• The Description of the Dond Cúalnge in the LL Táin Bó Cúalnge and Indo-European Catalogue Poetry

    Anna June Pagé (see profile)
    Literature, Medieval, Irish literature, Táin bó Cúailnge, Indo-European languages
    Item Type:
    Indo-European Poetics, Medieval Irish Literature, Tain Bo Cualnge
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    Regarding the prose of the LL Táin Bó Cúailnge, Mac Gearailt (1992: 168) has remarked that there are “significant differences in style between self-contained sections” of the text. This paper examines the description of the Dond Cúalnge in this recension from the perspective of Indo-European poetics, specifically, the structures and conventions of “catalogue poetry,” as described in Watkins (1995) and West (2007). The passage is particularly rich in devices associated with this type of poetry, including ring composition, the repetition of formulaic phrases, and multiple “Behaghel’s Law” triads. Moreover, the content of the passage is in keeping with an important subgenre of catalogue poetry, namely the Speculum Principium, which is especially prominent in the Old Irish tradition. In describing the Old Irish texts participating in this genre, Galjanič (2007: 30-1) has stated that “they are catalogue-like in their very nature, prose and poetic genres alike, and virtually everything in them is organized and classified according to certain parameters.” This paper argues that the description of the Dond Cúailnge also participates in this type of literature, and that the passage uses the formulaic identification of the Dond Cúailnge’s búad as a structuring device to highlight the bull’s affinities with the Irish concept of ideal kingship as reflected in texts such as the Audacht Morainn and Tecosca Cormaic.
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    Conference proceeding    
    Last Updated:
    8 months ago
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