Society and the Law
Values and Virtues
Enech – Honour
Febas – Excellence
Gart – Hospitality
Ecna(e) – Wisdom
Bés – Custom
Fír – Truth
Conclusion (Finally!) – Values in Modern Gaelic Polytheism
Elsewhere, we find the concept of honour being explored in other ways, and this leads us neatly on to our next value. In linguistic terms, honour is closely related to the concepts of generosity and hospitality, since these are the primary means through which honour is maintained.1
Staying with words for a moment, we find many different words that relate to the concept of hospitality. Gart is a word that relates the concept of honour, generosity and hospitality most clearly, as it can be defined as both generosity and hospitality, as well as honourable behaviour. The word brugaide, on the other hand, is generally defined simply as ‘hospitality’ and the briugu, ‘hospitaller’, is a person who provides briugas, ‘hospitality, riches, abundances,’ for a living. Briugas can therefore be defined as the function of the briugu.
Yet another word, coible can refer to both hospitality and generosity, while fáiltige is a word that relates to cordiality – giving good and open welcome in the provision of hospitality. The word oígi refers to a stranger, a visitor or guest who is receiving hospitality, and so the word oígidecht refers to the welcoming of strangers into one’s home.
The wisdom-texts have a lot to say about hospitality and generosity. Bríathra Flann Fhína (‘The Sayings of Flann Fína’) lists generosity first amongst the values it promotes:
“1.1Generosity engenders wealth.
1.1a Generosity begets one that feeds it.
1.2 Willingness creates one who gives.
1.3 Good sense results in fair form.”2
Later we are told:
“Be hospitable so that you may appear decorous.”3
Whilst in Audacht Morainn we find:
“Inhospitality yields to hospitality
Niggardliness yields to generosity”4
The provision of hospitality was a legal obligation in early medieval Ireland, although this was by no means an absolute. There were certain limits that applied to the obligation that depended on a householder’s status, the status of the guest, as well as considerations such as whether or not the person demanding hospitality was a criminal or not. Only the briugu, whose job it was to provide hospitality to any free person who turned up on their doorstep, was obliged to provide virtually limitless hospitality, and according to the law-tract Uraicecht Becc, the briugu “does not keep an account against any person however he comes.”5 If the hospitaller refused to provide hospitality to anyone who was legally entitled to it, their status as a briugu was lost.6
In circumstances where the guest was a known criminal, the household was under legal obligation to refuse hospitality; it was against the law to harbour or feed a criminal.7 Associating with someone who was known to be dishonourable reflected on your own judgement and honour as well. In general, though, the expectations of providing hospitality depended on what a person was capable of providing; therefore the laws state that a fer midboth (“man of the middle huts” – a young man who had left home but was not yet an independent land-owner in his own right, a youth generally seen to be between the ages of fourteen to twenty)8 only had to provide hospitality to his lord. An ócaire, meanwhile, was also not expected to provide full hospitality “on account of the smallness of his wealth”, whereas the king was expected to freely provide hospitality to anyone who was of free status and law-abiding, though he was not obliged to provide for the whole retinue.9
Anyone refusing to give hospitality that was due would be guilty of the offence of esáin, a word the translates literally as ‘driving away’. The law-tract on status comments that “refusal of hospitality (esáin) is a very grave offence.”10 In order to make amends, the person guilty of esáin, or etech (‘refusal’) would need to give financial compensation to the injured party, in accordance with the injured party’s rank. For some people – or institutions – however, being guilty of esáin was far more serious. A monastery who turned someone away would lose its legal status, and it would therefore expose itself to the risk of being damaged or destroyed without any compensation being due.11
Hospitality is a two-way street; it is a reciprocal act. While the householder may be obliged to give hospitality to a visitor, the act of accepting such hospitality as it is offered creates an obligation of reciprocation at some point in time. In this sense, hospitality is something that should be freely given, with no expectation that the guest should pay for what they receive, but with the implicit understanding that the guest should return the favour at some point.12 As a convention, this should – in theory – stop unreasonable demands or the guest overstaying their welcome, although the wisdom-texts do have some cautionary advice as well: “Be not too generous lest you be stranded,” advises Cormac.13
