Full title: Teagasca: The Instructions of Cormac Mac Airt
Author: C. Lee Vermeers
Publisher: Faoladh Books
Copyright: July 9, 2014
Pages: 89 including bibliography
Synopsis: In the third century, the great High King of Ireland, Cormac Mac Airt, stepped down from the throne to make way for his son, Carbre. To help his son prepare for the task of ruling Ireland, Cormac composed a poem outlining the best way to live and to rule. His Teagasca (“Instructions”) survived and were passed down through the centuries until they were written down by Christian poets and monks. This volume presents a new translation, based on the 1908 translation by Kuno Meyer, with extensive annotations and a new understanding that bring this classic manual of instruction into the 21st century.
Review: I was very excited to get and read this book. It is about time that the big names in the Celtic Reconstructionist community started putting out these types of books for others to read and learn from.
As the synopsis says this is a new translation of the Instructions of Cormac Mac Airt, which is based on Kuno Meyer’s 1908 translation. The author having noticed that Meyer had a lot of clumsy lines took the time to look at other translations and compare them to get the best wording for the book. He also in many instances tried to take out the overt Christian references to God and switched it to Gods, in some instances that was not possible though so he left those as is. I loved the annotations he added to the translations he gave. They gave me a lot of extra information on linguistics and also on how the Irish society may have worked, at least on paper. As you can see from the page count, it isn’t a long book, but it is certainly one that is worth having.