The Scope and Achievement of Celtic Scholarship in the Slavic Countries
In recent years there has been a remarkable burgeoning of interest in Celtic scholarship in the Slavic countries. Much of the work carried out by Slavic scholars, however, is written in the Slavic languages and is not readily accessible to Western scholars. The result is that the scope and achievement of Celtic scholars in these countries is not widely known and appreciated. The aim of this paper is to give a short history of this tradition and of some of the major scholarly landmarks. While the emphasis will be primarily on Celtic Studies in Russia, reference will also be made to the work of scholars in other Slavic countries.
Several centuries before Christ, the Proto-Slavic dialect area appears to be north of the Carpathian mountains between the Rivers Oder and Vistula in Poland and the River Dnepr in the Ukraine. It is in a kind of intermediate zone which includes other language areas, including Illyrian, Thracian and Phrygian, and is bordered to the west by Germanic, Celtic and Italic, and to the east by Scythian and Tocharian. The paper will examine briefly the history and contribution of Celtic Slavic scholars to the question of the links between Proto-Slavic and Celtic in this region.
The writings of the famous academicians A.A. Schachmatov (1864-1920) and A.N. Veselovsky (1838-1906) are taken as points of departure in outlining the history of Celtic linguistic and literary scholarship in Russia, and both their work and methodologies, and the work of other scholars, such as V. Propp, E. Meletinsky, Yu. Lotman, V.N. Toporov and A.Ya. Gourevitch, are considered in light of their influence on modern Celtic scholarship in the Slavic countries.
Consideration is also given to the work and influence of deceased Celtic scholars A.A. Smirnov, V.N. Yartseva, A.A. Koroljov and V.P. Kalygin, the work of scholars such as T.A. Mikhailova and S.V Schkunayev, and the development of a new generation of very able and productive younger scholars.
Celtic Studies in Poland
The paper discusses contemporary and historical developments within the field of Celtic Studies in Poland.
Though works devoted to various aspects of Celtic philology and history appeared in Poland already by the end of the 19th century, it is Stefan Czarnowski (1879–1937) who deserves to be called the forerunner of Celtic studies in Poland. Czarnowski, the author of numerous studies on sociology, religion, history and theory of culture, also published several articles devoted to Celtic issues, especially literature and religion, and translations of specimens of Celtic literatures. However, his most important achievement in the field of Celtology was Le culte des héros et ses conditions sociales. Saint-Patrick, Héros national de l’Irlande (Paris 1919), an historical and sociological study of St. Patrick and mediaeval Ireland, in which he followed the methodological assumptions worked out by Émile Durkheim. Though published more than eighty years ago, this study has lost very little of its value and importance, and still deserves to be closely analysed.
Today, several Polish scholars and institutions conduct research pertinent to Celtic Studies: most notably at the Chair of Celtic Studies at the Catholic University of Lublin, the only place in Poland where regular courses in modern Irish and Welsh have been offered, and where vigorous research, especially in the phonology of the Celtic languages is conducted. Also other universities offer more or less regular courses and seminars, such as the ‘Introduction to Celtic Studies Seminar’ at the Department of English Language at LodzUniversity. Hopefully, the future will see more of such initiatives. In the paper, I also stress the importance and appropriateness of providing information about Celtic Studies to students of English.
Towards the Creation of an Old Irish – Russian Glossary: XSLT Approach’
The Research Institute for Irish and Celtic Studies is currently engaged in the preparation of the electronic version of the Dictionary of the Irish Language (hereinafter DIL), published in the years 1913-1976 by the Royal Irish Academy (Dublin) in 20 volumes. The project funded by AHRB’s generous grant commenced in October 2003, and it is hoped that it will be completed in August 2006. The major aim of the project is the creation of the CD-Rom. This will make the Dictionary much more accessible to Celtic and Irish scholars around the world, many of whom do not have copies of the printed work.
Further development of the digitised Dictionary is also possible. One possibility is the creation of the Old Irish-Russian Glossary, in which the translations of the headwords of the DIL entries would be given in Russian. The approach that has been adopted in the digital mark-up of the Dictionary makes this possible. According to our editorial guidelines, several items that constitute a DIL entry were prioritised for the first phase of the mark-up. Among them: (a) the conventional spelling of the headword together with its orthographic variants; (b) accompanied grammatical (including stem, gender, part of speech, etc.) and lexical information (including translations and definitions of the headword); (c) cross-references; (d) Old Irish citations and also isolated instances of Old Irish words.
Many scholars use DIL for looking-up Old Irish words to find their English equivalents and do not seek to have all of the information contained in the DIL entries. If this is the case, it would be appropriate to create a simpler and possibly more user-friendly form of the DIL, something like an abridged version. The technical device which can be used to do this work is XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations). This allows the possibility of taking each eDIL file and transforming it according to our wants and needs. The major task is to create an XSLT script which would pick out a conventional spelling of the headword of an entry together with its grammatical information and would add on its translation. XSLT will store this in a separate file. Following the creation of a demo of an Old-Irish – English Glossary in the first instance, a translation of definitions and accompanying grammatical terminology into Russian can be carried out.
Celtic-Slavic Parallels in Mythology
1. Old Irish Dagdae. 2. Old Irish Macha < Celtic *Makasiā ~ Slavic *Mokošь. 3. Middle Welsh Pwyll, lit. "wisdom" < Celtic *kweislo- ~ Old Czech Premyzl ~ Primizl gl. ‘praemeditans’. 4. Gaulish (Larzac) ratet " he pledges, promises, guarantees", Old Irish ráth "surety, guarantor, gl. ‘creditorum’; suretyship: guarantee, pledge" ~ Slavic *rota "oath"
1. Old Irish Dagdae was the highest god of the Goidelic pantheon. His name reflects Celtic *dago-dēvio- which can be interpreted as "belonging to a good god". This form indicates the existence of the Celtic compound *dago-dēvo- "good god", which structurally corresponds to Old Indic Vásudeva- (AV), the father of Krsna. The first component is well attested in both Insular and Continental Celtic languages: Old Irish dag "good" (.i. maith), frequently used in compounds, e.g. dag-duine "good man"; Welsh, Cornish, Breton da "good", Old Welsh degion pl. "nobles" < *dagiones (Falilyev 2000, 42); cf. also Old Brythonic *dag- in the inscription from Bath ANDAGIN < acc. f. *ande-dagin "very good". The component *dago- was very productive in formation of the Gaulish anthroponyms, e.g. Dagobitus (and Bitudaga), Dagodubnos, Dagomaros, Dagorix, Dagovassos, Dagissius, Dagillus. The Gaulish appellative is attested in the inscription from Sens: GENETA IMI DAGA UIMPI "girl am I good [and] beautiful" (LEIA 1996, D 7-8; Delamarre 2001, 112). In the Welsh tradition the semantically corresponding name can be identified in Math (Puhvel 1987, 178): Math uab Mathonwy oed arglwyd ar Wyned "Math, son of Mathonwy, in this time the ruler over Gwynedd ..", known from the Fourth Branch of Mabinogi. His name has been connected with Welsh mad, pl. madyoet / madioedd "good", Cornish mas, Middle Breton mat, Breton mad id.; Old Irish maith id. (Celtic *mati-) and further the u-stem in Celtiberian m.a.Tu.ś (Botorrita 1A, line 6) and Gaulish (Coligny) matu expressing the ‘right time’, cf. also the epithet Matuicos of Apollon (LEIA M-12-13; de Bernardo Stempel 1999, 534-35, fn. 50).