Such things aren’t necessarily so simple, though. The episode between the Dagda and Cridenbél in Cath Maige Tuired (‘The Second Battle of Mag Tured’), for example, gives us an idea of the tensions between honour, hospitality, and reciprocity. Cridenbél the satirist takes advantage of the Dagda’s hospitality and generosity by the threat of satire if the Dagda doesn’t oblige Cridenbél’s every demand. Cridenbél demands ‘the three best bits’ of the Dagda’s meal, and so the Dagda finds himself being forced to oblige for fear of being satirised as an ungracious and ungenerous host.14
Satire was a very serious threat in early Irish society, and it was believed to be potentially deadly – or if not deadly, at the very least it had the power to cause blisters and blemishes on the subject’s face (relating to the idea that honour – or lack thereof – is reflected in the face).15 The words ‘to satirize’ are áerad andrindad literally mean ‘to strike’ and ‘to cut’ respectively. In these senses, words are seen to have physical consequences, indicating that they have the power to do real damage to a person. To be satirised has the potential to damage one’s honour-price, since the satire itself can embarrass the subject of the satire, and can harm their reputation and therefore their status and well-being.16 Thus the Dagda has good reason to fear Cridenbél’s threat, even if the satirist is abusing his position in the process. It was an offence to ignore a satire, whether it was justified or not, and illegal satire required compensation in order to repair the damages.17 The Dagda could always sue Cridenbél for unjustified satire, but there would always be the chance that people would still whisper behind his back. After all, many might think that there’s no smoke without fire…Ultimately, the threat of satire here, in relation to a virtue (i.e. hospitality) so important in early Irish society, makes the point that morality was a very public, rather than private, concern.18
Cridenbél’s threat of satire threatens both the Dagda’s honour and his very being, since the Dagda is a god heavily associated with the concepts of plenty, generosity, and hospitality by way of his cauldron that never runs dry.19 It is the Dagda’s obligation as host to make sure that his guest is suitably satisfied – not just that the guest is given enough to eat, but that the guest also receives food and drink of decent quality too.20 When Cridenél demands the ‘three best bits’ from the Dagda, he is demanding both the biggest and the best bits. Eventually, the Dagda manages to teach Cridenbél a lesson, after his son Oengus advises him to put three gold coins in his next meal. The Dagda follows his sons advice, and sure enough Cridenbél makes his demand. The Dagda then hands over the coins, and in his blind greed, Cridenbél eats and then chokes to death on the coins.21
It is this episode that provides the catalyst for Bres’ ultimate undoing. The Tuatha Dé Danann have elected him to be their king, but he is a terrible ruler and the Tuatha Dé Danann are all suffering for it. He judges that the Dagda has murdered Cridenbél, but his judgement is shown to be false after the Dagda points out that he was simply doing as his guest had demanded. Bres reverses his judgement, but the damage is already done. In giving false judgement Bres shows himself to be an unfit king, and the circumstances of his failure underline the fact that Bres doesn’t understand the requirements of a king. Bres himself is mean and inhospitable, and at one point in the tale is satirised for his lack of good hospitality; no wonder he doesn’t see how the Dagda had been put in an unjust position to begin with, and was only trying to honour the demands of his guest. It was not the Dagda’s fault that Cridenbél’s greed led to his own demise.
The importance of hospitality as a value might be seen in the very inauguration rite of a king, where he accepts a drink from a woman who represents the sovereignty, an act which underlines the reciprocal nature of kingship itself. The is also expected to celebrate his inauguration with a feast – a feis – which is both a feast in literal terms, but also carries connotations of a wedding celebration, the marriage between the king and the sovereignty.22
Kingship is a contract between the sovereign and the people, and demonstrations of generosity and hospitality are one of the ways in which the king can honour such a contract and prove his worth as king. The kings displays of hospitality and generosity shows his understanding that his position is dependent upon the people, and that there must be reciprocity: The king must support his people as much as they must support him, otherwise he cannot expect to wield authority over them, or protect them in times of need. It is the people he must rely on in defence of the kingdom, after all. It is also from the king’s hospitality that other professions – the áes dána ‘people of an art’, in particular – are supported, since it is not just food and drink that the king is expected to provide for his honoured guests.23 He must make them feel welcomed, and well-entertained as well.
