CELT document G103006

The Triads of Ireland

Witness list

  • L: The Yellow Book of Lecan, pp. 414b-418a
  • B: The Book of Ballymote, pp. 65b-66b.
  • M: The Book of Húi Maine, fo. 190a-fo. 191a.
  • Lec: The Book of Lecan (also referred to as H by Meyer), (H 2 17 p.186b ends p. 184b Trinity College)
  • N: 23 N 10, pp. 98-101.
  • H1: H 1 25, pp 946-957.
  • S: Stowe Collection, 23 N 27, fo. 1a-7b.



The collection of Irish Triads, which is here edited and translated for the first time, has come down to us in the following nine manuscripts, dating from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century:—

  • L, i.e. the Yellow Book of Lecan, a vellum of the end of the fourteenth century, pp. 414b–418a, a complete copy.
  • B, i.e. the Book of Ballymote, a vellum of the end of the fourteenth century, pp. 65b–66b (ends imperfectly).
  • M, i.e. the Book of Húi Maine, a vellum of the fourteenth century, fo. 190a[1]–fo. 191a[2]. A complete copy beginning: “Ceand Erenn Ardmacha,” and ending: “tri hurgairt bidh a caitheam díescaidheadh (sic) a chaitheam iarna coir a caitheam gan altughudh.” Then follow proverbial sayings from the “colloquy of Cormac and Cairpre,” such as: “Dedhe ara ndligh gach maith domelar ithe ⁊ altugud. Anas deach gacha fleidhe a cainaltughudh ⁊ a mochdingbail. Caidhe deach samtha. Ni hansa. Gal gan forran. Deasgaidh codulta frislige,” &c., ending: “deasgaidh aineolais imreasain. Ni d'agallaim Cormaic ⁊ Cairpre coruici sin.”
  • Lec, i.e. the Book of Lecan, a vellum of the fifteenth century. The leaves on which the Triads are found are now bound up with the codex H. 2. 17 belonging to Trinity College. It is a complete copy beginning on p. 183b: “Ceand erenn Ardmacha,” and ending on p. 184b: “ceitheora aipgitri baisi baig connailbi gell imreasain.” 1
  •  p.vi
  • N, i.e. 23. N. 10, a paper MS. written in the year 1575, 2 pp. 98–101. A complete copy, the gap between pp. 100 and 106 being made up by pp. 7a–10b of the vellum portion of the manuscript.
  • H', i.e. H. 1. 15, pp. 946–957. This is a paper manuscript written by Tadhg Tiorthach O Neachtain in 1745. It is a complete copy, with copious glosses in Modern Irish, the more important of which are printed below on pp. 36–43. At the end O Neachtain has added the following:—“Trí subhailce diadha: creidhemh, dothchus agus grádh. Trí a n-aon: athair, mac, spiorad naomh, da raibh gloir, moladh ⁊ umhlacht tre bith sior tug ré don bhochtan bocht so. Aniu an 15 do bhealltuine 1745. Tadhg O Nechtuin mac Seain a n-aois ceithre bliadhna déag et trí fithchit roscriob na trithibh suas.”

These manuscripts have, on the whole, an identical text, though they all occasionally omit a triad or two; and the order of the single triads varies in all of them. They have all been used in constructing a critical text, the most important variants being given in the foot-notes. The order followed is in the main that of the Yellow Book of Lecan.

There are at least three other manuscripts containing copies of the Triads. One of them I discovered in the Stowe collection after the text had been printed off. It is a paper quarto now marked 23. N. 27, containing on fo. 1a–7b a copy of the Triads, followed on fo. 7b–19a by a glossed copy of the Tecosca Cormaic. It was written in 1714 by Domnall (or Daniel) O Duind mac Eimuinn. Its readings agree closely with those of N. In paragraph 237, it alone, of all manuscripts, gives an intelligible reading of a corrupt passage. For “cia fochertar im-muir, cia berthair  p.vii hi tech fo glass dodeime a tiprait oca mbí”, it reads: “cia focearta im-muir, cia beirthear hi tech fo glass no do theine, dogeibther occan tiprait”, “though it be thrown into the sea, though it be put into a house under lock, or into fire, it will be found at the well.” In paragraph 121 for “cerdai” it reads “cerd”; in paragraph 139 it has “rotioc” and “rotocht”; in paragraph 143 for “grúss” its reading is “grís”; in paragraph 153 it has “aibeuloit” for “eplet”; in paragraph 217 “tar a n-éisi” for “dia n-éisi”; in paragraph 218 “lomradh”(twice) for “lobra” and “indlighidh” for “i n-indligud”; in paragraph 219 it has the correct reading “éiric”, and for “dithechte” it reads “ditheacht”; in paragraph 220 it reads “fri aroile” for “fria céile”; in paragraph 223 after “ile” it adds “imchiana”; in paragraph 224 it reads “grís brond .i. galar”; in paragraph 229 for “meraichne” it has “mearaigheacht”; in paragraph 235 it has “mhamus” for “mám”; in paragraph 236 “Maig Hi” for “Maig Lii”; and for “co ndeirgenai in dam de” it reads “co nderna in dam fria”.

