rann: quatrain, stanza.
aicill: rhyme between final word of one line and an internal word in the next.
file/fili: (pl. filidh) court poet/scholar/teacher/seer. A hereditary profession
of nemed status, but if the obligations of 'purity of hand and of wedlock,
of lips and of learning' were not met the status was lost. An apocalyptic
prediction included this: 'filidh will be childless so that there will be
no filidh at all, only bards.'
ollam: (pl. ollamh) Master/Professor. A most learned, high ranking fili.
baird: (pl. bairdne) someone who only attended a fili school for 7 years; or a lowborn or untrained poet; or one of the lesser musicians in a fili's retinue, who performed the song or accompanied the poem which the fili had composed.
reacaire: reciter. Also called 'marcach duaine': horseman of poetry.
soerbaird: free or noble bard. Had half the honor price of a fili.
éigeas: scholar, learned poet. (Another word for poetry is eicse.)
ríg ollam: the chief ollam, who had the highest rank in the kingdom besides the king himself.
filidecht: poetry, composition of poetry, finger divination (teinm laidi), special insight (imbas forosnai)
and associated abilities, skills and practices of the filidh.
dán: art. May refer to any art, but most often to poetry. Also, a poem.
dánta gradha: love poems.
duan: a poem.
iomarbháigh: counter-boasting, contention, verse contest.
____ ro chan: so-and-so wrote this. This is generally represented in manuscripts by
.cct. / .cc. : both of which stand for 'cecinit', which in Latin meant 'wrote'.
aer: a satire.
As the period went on, satire became a separate profession from that of
bards and filidh. If anyone but a satirist wrote a satire, they could be sued and fined badly by the subject
of the satire. On the other hand, satirists who made an unjust satire were
also subject to penalties under brehon law. Of course, the brehon would be
risking a satire on him/herself....
The three kinds of satire:
aisnéis: "insulting speech, without harmony" (not in verse).
ail: "reproach". A nasty nickname that sticks.
aircetal aíre: Satire in verse. There are 10 kinds described in the satire treatise, but I don't know them all because I haven't read it yet! Lánaer is the 8th kind, and glám dícend the 10th.
lánaer: 'full satire'. Written and delivered; subject identified by name. >
glám dícend: The satire ritual of legend, that blisters the face. The king is fasted against; counsel is taken with 30 laymen, 30 bishops and 30 poets about making a glám dícend. The king is warned once more. If the king refuses the satirist's request, none of the 90 who were consulted may hinder the glám dícend. The satirist goes before dawn to a mound where 7 territories meet, accompanied by 6 poets with the 6 degrees of poetry respectively (of all levels of scholarship, in other words). The satirist faces the land of the king while the rest put their backs to the thorn tree on top of the hill. In a north wind, with a stone and a thorn from the tree in each man's hand, the satirist speaks a rann in the measure called lai/dh into his stone and thorn. Then in unison the other poets speak their ranns to their stone and thorn. Each puts his stone and thorn at the base of the thorn tree. If they are wrong, the hill swallows them up. If the king is wrong, the ground swallows him and his wife and his child and his horse and his weapons and his clothing and his hound. Unless he relents or gives up the kingship, in which case he just gets the 3 blisters (which in the old days would have been enough of a flaw to make him ineligible to rule, anyway).
Back to dán díreach page.
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