During such royal banquets, the king seated his guests in positions according to their rank (one of the things discussed in Críth Gablach, the law-tract dealing with status),24 and so we again see that hospitality and honour are heavily linked. The higher one’s rank, the closer one sat to the king, and the seat next to the king was reserved for the sage, who advised and gave counsel to the king on important matters.25
As the champion enjoyed the curadmír, the ‘champion’s portion’ in honour of his status, so we see that status is recognised according to the seating plan of the banquet. In Fled Bricrend (‘Bricriu’s Feast’) we further see status and heroism being acknowledged and affirmed by the offering of wine to each hero, in cups of different precious metals of an ascending scale according to the standing of the hero it was given to.26 For those who made a living by their art, the king also assigned them a specific seat at the table.27
These seating arrangements are another thing that could cause a lot of quarrelling between guests who thought they had been wrongly situated, but ultimately as the people took their places as the banquet, so they affirmed their rank and worth, and their support and allegiance to the king. These feasts were therefore very much a part of maintaining good relations.28 Through hospitality and generosity, we find stability, friendship, and order.
There are a number of words to choose from here, but ecna(e) is the one that most effectively encompasses the concepts that we’ll be dealing with in this section, since they are all inter-related. Along with wisdom, ecna(e) gives a sense of knowledge, enlightenment, and spiritual knowledge as well learning in general. Gaís is another word we can use here, referring more specifically to wisdom, if we want to distinguish from eólas, knowledge – the kind of knowledge that comes with experience.
Whitley Stokes glosses the word febsa – ‘excellence’ (in both a physical and moral sense) with eólas in his transcription of the Saltair na Rann,29 and this gives us the idea that as everybody should aspire to febas, ‘excellence’, as we saw near the beginning of this article, knowledge and experience is the key. “Better the spark [of excellence] than ignorance,” Flann Fína tells us.30
Wisdom articulates fundamental truths about human nature; it can be seen as the distillation of abstract concepts, giving shape and meaning to ideas that everyone can understand.31 In doing so, we can say that, “Wisdom is dedicated to articulating a sense of order.”32 It is not enough to be able to reel off or parrot wise sayings, however; a person is made wise by the fact that they are able to apply such wisdom appropriately, and articulate it in a manner that is appropriate to their audience.33 As such, wisdom is seen as the end part of a process, as Néde describes in Imcallam in da Thurad (‘The Colloquy of the Two Sages’) when asked “…of whom art thou?” Néde replies:
“I am son of Poetry,
Poetry son of Scrutiny,
Scrutiny son of Meditation,
Meditation son of Lore,
Lore son of Enquiry,
Enquiry son of Investigation,
Investigation son of Great-Knowledge,
Great-Knowledge son of Great-Sense,
Great-Sense son of Understanding,
Understanding son of Wisdom,
Wisdom, son of the three gods of Poetry.”34
We find these sentiments echoed elsewhere, with Flann Fína telling us, “Inquiry is the beginning of knowledge,”35 and “Knowledge is the better of inquiry” in Cath Muighe Rath36 – skipping a few of the steps that Néde relates, but following the same order nonetheless.
Trecheng Breth Féne (‘The Triads of Ireland’) tells us:
“Three signs of wisdom: patience, closeness, the gift of prophecy.”37
That prophecy is mentioned isn’t surprising at all; wisdom (gaís), along with judgement, discernment and knowledge, are all the chief preserves of the áes dáno – ‘the people of a skill’.38 But dán by itself, used without specific context or qualification, means simply ‘the art of poetry,’ and it is through the poet – the fili, which draws its etymology from ‘seer’ – that magical knowledge is transmitted, distilled, and articulated.39 In early Irish literature, the poet is frequently seen as possessing supernatural or ‘super-normal’ knowledge – fis.40
Néde shows himself to be correct in linking poetry and wisdom, then, but of course, Néde is not the only example we can look to. Fionn was both a seer and poet, who gained the ability to discern and divine many things by chewing on his thumb. There are different stories that relate how Fionn came to possess such a skill, but it invariably involves the accidental eating or drinking of some sort of magical brew or salmon that was not intended for him.
