FLED BRICRENN The Feast of Bricriu

I seem to have underestimated the number of little green books that I have so here are two more wonderful additions. As usual I will not be reviewing them in depth but I will talk about structure and the most interesting parts in them.

As you must have read from the title of the post the books I will be taking about today are related to the Feast of Bricriu. And there are two books for this post: Fled Bricrend (The Feast of Bricriu) and Fled Bricrenn: Reassessments.

The Irish Text Society Vol. II and Irish Texts Society Subsidiary Series 10

I’m going to start with the volume that has the main story of The Feast of Bricriu.

Title page of Irish Texts Society Vol. II

It starts with a Preface by the author and then it moves to the Introduction section. The Introduction section has two Introductions: General Introduction and a Special Introduction.

To me the Special Introduction had more information that I was interested in. It starts with the manuscripts used in the compilation of the text in the volume and who wrote them or compiled them and some interesting tidbits from them. There are five manuscripts in total. Next comes the probable date of the text and the editor uses things like grammar and loan words to figure it out.

Two pages from Irish Texts Society Vol. II

Next comes the text of the story in both Irish and English (129 pages of text). Appendix I is about Personal Names, Appendix II is about Geographical names, Appendix III is about textual notes, and finally Appendix IV is about Special Notes.

Irish Texts Society Subsidiary Series 10 title page.

The paperback has 5 essays that discuss aspects of The Feast of Bricriu. The first essay is by Bernhard Maier and it talks about the problems and parallels between the classic descriptions of Continental Celts and Fled Bricrenn. The second essay is about the significance of Fled Bricrenn within the broader Celtic context by John T. Koch. The third essay is by Nicolas Jacobs and it discusses Fled Bricrenn and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The fourth essay is about the role of Cú Roí in Fled Bricrenn and it is by Petra S. Hellmuth. Finally, the last essay is by Proinsias Mac Cana and it is about the structure and syntax in Fled Bricrenn.

For me the most interesting essays were the first, second and fourth essays. I was a little bored reading the third and fifth essays but your milage might vary.