DANT-MÍR is obviously a combination of DANT 'tooth' + MÍR 'morsel' but the concept of the 'dant-mír' is poorly understood. The few attestations we have suggest that the term refers to a piece of food which was put between the teeth of the dead. In a fragment of text on the death of Finn mac Cumaill, for example, a 'fer dubh' (dark/gloomy man) insists that a piece of fish is given as a 'dant-mír' to Finn's decapitated head.
Interesting that it is a dark man that gives the dant mír to Finn.
For those of ya playin' at home:
The electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL) is a digital dictionary of medieval Irish. It is based on the ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY’S Dictionary of the Irish Language based mainly on Old and Middle Irish materials (1913-1976) which covers the period c.700-c.1700.
Post by trescuinge on Aug 29, 2016 21:39:37 GMT -5
Years after the Battle of Mag Mucrama, Art Mac Cuinn's son, Cormac Mac Art, has been driven from the high-kingship by Fergus Black-tooth the King of Ulster and his two brothers, Fergus Crooked-tooth and Fergus Long-hair. While gathering allies Cormac is advised to seek the aid of the old warrior Lugaid Lága.
“Eirg-siu,” ar Tadc, “co Lugaid Lága & tuc latt é don chath & brathim-se duit in baile i fuigbe é ’na chotlud.”
"Go ", said Tadc, ""to Lugaid Lága and bring him with you to the battle and I would point out to you the place where you will find him in his sleep."
Et luid Cormac co fuair é ’na chotlud et impâis rind in gaî ria chride. “Cia do-gnî seo?” ar Lugaid. “Cormac sunna,” arse. “Dlige,” ar Lugaid, “duit. Is mê ro marb th’athair.” “A héraicc dam-sa,” ar Cormac. “Cend ríg a cath duit,” ar Lugaid. “Gêbat-sa,” ar Cormac, “cend ríg Ulad, Fergusa Dubdêtaich.” “Do-bér-sa,” ar Lugaid.
Cormac went there and found Lugaid asleep and he set the point of a spear against his heart. “Who is doing that?” said Lugaid. “It is Cormac.” he said. “The law is with you." said Lugaid. “It is I who killed your father.” “Give compensation to me." said Cormac. “I will give you the head of a king taken in battle.” said Lugaid. “I will take,” said Cormac, “the head of the king of Ulster, Fergus Blacktooth.” “I will give it.” said Lugaid.
In his 50's (or 60's), Lugaid is still the toughest man in Ireland.
I recently read a novel set in medieval Ireland that depicted (again and again and again) the Irish as being being utterly devoid of knowledgeable native healers/physicians. The only competent one was a "witch" who had traveled to Cordoba to learn from the Moors. That simply isn't accurate.
We know less than we would like about that era. This is due in no small part to the Norse burning monasteries and, later, English laws decreeing that any book written in Gaelic found in Ireland should be destroyed. However, there is still plenty of evidence attesting to a relatively sophisticated knowledge of medicine as it was practised throughout Europe and the Dar al-Islam. Here are several links.
"Every Irish lord had his own physician. Physicians, like poets, historians and musicians, had a high status in Gaelic Ireland, the highest position being ollamh leighis, [ull avh lie-is] or official physician to a king, chieftain or Irish lord. They were awarded hereditary tenure of lands for the medical services they rendered. Medicine was the preserve of a select number of families, father passing his medical knowledge to son and sometimes to daughter or kinsman, forming renowned families of hereditary physicians (Nic Dhonnchada 2000: 217-220).
Among the famed medical families were the Ó Caisides (Cassidys) and Ó Siadhails (Shiels) of Ulster, Ó hÍceadhas (Hickeys) and the Ó Lees of Connaught, and the Ó Callanains (Callanans) of Munster, to name just a few. Their medical schools, such as that of Tuaim Brecain (Tomregain in County Cavan) founded in the sixth century, Aghmacart (in County Laois), and the medical schools at Clonmacnoise, Cashel, Portumna, Clonard and Armagh were famed throughout Europe. Famed hereditary physicians in Scotland, like the MacBeathas, or Beatons, who provided medical services to generations of Scottish kings, originated in Ireland, and Scottish students studied at the medical school at Aghmacart (Mitchell: 2008).
One of main functions of the ancient Irish medical schools was the writing and translation of medical texts into Irish, such as Galen’s commentary on the Aphorisms of Hippocrates translated into Irish in 1403 by the Munster medical scholars, Aonghus Ó Callanáin and Niocól Ó hÍceadha. A vast body of medical texts exists, written in Irish or translated from Latin into Irish. Some were of Arabic origin, thus making available to Irish physicians a wealth of new medical knowledge and techniques influential in new schools of Arabic medicine in Europe. These works, together with the books of the old medical families written in Irish and handed down to succeeding generations, such as the Book of the O’Lees, compiled in 1443; The Lily of Irish Medicine, compiled by the O’Hickeys, physicians to the O’Briens of Thomond, compiled in 1352; Book of the O’Shiels, hereditary physicians to the MacMahons of Oriel, and the many manuscripts written by the O’Cassidys, physicians to the chieftains of Fermanagh, constitute the largest collection of medical manuscript literature, prior to 1800, existing in any one language (Nic Dhonnchadha 2000: 217-220)."