However it happened, Fionn gained the gift of imbas forosna – ‘knowledge (or wisdom) that illuminates,’41 or ‘great knowledge which lights up, kindles.’42 That he gained this gift by food that was being cooked – and that he himself had been cooking and tending, is significant. As Nagy comments in his work The Wisdom of the Outlaw, we often see that a form of cooking is the means by which imbas is made palatable to the poet.43 In turn, it is through this process that the poet is then transformed – ‘kindled’ – with inspiration.
Returning to Néde again, we find him mentioned in the poem known as ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ “acclaiming” the Cauldron of Érmae.44 In the poem we are told that there are three separate cauldrons that reside within each person, one called the Cauldron of Goiriath which is described as being upright, one called the Cauldron of Érmae which is described as or on its side, and the Cauldron of Knowledge, which starts off upside down.45 These positions are noted as, “…inclined, upside-down (or) upright – no knowledge, partial knowledge (or) full knowledge…”46
In general, the poem describes the process of gaining knowledge, the three cauldrons ultimately generating an aptitude for poetry and learning.47 The first cauldron, Goiriath, represents the beginning of knowledge – and for the poet, that means mastering the basics of grammar, writing and metrics48 – while the third cauldron, the Cauldron of Knowledge distributes “…the knowledge of every other art besides poetic art.”49 The second cauldron (which might be translated as ‘transition’ or ‘progression’)50 is the intermediary between the first and third cauldrons,51 conferring “knowledge and status and honour after being converted.”52
The poem makes clear that knowledge is attained and built on through filling these cauldrons, and it is through this process that the individual attains their mastery and skill in poetry and wisdom:
“Good is the source of measuring,
good is the acquisition of speech,
good is the confluence of power
which builds up strength.
It is greater than any domain,
it is better than any patrimony,
it brings one to wisdom,
it separates one from fools.”53
This process of attaining knowledge and wisdom – filling the Cauldron of Knowledge – is through attaining ‘divine joy’ or ‘human joy.’ Divine joy can be seen as a state of grace, while human joy is split into four different parts:
“As for human joy, it has four divisions: (i) the force of sexual longing, and (ii) the joy of safety and freedom from care, plenty of food and clothing until one begins bairdne, and (iii) joy at the prerogatives of poetry after studying it well, and (iv) joy at the arrival of imbas which the nine hazels of fine mast at Segais in the sid’s amass and which is sent upstream along the surface of the Boyne, as extensive as a wether’s fleece, swifter than a racehorse, in the middle of June every seventh year regularly.”54
The latter division refers to the well of Segais, guarded by Nechtan so that no one might interfere with it. The Dindshenchas tales of Bóand and Sinann both refer to the well, and have the two goddesses approach the well through their desire for wisdom (although it does not end well for either of them). Within the well are hazel nuts, which are eaten by salmon.55 Elsewhere, in the tale Scél na Fír Flatha (‘The Tale of the True Lord’), Cormac comes across a well, out of which five streams flow. Nine hazels are seen to hang above well, which are both ever-lasting and drop into the water where they are then cracked open by five salmon. This produces bubbles, which then flow downstream – perhaps echoing the idea of boiling water, knowledge being attained through cooking.
