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Texts

The quarrel about the loaf
verse beg. A bairgen ataí i ngábud

  • Middle Irish
  • verse
  • Early Irish poetry

Middle Irish dialogue poem (18qq) with prose epilogue in the Book of Leinster. The poem is presented as a contentious dialogue between an old woman (callech) of Leinster and a servant (gilla) of the king of Munster (Cerball mac Muirecáin), in which the latter insists on his entitlement to meals and hospitality. The prose epilogue goes on to explain the reasons for the quarrel.

Poetic dialogue (18 quatrains) and a prose epilogue.
Initial words (verse)
  • A bairgen ataí i ngábud
“Loaf, you are in danger”
Language
  • Middle Irish
Form
verse (primary)
prose (secondary)
Number of stanzas
18

Classification

Early Irish poetry

Subject tags

Cerball mac MuirecáinCerball mac Muirecáin (d. c. 909) – king of Leinster
See more
 Munster  Leinster  Mag Dála

Sources

Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] O'Nowlan, T. P., “The quarrel about the loaf”, Ériu 1 (1904): 128–137.
Internet Archive: <link>
[dipl. ed.] Best, Richard Irvine, Osborn Bergin, and M. A. O'Brien, The Book of Leinster, formerly Lebar na Núachongbála, vol. 1, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1954.
CELT – edition (pp. 1-260): <link>
223–225 Diplomatic edition.

Secondary sources (select)

Mac Cana, Proinsias, “The motif of trivial causes”, in: Smyth, Alfred P. [ed.], Seanchas. Studies in early and medieval Irish archaeology, history and literature in honour of Francis J. Byrne, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000. 205–211.
Contributors
Dennis Groenewegen
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