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Tidings of Doomsday (Author: [unknown])


Tidings of Doomsday

An Early-Middle-Irish Homily

The following homily, now for the first time printed,1 is taken from pp. 31-34 of the lithographic facsimile of the Lebor na hUidre 'Book of the Dun Cow', a ms. of the early part of the twelfth century, preserved in the library of the Royal Irish Academy. Its value is threefold, first, as throwing light on the notions of the mediaeval Irish as to the other world, secondly, as a specimen of a little known homiletic literature, and, thirdly, as the situs of a large number of rare Middle-Irish words and forms. Thus in paragraph 1, comfolbthaide, which seems a mistake for co-molbthaide: cf. molbhthach 'praiseworthy'; 5, terbod (=terpud, Egerton 93, fo. 1. b. 1) .i. innarbad no deligud, O'Dav. 12. sráinfitir, 3d pl. b-fut. passive of the verb now written sraoínim. 14. tóithenach, O'Reilly's taoitheannach. 17. congain chride : cf. O'Clery's eatla .i. ciamhaire, congain chroidhe, aithrighe no déra. 20. sírrechtaidib, cf. O'Clery's sirreacht .i. truagh: riches, dat. pl. richessaib, O. Ir. richis (gl. carbo) Z 2 273, Corn. 'regihten' gl. pruna, Br. 'reguez', Cath. 'cicarach' 'ravenous', cirriud, cf. cirr 'comb', Rev. Celt. I, 55. aslom an 'hapax legomenon' to me. 21. brothgal the vapour (gal) of burning flesh (broth. i. feoil, O'Cl.) 22. tesmalta, cf. coneicsed-side do tesmolta andaine & acomairbairta bith, LB. 211a cin 'a drop' O'R. 23, tairthim splendor? also in tairthim flatho LU. 132 and in the Félire, prol. 166. 24. toichell (do-fo-chell) .i. imtheacht, O'Cl. dofoichlenn an innsi, H. 2. 16, col. 374: cf. Greek kéleuthos, callis. 25. ammáin, O'Reilly's amhain adv. only, alone'. The following forms are noticeable; the dat. sg. spirutu in paragraph 1 (perhaps a mistake for spirit, but cf. dia mogha manchuine, Senchas Mór, II, 22), the verbal forms tancabair, tancaibair, 5, 9, for Old-Irish tancaid 'venistis', for(f)acsabar-si, 18. scérait 19, 3d pl. redupl. fut. act. from scaraim. doraga 'adveniet' 5, I 3, ragait 'venient', 15, 16, 17, 18, and the secondary forms of the s-future rosesed (*ro-sech'sed) 2, and tairsed (*tairicsed) 24.

W. S.