Manannán tells Cormac that it is the well of knowledge that he has seen, and that, “They are the five senses…through which knowledge is obtained and, moreover, no one who does not drink a draught from the well itself and from the streams shall have art (dán). The people of many arts…it is they who drink from both.”56
The Caldron of Poesy poem is clearly rooted in tradition, then, but it must be noted that is also unique in the way that it describes these three cauldrons residing in the body.57 While we cannot be certain that this scheme is something that was widely accepted in early Irish learning, we can certainly say that it fits neatly within the tradition in general, and that while we see that knowledge and wisdom come from within, they also have an Otherworldly source, borne of fire and water – or fire in water.58
Of course it is not just poets or people of skill who should aspire to wisdom. Tecosca Cormaic (‘The Instructions of Cormac’) tells us:
“Every steadfast person is wise,
every generous person is righteous,
every patient person is persevering,
every studious person is learned.”59
These are the qualities required for wisdom: One must be steadfast, patient, persevering and studious. Learning and knowledge, then, form the foundation of wisdom, along with good sense and piercing insights:
“Three ornaments of wisdom: abundance of knowledge, a number of precedents, to employ a good counsel.”60
As the king had his sage sit next to him at banquets, so he emphasised both his wisdom and how much he valued good counsel. In Cath Maige Tuired, Lug comes to Tara seeking entrance to the feast that Nuadu is throwing. The doorkeeper tells him that none can enter who cannot offer a skill that the people of the Tuatha Dé Danann don’t already have covered, and so begins a back and forth between Lug and the doorkeeper. Each time Lug names a skill, he is told that there is already one who has that skill and so he is denied entrance; and so it goes until Lug has exhausted all possible options. Until, of course, he points out that no one as yet possesses all of those skills at the same time.61
The doorkeeper can’t argue with that, and so he lets Lug in to the feast. Of course, Lug must take a seat, and since he possesses all skills he technically has a right to choose any of the seats at the table. He chooses the suide súad – the sage’s seat. Suí primarily means ‘man of learning, scholar, wise man, sage’, but also ‘expert, master (in various specific arts, crafts, accomplishments)’. As such, Lug shows himself to be both a sage as well as a master of learning, and he rightly takes the seat that carries with it the highest honour (next to the king) as befits his skills and level of mastery.62
Wisdom and learning, then, are high ideals indeed. Above all, wisdom is an essential part of being able to have (or give) good judgement,63 and so it is no wonder that many of the historical or pseudo-historical figures associated with the early Irish wisdom-texts or legal tracts were renowned judges. This is a subject we’ll be returning to later on, but not before we look at another virtue that follows on neatly from our exploration of wisdom.
Bés is another word that has many meanings depending on the context, and can be otherwise translated as ‘habit, usual procedure, practice, manner, or way’. It can also be used in the sense of moral or good behaviour, and we find it in the word béstatu, which translates as ‘morality, morals.’64 Combined with what we find in the wisdom-texts, we see that keeping customs, preserving the lore – the wisdom of our ancestors – is certainly held up as a virtue.
Cú Chulainn advises Lugaid (who is about to become king), “Be vigilant [to observe] regulations of [your] fathers.”65 Cormac tells us that the one of the things that is best for a king is, “Taking care of ancient lore,”66 and it is best for the túath to follow the ancient lore as well.67 “Concealing ancient lore,” on the other hand, is utter folly.68 One of the seventeen signs of bad pleading that Cormac lists is “turning against customs.”69
It is clear from this that the Irish set great store in tradition and custom, and this is not at all surprising. The lore – senchas – that Cormac refers to in Tecosca Cormaic (‘The Instructions of Cormac’) consists of the tales, history and traditions of the Irish. Included amongst this is genealogy and traditional law70 – known as Fénechas (‘the traditional customs and regulations of the Féni‘),71 the Senchas Már, or, translating in literal terms ‘the great antiquity,’ or ‘great tradition.’72 Great emphasis was laid on the fact these laws originated in the distant past and had been observed and upheld for generations. In spite of the fact that the laws clearly changed and were updated over time, their roots were still seen to be ancient, and as such, inevitably pre-Christian. Rather than shy away from this, their antiquity and origins were reconciled by the fact that their pre-Christian forebears could hardly be blamed for not knowing Christ, since Christ himself had not been born. Pagan though they were, however, it was claimed that these same wise judges and kings who had made laws also prophesied the coming of Christ, and had declared the laws accordingly, so it was implied that this should give Irish laws as much weight and authority as Biblical law.73
What Cú Chulainn and Cormac are advising is both upholding and preserving the lore (and as such, the law): Is mairg ailter cen ríagail – “Woe to him who is raised without rules.”74 This also encompasses the ways of their forebears – the customs, values, and ways of doing things: This is no wonder when we consider the fact that this not only helped society to remain stable, but also that ancestors were valued greatly:
“Sinn ag loighe ar in lucht romhainn, lucht oile orainn san úaigh.