According to Abajev (1971, 13) the Slavic correspondent of Celtic *Dago-dēvo- should be identified in Church Slavonic of Russian redaction Dažьbogъ, Old Russian also Daždьbogъ, Serbo-Croatian Dàžbog. It has usually been interpreted as the imperative "give! God" (ESSJ 4, 1977, 182-83). The theonym Dažьbogъ is quoted in Vladimir’s pantheon in Nestor’s Chronicle (AD 980): I nača knjažiti Volodimerъ vъ Kievě edinъ, i postavi kumiry na xolmu vně dvora teremnago: Peruna drevjana, a glavu ego srebrenu, a usъ zlatъ, i Xъrsa, Dažьboga, i Striboga i Simarьgla, i Mokošь. The pair Xorsъ & Dažьbogъ occurs in later texts too: prišedъ vъ Kievъ izbi vsja idoly i Peruna, Xursa, Dažьboga i Mokošь ["Proložnoe žitje knjaza Vladimira"]. The same sequence of the theonyms Xorsъ and Dažьbogъ occurs in many other medieval Russian chronicles (Ivanov and Toporov 1983, 180-81). It means, the former could be an epithet of the latter. This conclusion agrees with the etymology of Xorsъ. The theonym Xorsъ can reflect an adaptation of the epithet *xwarza- "good" of some of Sarmatian deities, cf. Ossetic Digor xwarz, Iron xorz "good". Russian xorošij "good" was borrowed from a close source, probably Alanic (Abaev 1989, 217-19).
In Slovo o polku Igoreve the idiom Daždьboža vnuka [verse 158], Dažьboža vnuka [verse 192], i.e. "grandsons of Dažьbogъ" is used for ‘Russian people’ (Stelleckij 1981, 13). It resembles the epithet Ollathair "all-father" of Dagdae: Aed Abaid Essa Ruaid misi .i. Dagdia druidechta Tuath De Danann 7 in Ruad Rofhessa 7 Eochaid Ollathair mo tri hanmanna "I am Aed Abaid Essa Ruaid; Dagdae of druidic wisdom of the Túatha dé Danann, the Mighty One of Great Knowledge, and Eochaid All-Father are my three (other) name" (YBL, fol. 176; Olmsted 1994, 43).
The Celtic protoform *dago-dēvo- would be borrowed in Slavic +dogoděvъ. It is quite expectable that after identification with *divъ with its negative semantics the second component was replaced by positive *bogъ. On the other hand, Slavic *dažь- implies the source of the type *dāgi- or *dōgi-. The latter protoform can continue in Old/Middle Irish dóig ~ dáig 1. "likely, probable, to be expected; desirable, an object of liking; proper, right"; 2. "opinion, supposition; hope, expectation, confidence" (DIL, D 303-04). The same base maybe forms the Gaulish man’s name Dogir[ix] (Holder I, 1301). The final -i- also occurs in Gaulish compounded anthroponyms consisting the component *dag-, cf. Virion-dagi-cane (Schmidt 1957, 297, 161: -dagi-cane "gut singend"?, where -cane is in the dative). If the preceding thoughts are correct, the Celtic material probably reflects the apophonic pair *dago- vs. *dōgi- < *dəgo- vs. *doHgi-. The most promising attempt to cross the borders of the Celtic branch seems to be the idea of Stokes and Bezzenberger (1894, 140; see also Holder I, 1214), to connect Celtic *dago- with the Germanic verb attested in the same apophonic grades: Gothic tekan, 3sg. pret. taitok "to touch", Old Icelandic taka, pret. tók "to touch, take, size" (Lehmann 1986, 342), cf. also tœkr "fair, acceptable, legal", lit. "was angenommen werden kann" < *tōkja- (de Vries 1962, 604). Slavic *dažь- exactly corresponds to Celtic *dōgi-. From the point of view of grammatical determination, the pattern *CōC-i- reflects the verbal nouns in Old Irish: dáir, gen. dára "a bulling" < *dhōr-i-: dairid "bulls", cáil "spear" < *kōl-i-, gáir "shout, cry" < *ĝhōr-i-, etc. (de Bernardo Stempel 1999, 66). Hypothetically it is perhaps plausible to reconstruct the primary meaning of the Celtic abstract noun *dōgi- ± "goodness".
Both the common heritage and the adaptation of the Celtic theonym can be seen here. But for the first solution any support is missing in Slavic. The second argument for borrowing may be found in Baltic: Lithuanian dãžnas "mancher, manch einer, häufig", adv. dažnaĩ, Latvian dažs "mancher, verschiedenartig, mannigfaltig", daza, dazums "grosse Menge" (Fraenkel 1962, 84) can reflect *dəĝ- with the regular satəm-reflexes of the palatal velar, in contrary to Slavic, where *-ž- was regularly palatalized from *-g- before *ь. Summing up, it seems probable that the Slavic theonym *Dažьbogъ was adapted from the unattested Celtic compound *dōgi-dēvo- "goodness-god".
2. Old Irish Macha < Celtic *Makasiā ~ Slavic *Mokošь. There were three Old Irish godesses or heroines of the same name Macha (DIL, M-12):(i) One of the three daughters of Ernmas and sister of Badb and Mórrigu: tri ingena ... oc Ernmais .i. Badb 7 M. 7 Mórrigu;(ii) Wife of Neimed;(iii) Wife of Cruinniu. The name is derivable from three alternative Celtic protoforms: *makViā, *makVviā, *makVsiā (Vendryes 1960, M 3-4), where V means Celtic *a or *o. The Celtiberian word in acc. sg. m.a.Ka.ś.i.[V]m [Botorrita IA, line 5] may serve as a witness for the alternative *makasiā (de Bernardo Stempel 1999, 263-64; Wodtko 2000, 241-42).
It was Viktor Kalygin (1997, 369-71) who first recognized the parallelism of the protoform *Makasiā with Slavic Mokošь, practically the only known goddess of the Slavic pantheon. The theonym is first quoted in Vladimir’s pantheon in Nestor’s Chronicle (AD 980): I nača knjažiti Volodimerъ vъ Kievě edinъ, i postavi kumiry na xolmu vně dvora teremnago: Peruna drevjana, a glavu ego srebrenu, a usъ zlatъ, i Xъrsa, Dažьboga, i Striboga i Simarьgla, i Mokošь. The last position may be interpreted as the oposition against the ‘male’ deities. In the text Slovo nekoego xristoljubca (all quoted after Ivanov and Toporov 1983, 178-82) the theonym stands again in opposition to all ‘male’ deities, here at the first position: iže moljaťsja ognevi pod ovinom, vilamъ, Mokoši, Simou, Rьglou, Perounou, Volosu skotьju bogu, Xъrsou, rodou, rožanicjamъ i vsěmъ prokljatymъ bogomъ ixъ .. Elsewhere the same text informs us about a continuing paganism: I věroujutь vъ Perouna, i vъ Xъrsa i vъ Sima, i vъ Rьgla, i vъ Mokošь, i vъ vily, ixže čislomъ tridesjate sestrenicь – glagoljutь okanьnii – nevěglasi, i mnjatь bogynjami, i tako kladoutь imъ treby i – korovai imъ moljatь – koury rěžjutь. … Těmъ že bogomъ trebou kladoutь i tvorjatь i slovenьskyi jazyk: vilamъ i Mokošьi, Divě, Perounou, Xъrsu, rodu i rožanicam, upiremь i bereginjamъ i Pereplutu i verьtjačesja pьjutь emou vъ rozěxъ .. . Here some erotic practices were ascribed to Mokošь too: I Mokošь čtut i Kylou i Malakiju iže estь roučьnyj bloudъ velmi počitajut, rekušče Bujakini. Judging upon the manuscript O trebokladenii idoľskom from the 14th cent., Mokošь was very popular among women, independing on their social status: .. i Mokošě i da išče sja ne javě moljatь, da otai prizyvajuče idolomolьcě baby, to že tvorjat ne tokmo xudii ljudie, nъ i bogatyxъ mužii ženy. The documents from the 16th cent. give witness that Mokošь was the object of question during confession: li splutila esi z bagomi bogomerьsyja bludy, li molilasja esi vilamъ, li rodu i roženicamъ i Perunu, i Xorьsu, i Mokoši, pila i ela [Ustava prep. Savvy]; Ne xodila li esi k Mokošь? [Xudye seľskie nomokanuncy]. It is remarkable that the cult or at least respect to Mokošь continues in the Russian and Ukrainian folklore till the 19th and even 20th cent. In the Černoveckij district the dirty ghost Mokošá was feared. In the Čerepoveckij district women were warned: Ne ostavaj kužlja, a to Mokoša oprjadet. In the Oloneckaja gubernia the molting of wool of sheep was commented: Oj, Mokuša strižet ovec. At the village Krasilovka in the Kozeleckoj district the following folklore text with two pagan deities was recorded (Ivanov and Toporov 1983, 183): Ne est se bog naš Posvistač Bog nastojaščij,| ščo vin sësii buri ne vtišiv, | da naši korabli v takij sili potopiv. | Deś naš bog Posvistač spav, | či v Mokoši guljav. In the dialects of the Moscow region the term mokos’ja is used for a woman of bad morals (Ivanov and Toporov 1985, 185). In neighbourhood of Novgorod the word mókuš designates water nymph (ESSJ 19, 1993, 131).
