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Observations about the textual relationship of the Remscéla Tána Bó Cúailnge to one another and to the Táin Bó Cúailnge itself
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of English, Celtic Section. Department of Irish and Celtic Studies, Trinity College Dublin.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1610-0877
2016 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are three extant lists of tale titles which purport to enumerate a series of medieval remscéla ‘prefatory tales’ to the Táin Bó Cúailnge: 1. in the twelfth-century Book of Leinster (LL); 2. in the fifteenth-century RIA MS D iv.2 (D); and 3. in the seventeenth-century RIA MS C vi.3 (C), which is a conflation of the LL and D lists. Due to the nature of the lists and the finite amount of linguistic diagnostics, it is not possible to date the remscéla lists with any certainty. However, the LL manuscript itself provides a Middle Irish terminus post quem for the LL list and gives the impression that the remscéla were understood to be part of a series at the time of transmission of Recension II of the Táin Bó Cúailnge (TBC). If this is so, why were the tales not compiled as a series in the manuscript, such as we find in the sixteenth-century Brit. Libr. MS Egerton 1782? Similarly, there is no attempt by the Recension II redactor to create further textual conhesion with the remscéla by inserting allusory remarks.In this paper, I will discuss the likelihood that the remscéla series was coined by the medieval scholar long after the emergence of the tales themselves. Despite this hypothesis, however, the series is rife with textual links among the remscéla and between the remscéla and the Táin Bó Cúailnge: textual links range from overt, one-line references to the Táin, e.g. the final line in Aislinge Óenguso, to fully developed, narrative episodes, e.g. Táin Bó Regamna. I will identify the nature of these textual links and their impact on the creation of the remscéla as a literary series.

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Keyword [en]
Early Irish literature
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294402OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-294402DiVA: diva2:929802
CSANA Conference 2016, St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia
Available from: 2016-05-19 Created: 2016-05-19 Last updated: 2016-05-19

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