Baili Binnbérlaig

Author: Unknown

File Description

Kuno Meyer

Electronic edition compiled by Beatrix Färber and Ruth MurphyProof corrections by Ruth Murphy, Hilary Lavelle

Funded by The HEA via the LDT Project and PRTLI 4

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 2250 words


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College Road, Cork, Ireland


Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: G301042

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Available with prior consent of the CELT project for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


    Manuscript source
  1. London, British Library, MS Harl. 5280, fo. 48a-b;.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Kuno Meyer, Scél Baili Binnbérlaig in Revue Celtique. Volume 13, Paris, Émile Bouillon (1892) page 220–223


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

The electronic text covers pages 220–223. The English translation is available in a separate file.

Editorial Declaration


Text has been proof-read three times.


The electronic text represents the edited text including footnotes. The ae-ligatures have been rendered ae. Expansions are marked ex; text supplied by the editor is marked sup resp="KM"; footnoted editorial corrections take the form of corr sic="" resp="KM" Missing portions of text are indicated by gap. When displayed in HTML format (due to its constraints) both expansions and supplied text appear in italics. When in doubt, users are asked to consult the SGML/XML master file to identify the markup.


Quotations are rendered q.


When a hyphenated word (hard or soft) crosses a page-break, the page-break is marked after the completion of the hyphenated word (and punctuation).


div0=the tale.


Names of persons (given names) and places are not tagged.

Profile Description

Created: By an unknown Irish scribe Date range: 1000-1100?.

Use of language

Language: [GA] The text is in Middle Irish.
Language: [LA] Some words are in Latin.
Language: [EN] Introduction and some words in the notes are in English.

Revision History

Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: G301042

Scél Baili Binnbérlaig: Author: Unknown


In his Appendix to his Lectures on the MS. Materials of Ancient Irish History, pp. 472–475, O'Curry has published and translated the story of Baile Binnbérlach from H. 3. 18, p. 47. The same text is found in the British Museum MS Harl. 5280, fo. 48a; with this difference that for many ordinary Irish words (gnáthfhocla) of H.3. 18, Latin, Hebrew, and archaic Irish words have been substituted. We have here, in fact, an instructive example of that delight in obscure modes of diction, which Irish poetry so often shows in its use of kennings,1 extinct forms of language, antiquated native, and


lastly even foreign words. We know that a regular training in the use of such expressions formed part of the curriculum of the aspiring fili, and I think that it was these various modes of expression that were comprehended under the name of bérla na filed "the language or dialect of the poets", which the young fili, then called anroth, was required to master in the sixth year of his apprenticeship. See Thurneysen, Irische Texte, vol. III, I, p. 38. An amusing example of the use of such language occurs in Cormac's Glossary, s.v. lethech.

While in a literary point of view the use of the incongruous elements, misplaced fragments of learning, only serves to mar a pretty tale, it supplies the modern student with some valuable linguistic material. For this reason I have thought it worth while to publish the following text. I add a translation and a glossary of the old and rare words.

1] {MS Harleian 5280 folio 48a}Baili Binnberlach mac Buain. Tri hui Cabha maic Cinga maic Rosa maic Rudraigi: Monach & Baili & Fercorb, de quibus Dal m-Buain & Dal Cuirb & Monaig Arad. Oenmac Buain .i. Baili. Ba saincais-seom di Aillinn filia
5] Lugdach bein Fergusai Goo, no di deir Eogain maic Dathi & ba sainamor do cech oen atchid & dicechlad eter issai & genai ar a urriseib. Corrusdailset coir dala i n-dormainecht ic Ros na Turigin occ Laind Moelduib ar bru Boinne Breg.

10] Dogene an uir atuaid dia torrachtoin o Eomuin Machi tar Sliauh Fuaid & tar Teme Muiri co Traig m-Baili. Ro turnaid a n-drubai & russcuirid a n-gabrai for an rindiuc dia gleth. Digensad ainius & oibnius.