Outside of the East Slavic languages the theonym has left only traces. In the mythological context the following proper names are attested: Serbo-Croatian Môkoš ‘mighty supernatural power’, Czech Mokoš ‘deity of wetness’ and the curse mokeš (Kott; see ESSJ 19, 131). In the Slovenian folklore the witch called Mokoška is known. The same base was used for some plants in Slovenian: mokóš m. "Gallinula, Rallus aquaticus, Crex porzana", mokôška f. "Ortygometra crex Porzana" (ESSJ 19, 131). The other reflexes occur in toponymy: Slovenian river-name Mokoš, Czech hill and village Mokošín from Eastern Bohemia, Polabian toponym Muuks/Mukus, Polish Mokoszyn, Mokosznica, Old Russian village Mokošina, Belorussian marsh Mókšava balóta etc. (Ivanov and Toporov 1983, 186-88; ESSJ 19, 131).
The closest appellative occurs in Ukrainian mokós m. "meadow inundated during floods" (*mokosъ), cf. also the toponym Mokos from neighbourhood of Zagreb (ESSJ 19, 130), all from the Slavic root *mok- : *mak-, attested also in *mokrъ "wet", *moknDti "to be out in the rain, become wet", *močiti "to dip" vs. *makati "to dip", etc. (ESSJ 49-85). Old Irish macha, gen. macha m. also means "enclosure for milking cows, a milking-yard or field", the derivative machaire "large field or plain" (DIL M-11-12). A common semantic denominator for both Slavic *mokosъ and Old Irish macha could be "wet soil", further leading to the meanings "field, meadow" on the one hand and "water nymph", "fairy" or "goddess of fruitfulness" on the other hand.
3. Middle Welsh Pwyll, lit. "wisdom" < Celtic *kweislo- ~ Old Czech Premyzl ~ Primizl, glossed ‘praemeditans’. The words Pwyll penndeuic Dyuet, "Pwyll, chieftain of Dyved", open the First branch of Mabinogi. The proper name Pwyll means "sense, discretion" in Middle and Modern Welsh. It is also preserved in Old Welsh m. puil "wisdom" (Falilyev 2000, 134). The corresponding forms in other Celtic languages are Old Cornish gurbulloc gl. ‘insanus’, Breton m. poell, Vanetais pouil, poel "sense, reason" and Old Irish f. cíall "sense, intelligence, mind" < *kweislā (Schrijver 1995, 224, 230; de Bernardo Stempel 1999, 224-25).
The same characterization was used by authors of two oldest histories of the first dynasty of Czech kings, Přemyslids, about its legendary founder. The name Premizl was first mentioned in so called Legenda Christiani written in the end of 10th cent.: post hinc invento quodam sagacissimo atque prudentissimo viro, cui tantum agriculture officium erat, responsione phitonisse principem seu gubernatorem sibi statuunt, vocitatum cognomine Premizl, iuncta ei in matrimonio supramemorata phitonissa virgine [2.9-10]. The second reference occurs in the Chronica Boemorum of Cosma of Prague, written in the beginning of the 12th cent. (Cosma of Prague died in 1125). The author knows more details, describing how domna Lubossa gives instructions to messenger who have to fetch her intended: .. et adducite vobis ducem et mihi maritum. Viro nomen est Primizl (~ Premizl), qui super colla et capita vestra iura excogitabit plura; nam hoc nomen latine sonat premeditans vel superexcogitans. Huius proles postera hac in omni terra in eternum regnabit et ultra [I, 5]. Elsewhere he is called "ploughman": Post hec indutus veste principali et calciatus calciamento regali acrem ascendit equum arator [I, 7]. Let us stress that in both cases it is the lady, Rhiannon and Lubossa respectively, who chooses her husband.
4. Gaulish (Larzac) ratet " he pledges, promises, guarantees", Old Irish ráth "surety, guarantor, gl. ‘creditorum’; suretyship: guarantee, pledge" ~ Slavic *rota "oath"
Gaulish ratet " he pledges, promises, guarantees", occurs twice in the text from Larzac. Meid (1996, 46-47; 1994, 46) proposes the interpretation: 1b5-7: ULATUCIA RATE[T] (MATIR) BANONIAS NE INICITAS BIONTUTU IN DAS MNAS UERONDAS BRICTAS "Vlatucia, Mutter der Banonia, soll versprechen, dass sie nicht Angriffe schlagen werden gegen die zwei schändlichen zauberkräftigen Frauen .."; 1b10-11: RATET SEUERA TERTIONICNA NE INCITAS BIONTUTU "Es soll Severa (und) Tertionicna versprechen, dass sie nicht Angriffe schlagen werden ..".
Old Irish ráth "surety, guarantor, gl. ‘creditorum’; suretyship: guarantee, pledge" (DIL R-16-17) and related Old Breton rad gl. ‘stipulationes’ are compatible with Gothic frodaba "intelligently", frodei "wisdom", Old Icelandic fróðr "wise, understanding" vs. Gothic fraþi "mind, understanding", fraþjan "to think, recognize, understand", Old High German frad gl. ‘strenuus, efficax’ (LEIA R-9; Lehmann 1986, 126), reflecting the same apophonic pair *prāt- : *prə2t- as Old Irish ráth vs. Old Breton rad and maybe Gaulish ratet. From the point of view of the historical phonology, the Celtic and Germanic forms exactly corresponds. Ultimately, it is possible to go deeper to the verb *perH3-, continuing e.g. in the verb ernaid "bestows, grants" (DIL E-172), see Meid (1996, 46) and Schrijver (1995, 90, 177-78).
On the other hand, Vendryes correctly asks, what was the semantic development leading to the meanings of the Celtic words. He mentions the old comparison of Stokes who related Old Irish ráth with Latin rata "arbitrata, firma, certa", although Vendryes himself does not exclude a borrowing of a specific Celtic juridic term here (LEIA R-9). But usually it has been connected with rǎtus "established, firm, sure, certain, valid", originally "reckoned, calculated", part. act. or pass. from the verb reor "I reckon, calculate; believe, think, suppose, imagine, judge, deem" (Lewis and Short 1896, 1566; Walde & Hofmann II, 419-20). The same t-extension of the root *rə2- occur e.g. in Latin ratiō "account", Gothic raþjo "account, explanation", Old Saxon reðia "speech, word, account" etc. (Lehmann 1986, 281-82).
Slavic *rota "oath" > Serbo-Croatian ròta, Slovenian róta, Old Czech rota, Polish rota, Old Russian rota, Russian rotá id. (Vasmer III, 507), cf. also Serbo-Croatian p`òrota, Czech porota "jury" and Old Church Slavonic rotiti sę "detestari", Slovenian (18th cent.) rotim "(be)schwöre" etc. (Furlan, ESSlnJ III, 198-99). Slavic *rota "oath" can be both a cognate of and a borrowing from Celtic *ratā, if it represents older *rətā. If the Celtic forms reflect *prətā, for the Slavic forms the only explanation remains, i.e. the borrowing.