We rest on those who came before us, and others will rest on us in the grave.”75
As such, observing the laws and customs not only maintained stability, it honoured those who were responsible for you being there in the first place, both in terms of your status and your physical being. For one, it is an individual’s parentage and heritage that determines the customs, tributes or obligations that might be due to him (or her) – a concept termed dúalgas, which primarily translates as ‘traditional right, that which is due to a person in virtue of descent, rank, or other qualification.’ No doubt those who were born into a high status family had more rights to enjoy in this respect.
2 Ireland, Old Irish Wisdom Attributed to Aldfrith of Northumbria: An Edition of Bríathra Flainn Fhína maic Ossu, 1999, p63.
3 Ireland,Old Irish Wisdom Attributed to Aldfrith of Northumbria: An Edition of Bríathra Flainn Fhína maic Ossu, 1999, p71.
4 Audacht Morainn. While the word ‘niggardly’ may popularly be avoided because of supposed racist connotations, the meaning and the root does not come from a racial term. Its etymology is: “Derived from the Old Norse verb nigla, meaning “to fuss about small matters”. Cognate to the English word “niggle”, which retains the original Norse meaning.” See niggard.
5 Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law, 1988, p36.
6 See Tecosca Cormaic – “Everyone is a hospitaller until refusal [of hospitality].” Meyer, ‘The Instructions of Cormac mac Airt,’ in Royal Irish Academy Todd Lecture Series Volume XV, 1909, p47; McCone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, 1990, p124.
7 Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law, 1988, p140.
8 “The hospitality of his house is not permitted (to be given by) anyone when a minor, until he is capable of separate husbandry and taking his own parcel of land.” Crith Gablach – Patterson, Cattle-Lords and Clansmen, 1994, p213-214.
9 Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law, 1988, p140.
10 McCone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, 1990, p122.
11 Canny, ‘The Economics and Ethics of Celtic Ireland,’ in Procesos de Mercado, 2005, p228; Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law, 1988, p139.
12 Gray, ‘Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (24-120),’ in Éigse XIX(1), 1982, p7-8.
13 Meyer, ‘The Instructions of Cormac mac Airt,’ in Royal Irish Academy Todd Lecture Series Volume XV, 1909, p39.
14 Cath Maige Tuired.
15 McCone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, 1990, p124.
16 Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law, 1988, p137.
17 Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law, 1988, p138-139.
18 Ireland, Old Irish Wisdom Attributed to Aldfrith of Northumbria: An Edition of Bríathra Flainn Fhína maic Ossu, 1999, p14.
19 Gray, Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (24-120),’ in Éigse XIX(1), 1982, p7. See also De Gabáil in tSída, which refers to the cauldron as a “vessel with marvellous liquor.”
20 Gray, Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (84-93; 120-67),’ in Éigse XIX(2), 1983, p232. Note also the parallels between this episode, and the episode with the Dagda and the Fomorians. With Cridenbél he is forced to provide an unseemly amount of hospitality, whereas with the Fomorians he is subjected to receiving an unseemly amount. In both cases, however, the Dagda manages to escape with his honour intact. This episode is dealt with in the article on Gessi and Buada, as well as the section on Trickery and Negotiation in the article on The Dagda.
21 Cath Maige Tuired.
22 Byrne, Irish Kings and High-Kings, 1973, p17. See here for more details…
23 Gray, Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (24-120),’ in Éigse XIX(1), 1982, p13.
24 McCone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, 1990, p125.
25 Gray, Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (24-120),’ in Éigse XIX(1), 1982, p24.
26 Koch, Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, 2006, p400.
27 Gray, Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (24-120),’ in Éigse XIX(1), 1982, p19.
28 Gray, Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (24-120),’ in Éigse XIX(1), 1982, p19.
29 Stokes, The Saltair na Rann: a collection of Early Middle Irish Poems, 1883, p137.
30 Ireland, Old Irish Wisdom Attributed to Aldfrith of Northumbria: An Edition of Bríathra Flainn Fhína maic Ossu, 1999, p81 (6.18).