There are many other sources out there demonstrating that the medieval Irish were definitely not medical illiterates and in fact had a deeply established medical tradition going back before Patrick. They had an excellent reputation on the Continent and certainly weren't helplessly dependent on Cordoban-trained witches and Norse thralls for their medical needs (as some might suggest).
Another installment in the story of Lugaid Lága. Cormac Mac Art gives battle to the Ulstermen at Crinna. Cormac hides during the battle while a servant is disguised as the king. Lugaid ranges the battlefield in search of Fergus Blacktooth.
Do beir Lugaid cend leis & taiselbaig don gilla he. “Ni he,” ar in gilla, “ceand in rig sin acht cenn a brathar.” Do-ber Lugaid cend aili lais & taiselbaig don gilla. “Ní he,” ar in gilla, “acht ceann a brathar aile.” Do-beir Lugaid in tres cenn leis. “Inn e-seo he?” ar Lugaid. “Is e” ar in gilla. Do-beir Lugaid builli don gilla conid ro-marb fochedoir i rricht rig hErind & co torchair fein i neoll marbad cen anmain no beath.
Lugaid brings a head and presents it to the servant. "That is not," said the servant, "the king's head but his brother's head." Lugaid gets another head and presents it to the servant. "It's not him," said the servant "but his other brother's head." Lugaid takes the third head. "Is this him?" said Lugaid. "It is him," said the servant.
Lugaid immediately struck dead the servant in the guise of the king of Ireland. and then Lugaid fell down in a swoon like death without soul or life.
Having fulfilled his promise to Cormac, Lugaid uses his last strength to strike down the man that he thinks is Cormac Mac Art.
My take on things is that the sweat houses go back to ancient times. We know that several early indo-European cultures used them, including the Scythians. The construction methods of the Irish versions are nothing like those of Scandinavia, being rather just like those methods found in Ireland from the Neolithic onward. Also, by far the largest concentration of such structures is found in the north and west, precisely where Norse influence was least and Gaelic culture survived longest.
As I recall, Ellis, in his book, The Druids, stated that "Turkish Baths" in medieval Germany were originally called "Scottish" baths. The term arose from the practice being adopted from Irish monks/clerics who were referred to in early medieval times as "Scots" (Scotland was named after Irish Gaelic immigrants).
In the interest of full disclosure, here is an article showing the genesis of the modern "Roman-Irish" baths in Germany. It sounds as if the doctor from Blarney was reinventing the wheel to a certain extent. He had to try several times to achieve the "dry heat" that was always a feature of the Irish originals. We know from accounts and excavations that sweat houses in Ireland go back centuries before Dr. Barter came up with his designs.
Post by trescuinge on Sept 6, 2016 21:07:45 GMT -5
Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin (Red John O'Sullivan) was born in 1748 and educated at the bardic school in Faha. He became a spailpín, joined British navy and served under Admiral Rodney at the Battle of the Saintes. In 1784 he was struck with a fire-iron by a man he had satirized and died a few days later. He seduced a girl on his death-bed and died while writing a poem:
Sin é file go fann Weak indeed is the poet Nuair thuiteann an peann as a láimh When the pen falls from his hand
In consideration of the current Rio Olympics and the consequent interest in the nation of Brazil, Peter & Sandra's Medievalverse newsletter has the following, which includes a link to the early 20th. century lecture by Roger Casement when he was a British consul to Belem do Para, at the mouth of the Amazon:
Hy-Brassil: Irish origins of Brazil
August 14, 2016 By Medievalists.net
Hy-Brassil: Irish origins of Brazil
By Roger Casement
Irish Migration Studies in Latin America, Vol. 4, No. 3 (2006)
[Illustrated by a map of] Brasil as shown in relation to Ireland on a map by Abraham Ortelius (1572)
Abstract: The name Brazil could only have come to the Portuguese from the Celtic legendary name applied to the ‘islands of the blessed’, the Tír na nÓg of the land of the setting sun, which the Galway and Mayo peasant still sees in the sunset just as the Galician and Lusitanian wayfarers in Cabral’s day dreamt of it before their eyes had actually fallen on the peaks of Porto Seguro rising from the western waves.
Thanks for the link, Val! Yeah, Brazil was given the name of a legendary land to the West just like the Antilles, California etc. REH mentioned Hy-Brasil in one of his poems. In Portuguese, Brazil is actually spelled "Brasil", just like in the Irish.
Casement was quite a man. His life history is incredible. He died 100 years ago this year, fighting for Irish independence.