Conclusion: In the present study four Celtic-Slavic correspondences in mythology and sacral lexicon are analyzed. Although the idea of a common heritage (so Viktor Kalygin) cannot be excluded, the borrowing or adaptation of the Celtic theonyms and sacral terms seem to be a more probable explanation. In this case it is legitimate to ask, where was the contact territory? The examples 1, 2 and 4 are Common Slavic, it means that the borrowing had to be realized before disintegration of Slavic, i.e. earlier than Slavs expanded from their homeland. Accepting the localization of the Slavic homeland on the Northeast slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, it is possible to identify the Celtic neighbours of Slavs with the inhabitants of the town Karrόdounon (Ptolemaios III 5, 15), located by the upper Dnestr. The city-name can be etymologized as "stony-town", cf. Middle Irish carric "rock, stone", Old Welsh carrecc gl. ‘scropea’, Cornish carrag, Old Breton carrec, Old Brython sylva Carrec etc. (Stokes and Bezzenberger 1894, 72). The form without the velar extension is perhaps reflected in Carrus, the Gaulish epithet of the god Mars, continuing in the name of the mountain Pic-du-Gar’ (Holder I, 815-16). This etymology gives a chance to identify Karrόdounon with contemporary Kamenec Podoľskij from Southwest Ukraine. The comparison of Pwyll vs. Premyzl represents a correspondence of parallel motifs. It is difficult to decide, if it is accidence, a common heritage or a borrowed motif. In any case, among so many ‘fightful’ names of heroes, leaders, kings, the bearer of the name characterized by his intelligence is rather rare”.
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Meid, Wolfgang. 1996. Zur Interpretation der Inschrift von Larzac. In: Die grösseren altkeltischen Sprachdenkmäler (Akten des Kolloquiums Innsbruck, 29.April – 3. Mai 1993), ed. by W. Meid & P. Anreiter. Innsbruck: IBK 95, 41-50.
Mühlhausen, Ludwig and Zimmer, Stefan (eds.). 1988. Die vier Zweige des Mabinogi - Pedeir Ceinc y Mabinogi. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
Puhvel, Jaan. 1987. Comparative Mythology. Baltimore – London: John Hopkins University Press.
Schmidt, Karl H. 1957. Die Komposition in gallischen Personennamen. Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 26, Heft 1-2.
Stelleckij, V.I. (ed.).1981. Slovo o polku Igoreve. Moskva: Sovetskaja Rossija.
Stokes, Whitley and Bezzenberger, Adalbert. 1894. Urkeltischer Sprachschatz. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht.
Vasmer, Max. 1986-87. Etimologičeskij slovaŕ russkogo jazyka, I-IV (Russian translation of O.N. Trubačev). Moskva: Progress.
de Vries, Jan. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch 2. Leiden: Brill.
Wodtko, Dagmar. 2000. Wörterbuch der keltiberischen Inschriften. Monumenta Linguarum Hispanicum, Band V.1. Wiesbaden: Reichert.
Russia, Cradle of the Gael
The pseudohistorical doctrines that the early Gaels had close relations with the Israelites, that their ancestry connects them with ancient Egypt, and that they came to Ireland from Spain, have been variously exploited for propaganda purposes over the centuries - the last of these traditions, indeed, is still widely believed to reflect an actual Iron Age migration.
The idea that the Gaels were Greeks has received less attention, although a recent extended study by Bart Jaski has gone some way toward redressing the balance. But there is another doctrine which has, so far as I can tell, played no part in constituting contemporary ideas of Irish identity: the assertion that the first patriarch of the Gaels was the ruler of Scythia - roughly speaking the regions lying to the north of the Black Sea, including what are now Russia and Ukraine.
This idea can be traced back at least as far as the eighth century: how and why did it originate? In this paper I will review the conjectures which have so far been put forward as answers to this question, and will consider the associations which the concept ‘Scythian' had in the sources on which the Irish scholar(s) responsible for originating the doctrine are likeliest to have drawn.
The paper will proceed to look at the ways in which Scythia was imagined by the medieval Irish. Lebor Gabála gives us some notion of the geography of Scythia and of the lands adjacent to it: this can be supplemented from ancient sources, and from Irish geographical writings. There is also an intriguing account of dynastic warfare in Scythia extending over several generations, until the proto-Gaels were finally driven into exile: this is evidently modeled on the alternating kingship of the Northern and Southern Uí Néill in Ireland, suggesting at least one way in which the Irish thought of the Scythians as primeval counterparts of themselves, and of Scythia as a sort of 'Ireland in the east'.
Finally, I intend to look at Irish scholarship in the early modern period, to see whether access to the new learning had any impact on the conception of Scythian origins. As is well known, the easternmost extension of Irish peregrinatio brought Gaelic monks to Kiev in the eleventh century. Little is known of their mission, and it can probably be adequately explained simply in terms of the adventurous restlessness of the peregrini themselves. It is tempting, however, to imagine that a part of their motivation may have been - as it was when their English missionary counterparts sought out the 'Old Saxons' - a desire to bring light to the land of their own origins.
Cú Chulainn and Ilya of Murom: Investigations in the Indo-European Heroic Type
Cú Chulainn and Ilya of Murom can be identified as emblematic heroes of the old (or early medieval) Irish and the medieval Slavo-Russian narrative contexts.
They are drawn together most particularly because both are intimately involved in the scenario we call the "Father-son conflict," a widely occurring Indo-European theme where the hero (knowingly or unwittingly) kills his heroic son.
In terms of this theme both of these figures resemble one another because of the violence of the combat and the un-warrior way in which it is resolved; Cu and Ilya also show other resemblances: in physical size, ferocious temper, and some other characteristics. Ilya is shown (by de Vries, e.g.) to have found a place in the German medieval narratives; the direct Celtic connection may not be far to seek.
However, this paper is most concerned with that combat of father against son, and here I must extend (and complicate) the context and bring in the Greek mythic material, most obviously the "Oedipal shift," where son slays father. How can this shift be explained? The most believable explanation would seem to point to the "political" development of Greek society; the archaic mobility of the old (archaic) hero is caught and stabilized in the polis (heroic foundation of this or that city-state is widely seen - the hero's death is fatal but not final, and it "fertilizes" civic society). Oedipus may not be as important here as, in mythic terms, a pivotal figure such as the hero-king Theseus or (less pertinently) Herakles.
Another movement away from the archaic, pre-civic (pre-political) I-E pattern might have to do with the importance of the Sovereignty Goddess figure: she is explicit in the Irish material (most famously, Queen Medb) and implicit in the Russo-Slavic context, while in ancient Greek myth Hera, surely a sexually potent Sovereignty Goddess if only in vestigial form, significantly gave way to the virginal Political Goddess, Athena.
My conclusions will necessarily be tentative, but will have to do with the complex interplay of individual, family, tribe (or community) and proto-polity as dramatized in hero-tales from the Celtic, Slavic, and Greek narrative contexts; we will see the "Father-son conflict" re-plotted (and re-cast) and we will look for further illumination here, where the importance of absolute temporal identification (we are dealing with different time periods as they generate our three groups of sources) gives way to thematic congruence - or variation.
Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz: Ukrainian Contribution
Celtic presence in the territory of what is now the Ukraine has been studied from different standpoints.
Most considerable results have been achieved by archaeologists. Since the first finds of La Tène artefacts as early as 1844 much has been unearthed from Ukrainian soil to prove the fact that the western parts of the country were indeed inhabited by Celtic tribes. As archaeologists maintain, the earliest indications of Celtic material presence in Transcarpathia can be traced to the V-IV c. BC.
Penetration of Celts in the area, however, begins only in the later part of the III century; see a useful summary by V. Bidzilja and M. Schukin in Slavjane i ich sosedi (Moscow 1993), 67-84. Further east Celtic influence can be traced in the so-called “La Tènized” archaeological cultures spread as far as the Dnepr (see e.g., V. Eremenko, ‘Keltskaja vual’ i Zarubinetskaja Kultura (St. Petersburg 1997); but note also S. Pachkova in Stratum Plus (2004/4), 74-87).
The linguistic aspects of Celtic presence in Ukraine have also been considered. For obvious reasons it not concerned with searching for borrowings from Celtic directly into Ukrainian.
No inscriptions of Roman date which could contain Celtic place- or personal names are found in the area; and the ancient authors do not offer much information on the onomastic landscape of the region. Therefore, a linguistic study of Celtic presence in the area is confined to the analysis of toponymy. Sometimes existing linguistic attributions and etymological interpretations of the place-names are clearly naïve: for example, it is difficult to agree with some scholars who maintain that a Celtic tribal name Belgae is reflected in a Ukrainian place-name Belz.
More interesting and thought-provoking observations have been made, of course. For example, the late O. Trubačov (Nazvanija rek pravoberežnoi Ukrainy (Moscow 1968), 210-1) suggested that the river-names Tynja (Тыня), Tnja (Тня) and perhaps also Otavin might be Celtic in origin. Having ruled out other linguistic attributions, he refers to a mountain-name Taunum in Germania which he believes is Celtic.