Another copy, written in 1836 by Peter O'Longan, formerly in the possession of the Earls of Crawford, now belongs to the Rylands Library, Manchester, where it was found by Professor Strachan, who kindly copied a page or two for me. It is evidently a very corrupt copy which I have not thought worth the trouble of collating.

Lastly, there is in the Advocates' Library a copy in a vellum manuscript marked Kilbride III. It begins on fo. 9b2 as follows:—“Treching breath annso. Ceann Eirind Ardmacha.” I hope to collate it before long, and give some account of it in the next number of this series.

In all these manuscripts the Triads either follow upon, or precede, or are incorporated in the collections of maxims and proverbial sayings known as Tecosca Cormaic, Auraicept Morainn, and Senbríathra Fíthil, the whole forming a body of early Irish gnomic literature which deserves editing in its entirety. It is clear, however, that the Triads do not originally belong to any of these texts. They had a separate origin, and form a collection by themselves. This is also shown by the fact that the Book of Leinster, the oldest manuscript containing the Tecosca Cormaic  p.viii (pp. 343a–345b), the Senbríathra Fíthail (pp. 345b–346a), and the Bríathra Moraind (pp. 346a–b), does not include them.

It is but a small portion of the large number of triads scattered throughout early Irish literature that has been brought together in our collection under the title of Trecheng breth Féne, i.e., literally “a triadic arrangement of the sayings of Irishmen.” I first drew attention to the existence of Irish triads in a note on Irish proverbs in my edition of the Battle of Ventry, p. 85, where a few will be found quoted. A complete collection of them would fill a small volume, especially if it were to include those still current among the people of Ireland, both among Gaelic and English speakers. I must content myself here with giving a few specimens taken at random from my own collections:—

  • Three kinds of martyrdom that are counted as a cross to man, i.e. white martyrdom, green martyrdom, and red martyrdom.—The Cambray Homily (Thesaurus Palæohibernicus, II., p. 246).
  • Three enemies of the soul: the world, the devil, and an impious teacher.—Colman maccu Beognae's Alphabet of Piety (Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, III., p. 452).
  • Three things whereby the devil shows himself in man: by his face, by his gait, by his speech.—Ib., p. 453.
  • Three profitable labours in the day: praying, working, reading.—Regula Choluimb Cille (Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, III., p. 29).
  • Three laymen of Ireland who became monks: Beccan son of Cula, Mochu son of Lonan, and Enda of Arann.—Notes on the Félire of Oengus (Henry Bradshaw Society, vol. xxix., p. 112).
  • Three chief artisans of Ireland: Tassach with Patrick, Conlaed with Brigit, and Daig with Ciaran.—Ib., p. 186.
  • Three poets of the world: Homer of the Greeks, Vergil of the Latins, Ruman of the Gaels.—Book of Leinster, p. 354b.
  • The three worst counsels that have been acted on in Ireland through the advice of saints: the cutting short of Ciaran's  p.ix life, the banishment of Colum Cille, the expulsion of Mochuta from Rathen.—Notes on the Félire of Oengus, p. 204, and Tripartite Life, p. 557. 3
  • Three things there are for which the Son of living God is not grateful: haughty piety, harsh reproof, reviling a person if it is not certain. 4
  • Three things there are for which the King of the sun is grateful: union of brethren, upright conversation, serving at the altar of God. 5
  • Woe to the three folk in horrid hell of great blasts: folk who practise poetry, folk who violate their orders, mercenaries. 6
  • Three things there are which do not behove the poor of living God: ingratitude for his life whatever it be, grumbling, and flattery. 7

The following modern triads I owe to a communication from Dr. P. W. Joyce, who heard them in his youth among the people of Limerick:—

  • Three things to be distrusted: a cow's horn, a dog's tooth, and a horse's hoof.
  • Three disagreeable things at home: a scolding wife, a squalling child, and a smoky chimney.
  •  p.x
  • The three finest sights in the world: a field of ripe wheat, a ship in full sail, and the wife of a Mac Donnell with child. 8

In our collection an arrangement of the Triads in certain groups, according to their contents, is discernible. Thus, the first sixty-one—of which, however, the opening thirty-one are no Triads at all—are all topographical; and among the rest, those dealing with legal matters stand out clearly (paragraphs 149–172).