31 Yocum, Wisdom Literature in Early Ireland, 2010, p3.
32 Ireland, Old Irish Wisdom Attributed to Aldfrith of Northumbria: An Edition of Bríathra Flainn Fhína maic Ossu, 1999, p15.
33 Yocum, Wisdom Literature in Early Ireland, 2010, p20.
34 Imcallam in da Thurad, 129-140.
35 Ireland, Old Irish Wisdom Attributed to Aldfrith of Northumbria: An Edition of Bríathra Flainn Fhína maic Ossu, 1999, p79 (5.1).
36 O’ Donovan, The Banquet of Dun na n-Gedh and The Battlle of Mag Rath: An Ancient Historical Tale, 1842, p161.
37 Meyer, ‘The Triads of Ireland,’ in Royal Irish Academy Todd Lecture Series Volume XIII, 1906, p25.
38 McCone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, 1990, p127.
39 Gray, ‘Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (84-93; 120-67),’ in Éigse XIX(2), 1983, p257.
40 Nagy, ‘Liminality and Knowledge in Irish Tradition,” in Studia Celtica XVI/XVII, 1981-1982, p135.
41 Ford, The Well of Nechtan an ‘La Gloire Lumineuse’, p70-71.
42 McCone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, 1990, p169; Ford, The Well of Nechtan an ‘La Gloire Lumineuse’, p73.
43 Nagy, quoted by McCone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, 1990, p169.
44 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p69.
45 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p65.
46 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p63.
47 McCone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, 1990, p167.
48 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p74.
49 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p65.
50 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p82.
51 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p49.
52 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p67.
53 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p73.
54 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p67-69.
55 Ford, The Well of Nechtan an ‘La Gloire Lumineuse’, p70-71.
56 McCone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, 1990, p169.
57 Breatnach, ‘The Caldron of Poesy,’ in Ériu Volume 32, 1981, p52.
58 Ford, The Well of Nechtan an ‘La Gloire Lumineuse’, p74.
59 Meyer, ‘The Instructions of Cormac mac Airt,’ in Royal Irish Academy Todd Lecture Series Volume XV, 1909, p21.
60 Meyer, ‘The Triads of Ireland,’ in Royal Irish Academy Todd Lecture Series Volume XIII, 1906, p23.
61 Cath Maige Tuired.
62 Gray, Cath Maige Tuired: Myth and Structure (24-120),’ in Éigse XIX(1), 1982, p24.
63 McCone, Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, 1990, p122.
64 See eDIL.
65 Fomin, ‘Bríatharthecosc Con Chulainn in the Context of Early Irish Wisdom-literature,’ in Ulidia 2, 2005, p99.
66 Meyer, ‘The Instructions of Cormac mac Airt,’ in Royal Irish Academy Todd Lecture Series Volume XV, 1909, p3.
67 Meyer, ‘The Instructions of Cormac mac Airt,’ in Royal Irish Academy Todd Lecture Series Volume XV, 1909, p9.
68 Meyer, ‘The Instructions of Cormac mac Airt,’ in Royal Irish Academy Todd Lecture Series Volume XV, 1909, p25.
69 Meyer, ‘The Instructions of Cormac mac Airt,’ in Royal Irish Academy Todd Lecture Series Volume XV, 1909, p41.
70 Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law, 1988, p47.
71 See eDIL. The Féni lived in what is now the Northern midlands of Ireland – Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law, 1988, p242.
72 Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law, 1988, p242; Charles-Edwards, ‘Early Irish Law,’ in A New History of Early Ireland I: Prehistoric and Early Ireland, 2005, p355.
73 Charles-Edwards, ‘Early Irish Law,’ in A New History of Early Ireland I: Prehistoric and Early Ireland, 2005, p355.
74 Stokes, Meyer, and O’Davoran, Archiv fur Celtische Lexikographie Volume 3, 1907, p215.
75 Bergin, ‘Irish Grammatical Tracts’ in Ériu Volume IX(2), p118.