One perhaps should consider here, however, a set of river-names collected by X. Delamarre in his Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise s.v. tauo- < tauso- ‘silencieux, tranquille’. Although there are certain problems with the semantics and etymology of the Gaulish word, and not all the examples quoted in DLG may be relevant (see G. R. Isaac, Place-Names in Ptolemy’s Geography (Aberystwyth 2004), comments to ‘Britannicae Insulae’, s.v. Taoúa p.e.), the river-names from Ukraine, if they are indeed Celtic, may also belong here.
Obligatory and Non-obligatory Control in Irish and Polish
IThe paper aims at establishing a typology of control in Irish and Polish non-finite clauses.
First, seven classes of predicates taking non-finite complements in Irish and Polish are specified. They include: modal (e.g. must), aspectual (e.g. start), implicative (e.g. manage), factive (e.g. like), prepositional (e.g. say), desiderative (e.g. want) and interrogative verbs (e.g. ask). Whereas modals and aspectuals typically take raising complements, the remaining predicate classes require control complements. Control clauses in Polish always have a covert PRO subject, while in Irish their subject may be either the covert PRO or an overt DP. The PRO subject may be either obligatorily controlled or is controlled optionally.
The criteria adopted in distinguishing obligatory control (OC) from non-obligatory control (NOC) are based on Landau (2000) and comprise the following: (1) a. Arbitrary Control is impossible in OC, possible in NOC; b. Long-distance control is impossible in OC, possible in NOC; c. Strict reading of PRO is impossible in OC, possible in NOC; d. De re reading of PRO is impossible in OC (only de se), possible in NOC. The validity of these criteria for establishing the OC/NOC contrast in Irish and Polish is scrutinised.
Various contexts are examined where both these control types obtain in the two languages studied. Most notably, OC tends to occur in complement clauses, while NOC is often found in subject and adjunct clauses both in Irish and Polish. Within the class of OC, two subgroups are recognised, namely exhaustive control (EC) and partial control (PC).
The former control type holds when the reference of PRO and its antecedent are identical, whereas the latter type of control is attested when the reference of PRO covers the reference of its antecedent, but is not entirely co-extensive with it, e.g.: (2) a. Maryi managed [PROi to win] = EC; b. Maryi wanted [PRO] + to meet at 6] = PC.
EC and PC are found in analogous contexts in Irish and Polish. EC occurs in complements to modal, implicative and aspectual verbs, while PC is limited to complements to factive, desiderative, prepositional and interrogative predicates. It is argued that EC-complements lack independent tense specification, while PC-complements are marked for tense independent from the one expressed in the matrix clause. PC-complements both in Irish and Polish must contain a semantically plural predicate (cf. meet in (2b)), but they can never exhibit a syntactically plural element.
Pronoun Reprise in Celtic and Southern Slavic Languages
The phenomenon of pronominal reprise has been extensively studied in French and Spanish, languages of the Balkan Sprachbund and in Modern Welsh.
In some of those languages this feature has been claimed to be specific for oral speech (for French see [Lambrecht 1981], Bulgarian [Lopashov 1978: 28], Welsh [Rowlands 1981: 424ff.]). In our paper we shall analize how the South Slavic languages (Bulgarian and Macedonian) and the Celtic languages (Middle and Modern Welsh, and Middle Irish) vary as regards constructions they allow, the frequency of these constructions and their semantics. In this abstract we concentrate on Middle Welsh comparing it to Bulgarian. The pronominal reprise (i.e. the co-occurence within the same clause boundary of both a full NP/pronominal and a clitic replica [Dimitrova-Vulchanova 83]) in Bulgarian is obligatory only in a small numbers of contexts, and has often a semantics of contrast or emphasis.
Мене ме мама не дава ‘Mother does not give me’ [de Bray 1951: 206].
This situation reminds us about the use of affixed pronouns in Welsh: Pwy bynnac a 'm metrei i yuelly… (PKM 87.2-3) 'Whoever should smite me when so…'
T. Arwyn Watkins wrote that the difference in the usage of affixed pronouns strikingly reflects the gap between spoken and literary Welsh [Watkins 1977-8: 349].
Prof. Pr. MacCana noticed that this discrepancy might go back to Middle Welsh and noted a tendency for a more frequent usage of affixed pronouns in PKM dialogs in [MacCana 1975-6: 323]. Having analysed all the examples of affixed pronoun usage in PKM we could now refine this statement. The following is the statistics for affixed pronouns supporting object pronouns.
Affixed pronouns are more frequently used in 1-2 persons also with possessive pronouns and personal endings of the inflected prepositions. It should be noted that this tendency is true also for MIr. notae augentes, but not for the Modern Welsh affixed pronouns.
Affixed pronouns are more frequently used in 1-2 persons also with possessive pronouns and personal endings of the inflected prepositions. It should be noted that this tendency is true also for MIr. notae augentes, but not for the Modern Welsh affixed pronouns.
de Bray R.G.A. Guide to the Slavonic Languages. London – NY, 1951.
Dimitrova-Vulchanova M. 'Clitics in the Slavic languages.' In: Clitics in the Languages of Europe. Eurotyp 20-5. Ed. by H. van Riemsdijk. Berlin, N.Y., 1999. P. 83-122.
King G. Modern Welsh: A Comprehensive Grammar. London – NY, 1993.
Lambrecht K. Topic, antitopic, and verb agreement in non-standard French. Amsterdam, 1981.
Lopashov J.A. Mestoimennye povtory dopolnenija v balkanskix jazykax. L.,1978
Mac Cana P. 'Notes on the Affixed Pronouns in Welsh.' Studia Celtica X-XI (1975-6), P. 318-325.
Nichols J. 'On alienable and inalienable possession.' In: In honor of Mary Haas. From the Haas Festival Conference on Native American Linguistics. William Shipley (ed.) Berlin etc. 1988 Р. 557-609.
Rowlands E. I. 'Dosbarthu’r Rhagenwau Personol.' BBCS 29-3, 1981. P. 419-431.
Watkins T. Arwyn. 'Y Rhagenw Ategol.' Studia Celtica XII-XIII (1977-78). P. 349-366
The Celts and the Slavs
The current paper is an homage to the works of K. H. Schmidt; it explores a number of linguistic links between Celtic and Slavic branches of Indo-European.
Special attention is devoted to the relative chronology of possible contacts of Celtic and Slavic tribes, and an attempt to fit those into the general European picture is made.
First, the author points out to the existence of an -*-sie-/-sio future forms in Continental Celtic, which stand as good evidence for contacts of at least some Celtic tribes with Eastern Europeans. Alongside with this go such parallels as the relative pronoun *ios and reduplicated desiderative (preserved in Old Irish as future).
Second, there are number of Celto-Slavic isoglosses; these sometimes show identical, sometimes different grades of ablaut, as well as variations in suffixation. Here the author analyses a handful of popular etymological suggestions and finds a few of them unsatisfactory.
Finally, the author mentions such long-distanced parallels between Celtic and Slavic, as the development of the system of aspect, on the one hand, and palatalisation, on the other.
Old Irish and Slavic prefixed verbs and the function of prefixes
The long chain of verbal prefixes which is common in the Old Irish glosses is a phenomenon which has parallels in Slavic.
The normal order of Old Irish prefixes is known. Violations of that order can be observed. The prefixes are homonymous with prepositions and thus have a local meaning. The exact function of the prefixes in the chain is, however, not always obvious. Some prefixes are telic and have a weakened local meaning. The reason for the order in which the prefixes occur has not been well explained. It is often difficult to determine where a certain prefix was placed when it was added to a preexisting shorter group of prefixes.
ro, con and ad can be infixed (in some cases prefixed) to indicate that an act or a state is seen as completed (perfective or perfect) or where ro and con indicate possibility or ability.
The question can arise whether a certain prefix is of local or 'aspectual' nature. Doubling of prefixes occurs as in comtherchomracc 'assembly'. In do·é-com-nacht 'has bestowed' 'perfectivizing' con- has been infixed into a preexisting do·ind-naig. in·r-úa-lad 'I have entered' shows a similar process but with the 'perfectivizing’ ro- in a different position. -r-ind·úa-lad (Ml 93cl4) ‘thou hast entered’ shows that this is not the only possible order.