When the collection was made we have no means of ascertaining, except from internal evidence, such as the age of the language, and a few allusions to events, the date of which we can approximately fix.

The language of the Triads may be described as late Old-Irish. Their verbal system indeed is on the whole that of the Continental glosses, 9 and would forbid us to put them later than the year 900. On the other hand, the following peculiarities in declension, in which all the manuscripts agree, make it impossible for us to put them much earlier than the second half of the ninth century.

The genitive singular of i- and u-stems no longer shows the ending -o, which has been replaced throughout by -a. 10 Now, in the Annals of Ulster, which are a sure guide in these matters and allow us to follow the development of the language from century to century, this genitive in -o is found for the last time in A.D. 816 (“rátho, Ailello”). Thence onward the ending -a is always found.

The place-name “Lusca”, “Lusk,” is originally an n-stem making its genitive “Luscan”. This is the regular form in the Annals of Ulster till the year 880, from which date onward it  p.xi is always “Lusca” (A.D. 916, 928, &c.). In our text (paragraph 46) all the manuscripts read “Lusca”.

In slender io-stems the dative singular in Old-Irish ends in -iu. I find this form in the Annals of Ulster for the last time in A.D. 816 (Gertidiu). Thence onward it is always -i, as in our text (hi Cúailgni 43, d'uisci 64).

The nasal stem léimm makes its nom. plur. léimmen in Old-Irish. In paragraph 32 we find instead (tair-)leme. So also foimrimm makes its nom. plural foimrimme in paragraph 163.

The word dorus is neuter in Old-Irish, making its nom. acc. plural either dorus or doirsea. In our text (paragraphs 173, 174) the word is masculine, and makes its nom. plural doruis.

Druimm is an i-stem in Old-Irish, but in the later language passes into an n-stem. In paragraph 51 we find the nom. pl. drommanna.

The neuter grád in paragraph 166 makes its nom. plur. grúda for O. Ir. grád. 11

On linguistic grounds, then, I should say that our collection was made some time during the second half of the ninth century. That it cannot be dated earlier is also apparent from another consideration. Professor Zimmer has taught us to search in every ancient Irish text for indications of its having been composed either before or after the Viking period. I find no words from the Norse language in the Triads, or, if there are any, they have escaped me; but there are two distinct references to the Viking age. In paragraph 232, a Viking in his hauberk (Gall ina lúirig) is mentioned as one of three that are hardest to talk to; and, in paragraph 44, Bangor in Co. Down is called unlucky or unfortunate, no doubt, as the gloss says, because of the repeated plunderings and destruction of its monastery by the Norse during the early part of the ninth century (A.D. 823, 824).


In endeavouring to trace the origin of the Triad as a form of literary composition among the Irish, one must remember that it is but one of several similar enumerative sayings common in Irish literature. Thus the collection here printed contains three duads (124. 133. 134), seven tetrads (223. 230. 234. 244. 248. 251. 252), and one heptad (235). A whole Irish law-book is composed in the form of heptads; 12 while triads, tetrads, &c., occur in every part of the Laws. 13 Such schematic arrangements were of course a great aid to memory.

If the Triad stood alone, the idea that it owes its origin to the effect of the doctrine of the Trinity upon the Celtic imagination might reasonably be entertained. The fact that this doctrine has led to many peculiar phenomena in Irish folklore, literature, and art has frequently been pointed out. Nor would I deny that the sacred character of the number three, together with the greater facility of composition, may have contributed to the popularity of the Triad, which is certainly the most common among the various numerical sayings as well as the only one that has survived to the present day.

However that may be, I believe that the model upon which the Irish triads, tetrads, pentads, &c., were formed is to be sought in those enumerative sayings—Zahlensprüche, as the German technical term is—of Hebrew poetry to be found in several books of the Old Testament. I am indebted to my friend the Rev. Carl Grüneisen for the following list of such sayings, which I quote in the Vulgate version.



(Ecclus. 23: 21,)‘Duo genera abundant in peccatis, et tertium adducit iram et perditionem, &c.’

(Ib. 26: 25,)‘In duobus contristatum est cor meum, et in tertio iracundia mihi advenit: 26 vir bellator deficiens per inopiam, et vir sensatus contemptus, 27 et qui transgreditur a iustitia ad peccatum, Deus paravit eum ad romphaeam.’

(Ib. 26: 28, )‘Duae species difficiles et periculosae mihi apparuerunt: difficile exuitur negotians a neglegentia, et non iustificabitur caupo a peccatis labiorum.’