A m-botar ann conacatar elpoid uathmor ænnoé cugo
15] indes. Ba hudmall a rem & a ascnamh. Meti les noraited in trogain sín sighi seig di aild no clo do glasréin. A clipio fri tir. ‘Ar a cind!’ ol Baile, ‘conatcomaircter nde cid ted no canus tanuic no cia fath a cudnoidh.’ ‘Di Tuaig-Inbir tiagoim & tar ais budthuaid anussai o
20] Slioab Suidiu Laigeon & nintha do imtecht liumm acht no Lugdach maic Fergusai tuc grad do Baili mac Buain & tainic dia dal, corucsat oic Laigevn fuirri & bathaid, amail rusgellsad draide & degfaidi doib, na comraicdis a m-bethaid et conricfaidis iarna nás & nach scerdais tre bithu sir. Is
25] siad sin mo scelai.’ & 'musteti uaib iermo & niptar cuimgech a fostad. Otcechlai Baile anni sin crinniur marb cin anima & clandtair a fert & a raith & saitir a airne & dogniter a oenuch guba la hUllto. & lossaig {MS folio 48b} eo trian lige combo reil delb & fuaith capaid Baili for a
30] ind, unde dixid Traigh m-Baili.

Iarom 'musla buddes in fer cetno co forad a m-bai an ingen Aildinn & docing isan grianan. ‘Can tic anti nat aithgenamar?’ ol ind ingen. ‘A fochlai Erend o Tuaig-Inbir & secha so co Sliab Suidi Laigen.’ ‘Scelai lat?’ ol
35] in ingen. ‘Ni fuil sceloi is cointi sund, acht adconnorc Ultai ac oenuch guba et oc cloidi ratha & ic sadad lia & ac graifned a anma Baili maic Buain rigdamnoi Ulad do thin Trago Baili, et se ic torrachtain lennain & mna serce dia tard tal, ar ni fuil a scoth doib coristais a m-bethaid no
40] nech dib d'faircsin aroili ina m-biu.’ Dobidg amach iar n-indiuld an misceoil. Difuit Aillinn marb cin anmoin & claitir a fert &rl. Et assoid abhold trian lige & ba gesco mor a cind septimo anno, & fethol chuid Aillinne for a uachtar.


45] A cind secht m-bliadan dana tescait mail & faidi & fisidi int év boi os Baili & 'musgniet tauhull filiud nde & scribait fise & fese & serco & tochmarco Ulad inni. Fon fiu cetni scriutar tochmarco Laigen inti-si.

Doruacht ant samhuin iarsuidi & dogniter a fes la hArt
50] mac Quind. Tolotatar dil & aes cacha danai fon fes sin amail ba bes & doradsad a taibli leo. & dusci Art & otconnairc 'muscomairc. Et tucad cuce in di tabald co m-batar ina lamoib eneuch a n-inchoib. Imusling an tabold for araili dib cor' imnaisced amail fethlind im urslait. Et ni
55] tualaing a n-imscarad & batar amail gach sed isan taisced i Temraig, curusloisc Dunlang mac Enda diar'ort an in-genraid, unde dixit:

    1. Aboll Aildinde ardai,
      ibor Baili, becc forboi,

      60] cia dobertar au laidhe,
      ni tuicid daine borba.

Et amail adbert ingen Cormaic ui Quinn:

    1. Es fris samlaim Aluime,
      fri hibor Traga Baili,

      65] fris combaroim aroili,
      frisan abaild a hAili.

Fland mac Lonain dixit:

    1. Desid Cormac im cel coir
      conid fris format ant sluaig,

      70] tabrad Dia airi noeb nár
      in craeb do Traig Baili buain.
      • Forbuir bili buidnip reb,
        rolaa a delb truimib tor,
        diarcelgad rocelgaid fir
        amlaid sin rocelgaid cor.

75] Cormac dixit[...]