Multiple prefixes in Slavic were recently discussed by Filip (2003) who drew attention to the problematic nature of the function of prefixes as grammatical (inflexional) markers of perfective aspect. She also discussed their behaviour as directional prefixes. Most of her examples are from Czech and contain two (or three) prefixes. We shall draw attention to the prefixed verbs of Bulgarian which has longer chains of prefixes. It will therefore be interesting to compare Bulgarian with Old Irish. Many questions concerning these chains are similar to those that arise in the analysis of the OI chains of prefixes both in regard to function and position in the chain. The different position of 'aspectual' prefixes in Slavic and Irish should be observed. In this paper I shall mainly treat the functional properties of the prefixes.
Bulgarian pridobivam is not too difficult to analyze. izpoprebivam is more complicated as it shows actional iz- and the likewise actional po- in the initial position which is natural for such prefixes in Slavic languages. izponaprikàzvam shows four prefixes though the very common combined prefix izpo- has been analyzed as being one entity. Nevertheless, po- seems to have kept its distributive meaning. Doubling of prefixes is found in Bulgarian.
Filip (2003) considers the prefixes to be derivational morphemes, but does not see them as formal markers of perfectivity. The action of a prefixed verb may be quantized, telic or bounded. Böttger (2004) discusses grammatical and lexical derivation, grammaticalization and the Russian prefixes po-, zu- and ot- in a diachronical perspective. We shall discuss these theories and their applicability to OI and Bulgarian. The "directional and measurement usages" of Slavic and Irish prefixes will finally be compared with the functions of the Hittite enclitic directional particles.
On Structural Similarities between Irish and Russian Perfect Formations
One of the linguistic features that Irish and Russian share is the fact that they are both so called be-languages as opposed to have-languages according to the classification suggested by A.V.Isačenko.
Be-languages express the meaning of possession by using a construction of the type “mihi est” or “est apud me” – both based on the verb “to be”. However have-languages use a specialised possessive verb for this case (cf. in English “to have”). In fact Russian does have a verb with the meaning “to have” – “иметь”, but its use is highly limited. Irish hasn’t got such a verb at all. Thus for the phrase “X has a dog” the Irish and Russian equivalents would be respectively (1) and (2).
Verbal formations with perfect meaning both in Irish and Russian, as often the case is in different languages, use the notion of possession for expressing the agent obliquiely: the possessor thus being the subject or the one who “possesses” the result of the previous action. Cf. the following examples:
In literary Russian this formation is of extremely limited use. In some dialects of the North-West, however, it is a standard way of expressing perfect meaning, which brings it closer to the Irish perfect not only in formation but also in function.
The fact that possession is used for making perfects is by no means strange and has been discussed on numerous occasions. The basis for such formation is the metaphoric realisation of the agent as the possessor of the result of a previous action. Diachronically too Irish perfects are actually “possessified” resultatives of the type “Tá sé déanta” (without the “ag X”-phrase). Examples of the latter can be attested already in the earliest sources. Thus by being “possessified” the result is brought into the agent’s domain.
The possessive agent marker “ag X” was not just a marker but the “embodiment”, the actual realisation of bringing the action into the agent’s domain. It most probably became “the motor” of the shift in meaning of these new constructions from resultative to perfect: expressing the agent, the volitional stimulus to action, it raised the actionality of the construction as a whole.
In early sources on the history of Irish there is no evidence of the existence of the construction Tá sé déanta agam. Even the instances we find in Early Modern Irish texts are not perfects but merely resultatives with an oblique possessive agent encoding. The two subjectless types (cf. Tá glaoite ag an gcoileach and Tá labhartha agam leis) have no precedence whatsoever. This can, at least partly, be due to some subjective matter. Naturally perfects are far less important for literary narrative texts. The scribes and authors of the pre-nineteenth-century period would not use the colloquial form of language, but preferred to apply the older literary register. Only after the fall of the latter could colloquial language come to light. An illustration to that could be Russian perfects of the kind in question which failed to enter the literary language altogether.
The various perfect formations could therefore be older than usually presumed, circulating in common speech but failing to enter the more formal register. But how did the other, subjectless perfect types originate? The facts of Russian perfect formations could throw certain light on this matter.
Yuriy Maslov first drew attention to the Russian construction in 1949. He wrote that the special value of the Russian construction is that in it the inner notion of possession is more vivid, more obvious than in the have-formations. He argued also that the notion of possession which lies at the base of this type of constructions can’t be brought down to real or metaphoric possession, but should be understood in a much wider sense, maybe as certain interest of the person in the action or in its results, or as positioning of the action in the agent’s domain etc. The greater vividness of these inner notions is by no means an obstacle for creating grammatically subjectless formations. Maslov draws a conclusion: “Doesn’t this mean that the notion that forms the basis of the constructions in question – exactly because it wasn’t a notion of merely possession – could freely combine with the absence of the subject itself and even with intransitiveness?”
This conclusion of a much wider interpretation of the notion of possession when applied to perfect formations as of “positioning of the action in the agent’s domain”, or even simply of “some kind of identification of the action with the agent” can be exemplified by the following non-perfect Irish and Russian sentences
(5)Tá tinneas cinn orm agaibh ‘You give me a headache’ (is pain head.Gen on-me at-you)
(6) Он у меня всё сделает ‘I shall make him do everything’ (he at I.Gen everything do.Fut)
A conclusion can thus be made that the various types of perfect formations (Tá sé déanta agam, Tá glaoite ag an gcoileach and Tá labhartha agam leis) united under the notion of possessive ownership of action in general could possibly be created spontaneously, simultaneously, not en route of the spread of perfect notion from the first type to the others. These different models originated as constructions built (a – concerning time relativity) spontaneously, simultaneously and (b – concerning function and semantics) for bringing the action (or result of the action, as the resultative model was actually used) into the subject’s domain, that is for identification of the action, or the result of the action with its subject”.
Hiberno-Rossica: ‘Knowledge in the Clouds’ in Old Irish and Old Russian
The present discussion aims to deal with one rare example of formulaic similarities in Old Irish and Old Russian poetic speech.
In the past years several studies appeared devoted to Celto-Slavic isoglosses or correspondences in theonymics and mythopoetic language. The paper is focused on two particular fragments in two Old Irish and Old Russian texts (the former is much less known than the latter) with a special emphasis on the semantics and poetic rules, which are common for both examples. The first text is an Old Irish poem Immaccallam in druad Brain ocus inna banfhátho hóas Loch Febuil (‘The dialogue of Bran’s druid and Febul’s prophetess above Loch Febuil’, further IDB).
An Old Russian text to be compared is a fragment from the late 12th century epic ‘The Song of Igor’s Campaign’ (Слово о плъку Игоревѣ, Slovo o plъku Igoreve). An attempt is made to tackle the problem of common Indo-European ancestry for the discussed formula (‘knowledge in the clouds’) with its variants (lluid mo fhius co ardníulu; летая умомъ подъ облакъı) present in the both texts and cultural realities, which the formula might reflect.
Both Old Irish and Old Russian examples attracted scholars’ attention and were labelled as ‘shamanic experience’ (Carney). It is significant that both protagonists in these poems are not only poets: in Old Irish it is druí ‘druid’ and in Old Russian it is вѣщии ‘wizard’. It is rather difficult to ascribe definite social, cultural and religious functions to both these terms in early Christian Ireland and in medieval Rus’. One can evidently accept that druids held a function of priests in early Celtic societies. The same position is likely to be held by druids in pre-Christian Ireland (cf. episode of the bull sacrifice in Serglige Con Culainn).
In Old Russian no priestly functions of вѣщiй, вѣщунъ are attested. Nevertheless Old Russian влъсви (wizards, magi; stands for μάγοι in the Gospels where OI has druid) definitely performed functions of pagan priests sometimes associated with shamanic activity. To a certain extent both OI and OR narratives reflect the particular link between the poet’s and the priest’s activity: both fragments refer to poet’s perception of the world, a specific cosmological scheme.
A Swan Uncarved: Russian and Irish Heroes breaking the Table Etiquette
The quarrels at feasts were a common topic in heroic poetry in many countries and ages. The feast was a convenient occasion for a public display of one’s status and wealth and a handy opportunity of its re-establishing and re-evaluation.
A number of Irish tales contains the motive of the quarrel at a feast. Among the most important texts are Scéla mucce meic Dathó and Fled Bricrend. The carving of the Pig in the SMMD is the crucial point of the tale. The fact that the Pig is left uncarved and the Ulster hero Conall Cernach eventually swallows most of its meat leads to a bloody fight. The relative standing of the two tribes: Ulaid and Connachta – depended on the distribution of meat which, in fact, did not take place because of the absence or/and improper behaviour of the Pig’s owner. A number of Russian bylinas describing quarrels at feasts offer some interesting and enlightening parallels to the SMMD. The main course is not a pig, but a swan – a traditional Russian specialty. The swallowing of the Pig by Conall is represented in the Ulster cycle in a totally favourable light (pace K. McCone). In the Russian epic the situation is reversed.
The person who can swallow the uncarved swan (sometimes a bull) is represented as a stranger and eventually an enemy. His rudeness, bad manners and foreignness are strongly emphasized. The fact that the swan (and often a loaf of bread) is left uncarved is sometimes ascribed merely to the guest’s gluttony, but most often to a foul play: the hostess is the stranger’s lover and intentionally tries to avoid distributing the proper portions. As a result, the stranger swallows the whole swan (often accompanied by a loaf and a vat of wine). This gluttony becomes the subject for an open derision: the hero compares the stranger with an old mare or/and an old dog who died from gluttony. In the ensuing fight the stranger is defeated and killed.
In Russian stories as well as in Irish, the carving of the main course at a feast becomes a way to assess and appreciate the relative standing of the two or more competing heroes and, eventually, the two societies (tribes). Both stories suppose lack of scruple or trickery from the host’s side. But the outcome is entirely different. In the Russian story the adversary is defeated and the young hero thereby asserts his right to be a full member of the heroic elite. In the SMMD the situation remains indecisive and the quarrel leads to a permanent rift in the Ulaid-Connachta relationships
On the Function of the Name in Written Charm-Tradition (Ireland and Russia)
Each of the words of the proposed topic needs a special commentary. Our study aims to shed some more light on the problem of typology of the magic texts as a special cultural phenomenon that obtains a constant character.
NAME. By the ‘name’ in charm tradition we mean two different types of usage of a personal name: (a) ‘background name’ and (b) ‘subject name’. By (a) we mean a traditional use of names of sacred Christian figures as well as of pagan mythological characters that create a specific background of the magic formula. It serves as an indicator of the compiler’s/user’s Christian or pagan character. But, in fact, it is very difficult to draw a strict distinction between the paganism and a so-called ‘naive Christianity’ in the primary sources (esp. in Slavic and, in particular, in Russian). Some further discussion can be provided by a more detailed analysis of a number of ‘background names’ used in charms. At the same time, being unique for the user, the names of celestial bodies, forces of nature, ‘daughters of the sea’ (in Irish lorica) etc. can fulfill the role of the ‘background name’.
By (b) the ‘subject name’ we mean a proper name of an individual for (against) whom the magic text is once composed (pronounced, written etc).
2. WRITTEN TRADITION. Two different types of usage of the term are possible. On the one hand, we are dealing with a so called ‘naive recording’ (remembering) of the oral text, probably, for the purpose of its further (oral) reproduction. In this situation, we suppose, the use of the ‘subject name’ is impossible. On the other hand, the written tradition of magic texts presumes (and includes) a manufacturing of specific magical ‘artefacts’ (tablets, amulets, Old Russian ‘nauzes’ etc.). In this case the name fulfills its specific function. It creates a proper magical object (cf. Plotius, Caer, Mikhej of a Novgorod birchbark etc). The idea that the magical texts that use 1 sg. poss. pron. (me) as a subject may be reproduced orally (or in a written form) should be given some consideration. Me-tradition (not widespread in Russia) supposes the poly-functional use of a charm.
CHARM. By this term we mean both an incantation (a spell as a text and as a language artifact) and a magical action (a rite, including the manufacturing of an object with specific characters, for example – magical runes of Old Scandinavia).
4. The comparison between Mediaeval Irish and Russian charm traditions is possible due to the typological relation that exists between Irish and Russian cultures in the early period when Christianity coexisted with paganism.
The more detailed analysis can be presented as a schema or a table, embracing all situations of the use of ‘charms’ in a traditional culture”.
“Каждое слово, вынесенное в заглавие, нуждается в особой интерпретации. Исследование в целом направлено на разработку глобальной проблемы типологии магического текста как особого (но – постоянного!) феномена культуры.
ИМЯ – под “именем” в заговоре мы подразумеваем два типа употребления имен собственных, условно названных нами – «фоновое имя» и «субъектное имя». В первом случае речь идет об употреблении имен как христианских (и апокрифических), так и языческих мифологических персонажей, создающих специфический «фон» магической формулы. Он призван иллюстрировать ориентацию составителя и пользователя текста. Естественно, в материале, к которому мы обращаемся в первую очередь (особенно – славянском и русском – в частности), проведение четкой границы между язычеством и «наивным христианством» оказывается невозможным. Детальный анализ набора соответствующих «фоновых имен» хорошо иллюстрирует наш тезис. В то же время в качестве «фонового имени» могут также использоваться уникальные для пользователя объекты – названия светил, стихий, «дочерей моря» (ирландская лорика) и т.п.
Под субъектным именем мы подразумеваем уникальное имя собственное, обозначающее лицо, для (против) которого единократно воспроизводится магический текст.
ПИСЬМЕННАЯ ТРАДИЦИЯ. Здесь также возможны два разных понимания самого термина. С одной стороны, речь может идти о так наз. «наивных фиксациях» устного текста, предположительно – с целью дальнейшего воспроизведения, для запоминания (в этом случае использование «субъектного имени» кажется невозможным). С другой стороны, письменная традиция магического текста предполагает создание особых артефактов (таблички с проклятиями, амулеты, др.русские «наузы» и проч.), в которых имя исполняет важнейшую функцию: собственно создания магического, принципиально уникального объекта (ср. Плотий, Каэр, Михей из новгородской берестяной грамоты и проч.). Особый интерес представляют тексты, в которых употреблено местоимение «я», предполагающее возможность воспроизводимости и поли-направленности текста. (в русской традиции – распространено мало).
ЗАГОВОР. Под этим понятием мы подразумеваем и собственно заговорный текст как феномен языка, и особое магическое действие, сопровождающееся изготовлением объекта с нанесенными на нем письменами (например – магические руны в древней Скандинавии).
Сопоставление средневековой ирландской и русской традиций обусловлено многими типологическими схождениями.
Более детальный анализ конкретных образцов может быть представлен в виде схемы-таблицы, охватывающей все случаи употребления письменного заговорного текста в традиционной культуре
Some Breton Words in the Dictionary of the Russian Empress
The first mention of the Breton language in the Russian linguistical literature was made in the XVIII century when the Empress Catherine II decided to make a wide research in order to compose a dictionary where all the languages in the world would be represented. This work was carried out by a German scientist Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811). He was the head of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the years 1768-1774, and he also took part in several expeditions in which he studied many regions of Russia, including Southern Siberia. The languages of the peoples living in different parts of Russia were largely represented in his study, and the European languages were also collected, assembled into different groups.
The fist edition of the dictionary, Vocabularia Linguarum Totius Orbis (“Сравнительные словари всех языков и наречий, собранные десницею Всевысочайшей Особы”) was published in 1787-1789. This edition contained 185 entries from 142 Asiatic and 51 European languages. The second edition was published in 1790 – 1791, and it contained the information on 272 languages and dialects, and 273 entries were represented in this edition.
The Celtic languages were well represented in both editions as follows: Celtic (it is not clear what were the specifically Celtic languages), Breton, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh and Cornish.
The information for the Breton language was made available by several intermediaries: some Russian words were translated into Latin, after that – into French and transmitted to the ambassador of France, Le Compte de Segur. He sent the French words list to Baron de Breteuil, who employed the Intendant of Brittany Antoine-François Bertrand de Moleville. De Mollevile was not a Breton speaker and his task was to find someone who could do this job. Even in the XVIII century it seemed difficult to find anyone who was capable of providing a translation. This was a paradox: the Breton language was largely spoken by that time in the Western part of the peninsula (Lower Brittany). One of the difficulties was the absence of a “standard” Breton, and of a “standard” Breton spelling, the four dialects being too different from one another (therefore each author who was writing in Breton used his own variant of spelling). De Mollevile seemed to have had some difficulties to find out which of the dialects was the “correct” one. So he sent the list to Le Goazre in Qimper (where the Cornouaille dialect was spoken) and to Le Bricquir Dumezir in Lannoin (the Tregor dialect). Meanwhile, in order to find out the “correct” forms, the translators seemed to use Gregor Rostrenen’s dictionary (1732).
The two versions (from Lannion or from Qimper) were sent to Pallas, and the differences between them made it possible to indicate two Breton forms for one Russian word.
It is impossible to use Vocabularia Linguarum Totius Orbis for modern Celtic studies as all the foreign words used in the dictionary were transcribed into Cyrillic. Therefore we cannot make any conclusions with regard to the authentic spelling of these words. Meanwhile, this document is precious as it provides the first mention of Breton in Russia.
Going Home to Russia’? Irish Writers and Russian Literature
The poet Josef Brodski once wrote: ‘I’m talking to you but it isn’t my fault if you can’t hear me.’
However, Brodski and other Russian writers, thinkers and artists, continue to be heard across gulfs of language, space and time. Indeed, the above line from Brodski forms the epigraph of ‘Travel Poem’, originally written in Polish by Anna Czeckanowicz. And just as Czeckanowicz picks up on Brodski’s ‘high talk’ (as Yeats might call it), so too do Irish writers (past and present) listen in, and dialogue with, Russian counterparts and exemplars.
Some Irish writers go further and actually claim to identify with Russian writers, and/or to identify conditions of life in Ireland with their perception of life in Russia. Paul Durcan, for example, entitled a whole collection of poems, Going Home to Russia. Russia feels like ‘home’ to Durcan partly because he is one example of the many Irish writers who have listened in very closely to Russian writing, and who have identified with aspects of what they find in Russian culture.
Another example is the poet Medbh McGuckian who has looked to earlier Russian literature for examples of women artists who ‘dedicated their lives to their craft’, who ‘never disgraced the art’, who created timeless works in the face of conflict and suffering: she refers particularly to Anna Akhmatova and, especially, Marina Tsvetaeva. Contemplating and dialoguing with her international sisters in art, McGuckian finds a means of communicating matters and feelings that are ‘closer to home’, culturally and politically (including the politics of gender).
Ireland’s most famous poet Seamus Heaney has repeatedly engaged with Russian writings: especially those of Anton Chekhov and Osip Mandelstam. The former is recalled in the poem ‘Chekhov on Sakhalin’, a work taut with tension between an artist’s ‘right to the luxury of practising his art’, and the residual ‘guilt’ which an artist may feel and only possibly discharge by giving ‘witness’, at least, to the chains and flogging of the downtrodden. On the other hand, Mandelstam, for Heaney, is a model of artistic integrity, freedom and courage, a bearer of the sacred, singing word, compared by the Irish poet to an on-the-run priest in Penal days.
In this conference paper, I will outline some of the impact and influence that Russian writers have had on Irish writers (who write either in English or in Irish). I will point to some of the lessons and tactics that Irish writers have learnt and adopted from their Russian counterparts: including Cathal Ó Searcaigh’s debt to Yevgenii Yevtushenko, Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s to Maxim Gorki, Máirtín Ó Direáin’s to Aleksandr Blok, and Padraic Ó Conaire’s to Lev Tolstoi, etc.
Lost in Translation: Pseudo-Epic Irish Tradition?
The present paper deals with a problematic aspect of translation of Old Irish epic texts; I will mostly analyse translations into Russian, but will also refer to similar problems in other modern languages.
The well-established international tradition of translation of Old Irish epic texts shows a clear tendency towards what I would call “epification” of text. I will use this term to describe all the methods used to lake the text look more ancient, more embellished, more, to use the word again, epic. This phenomenon was understandably triggered in the first place by the fact that an average philologist with Classic education mostly associates epic with such examples of the genre as Homeric poems, Mahabharata and the Edda. As a result, the overall majority of modern versions of Irish saga texts abound in archaic words and constructions, and their characters, however basely or strangely they may behave, always use beautifully polished language.
But the striking difference between Old Irish text and the aforementioned poems is that the Irish epic is prose. This means that the rules of poetic language do not, or at least not always, apply to the Irish narrative. Furthermore, the text may be altered and amended in the course of transmission of the text, which, in turn, entails the discrepancy between older and newer linguistic layers of text. And even if one does not address the subject of transmission, we still have to face the fact that Old Irish prose has a range of registers. High register, full of clichés and the closest to the poetic language is normally used for lengthy descriptions of humans and items; middle register is the one used for the general narrative; and, last but not least, the low register appears in the direct speech only. Our interest lies precisely in this low register or, rather, its absence in the existing modern translations.
I will use extracts for such well-known texts as TBDD, Aided Cheltchair and Fingal Rónáin in my attempt to demonstrate that the Old Irishmen fought, argued, laughed and wailed exactly in the same way as we do, and used specific language means to convey their emotions - just as we do. I will argue that the translators should pay more attention to the division of registers and, mostly, to the liveliness of the people’s speech, and should not artificially enhance the epic feature of the sagas.
Данное небольшое исследование посвящено некоторым проблемам перевода древнеирландских эпических текстов; мы будем в основном рассматривать переводы на русский язык, однако также коснемся аналогичных аспектов перевода на другие современные языки.
В мировой традиции перевода древнеирландских текстов существует определенная тенденция к «утяжелению» текста и его нарочитой эпизации. Очевидно, что известную роль в этом играет подсознательное стремление переводчика подать текст как древний, а с эпической древностью у среднестатистического читателя обычно ассоциируются поэмы Гомера, «Старшая Эдда» и «Махабхарата». В итоге переводы древнеирландских саг на современные языки пестрят архаизмами, а их герои (при всех их зачастую неблаговидных поступках) изъясняются так же красиво, как герои иных древних эпических сказаний.
Однако древнеирландские тексты от них отличает в первую очередь то, что они созданы в прозе, и, соответственно, их нарративный принцип не подчиняется, или далеко не в полной мере подчиняется, законам поэтического языка. Далее, в ходе путешествия текста из рукописи в рукопись он может претерпевать значительные изменения и обзаводиться дополнениями, которые, в свою очередь, могут быть написаны в совершенно ином стиле, более и или менее архаическим языком, чем основной текст. И, наконец, даже если откинуть вопрос об эволюции текста в письменной передаче, остается очевидным тот факт, что древнеирландская проза имеет набор регистров. Их можно определить так - высокий, изобилующий клише, наиболее близкий поэтическому языку и свойственный описаниям героев и предметов; средний, использующийся собственно для изложения последовательности событий; и низкий, появляющийся в прямой речи героев. Именно низкий регистр и проблема, а точнее, отсутствие его передачи в существующих переводах, нас и интересует.
На примерах из таких текстов, как «Убийство Ронаном родича», «Разрушение дома Да Дерга», «Смерть Кельтхара, сына Утехара» мы постараемся показать, что древние ирландцы могли ругаться, смеяться и огорчаться так же, как и современные люди, и точно также использовать для выражения своих эмоций специфические языковые средства. Мы уверены, что переводчикам с древнеирландского следует обратить большее внимание на живость, с которой изъясняются герои, и не придавать их речи искусственного эпического колорита.
Приведем два маленьких примера. Если в исконном тексте Кет, сын Магу, обзывает Коналла Победоносного подлецом (clóan), то нет причины, подобно Куно Майеру, сглаживать его грубость переводом «the evil one»; и если страшный человек Фер Кайле издевается над королем Конайре, называя его «славным господинчиком» (popán caín), то этот неприятный уменьшительный суффикс или его аналог должен присутствовать в переводе.