(Proverb. 30: 15,)‘Tria sunt insaturabilia, et quartum quod nunquam dicit: sufficit. 16 Inferuns, et os vulvae, et terra quae non satiatur aqua; ignis vero nunquam dicit: sufficit.’

(Ib. 30: 18,)‘Tria sunt difficilia mihi, et quartum penitus ignoro: 19 viam aquilae in caelo, viam colubri super petram, viam navis in medio mari, et viam viri in adolescentia.’

(Ib. 30: 21,)‘Per tria movetur terra, et quartum non potest sustinere: 22 per servum cum regnaverit: per stultum cum saturatus fuerit cibo, 23 per odiosam mulierem cum in matrimonio fuerit assumpta, et per ancillam cum fuerit heres dominae suae.’

(Ib. 30: 29,)‘Tria sunt quae bene gradiuntur, et quartum quod incedit feliciter: 30 leo fortissimus bestiarum, ad nullius pavebit occursum, 31 gallus succinctus lumbos, et aries, nec est rex qui resistat ei.’

(Ecclus. 26: 5,)‘A tribus timuit cor meum, et in quarto facies mea metuit: 6 delaturam civitatis, et collectionem populi, 7 calumniam mendacem, super montem, omnia gravia, 8 dolor cordis et luctus mulier zelotypa.’



(Proverb. 30, 24,)‘Quattuor sunt minima terrae, et ipsa sunt sapientiora sapientibus: 25 formicae, populus infirmus qui praeparat in messe cibum sibi, 26 lepusculus, plebs invalida qui collocat in petra cubile suum.’


(Proverb. 6. 16,)‘Sex sunt quae odit Dominus, et septimum detestatur anima eius: 17 oculos sublimes, linguam mendacem, manus effundentes innoxium sanguinem, 18 cor machinans cogitationes pessimas, pedes veloces ad currendum in malum, 19 proferentem mendacia testem fallacem, et eum qui seminat intra fratres discordias.’


(Ecclus. 25, 9,)‘Novem insuspicabilia cordis magnificavi, et decimum dicam in lingua hominibus, &c.’

The question arises whether these biblical sayings were the direct source from which the Irish imitations are derived, or whether the Irish became acquainted with the numerical Proverb through the medium of Greek and Latin literature. As the Irish clerics ever since the days of St. Patrick were diligent students of the Bible, there would be nothing strange in the former assumption. But there exists at least one early document which renders the latter equally possible. Under the title of Proverbia Grecorum we possess a collection of sayings translated by some Irish scholar in Ireland from the Greek into Latin before the seventh century. 14 Among them we find three triads, 15 two pentads, 16 three heptads, 17 and two octads. 18


As examples I select the following two triads:—

Tres bacheriosi(?) sunt: terribilis bellator armatus promptusque ad praelium, leo de spelunca quando praedam devorat, aper ferus de silva quando furore in aliquem irruit.

Tres sunt imperfecti qui numquam ad perfectionem vitae disciplinae pervenire possunt; tunc enim a vitiis recedunt, quando mala facere non possunt. Antiquus nauta qui multis annis seductis omnibus emere et vendere poterat; senex auriga qui in curribus et in equis Deo derelicto vana cura atque conversatione meditatur atque utitur; vetula ancilla quae dominae suae subdole in omnibus rebus quae cottidiano ministerio perficiuntur male retribuit.

Triads occur sporadically in the literature of most other nations, and have occasionally been collected. But I am not aware that this kind of composition has ever attained the same popularity elsewhere as in Wales and Ireland, where the manufacture of triads seems at times almost to have become a sport.

The wittiest triads are undoubtedly those in which the third item contains an anticlimax. Two perfect examples of this kind were composed by Heine when he tells the foreigner visiting Germany that he need but know three words of the language: Brot, Kuss, Ehre; and in his often quoted witticism: “Der Franzose liebt die Freiheit wie seine Braut, der Engländer wie seine Frau, der Deutsche wie seine alte Grossmutter.”

K. M.


Edited by Kuno Meyer



[1] Cenn Hérenn Ardmacha.

[2] Ordan Hérenn Clúain Maic Nóis.

[3] Ana Hérenn Clúain Iraird.

[4] Cride Hérenn Cell Dara.

[5] Sruithe Hérenn Bendchor.

[6] Cóemna Hérenn Lusca.

[7] Áinius Hérenn Cenannus.

[8] Dí súil Hérenn Tamlachta ⁊ Findglais .

[9] X Tech commairce Hérenn Tech Cairnig for sligid Assail.

[10] Idna Hérenn Inis Cathaig.

[11] Reclés Hérenn Glenn Dá Locha.

[12] Féinechas Hérenn Clúain Húama.

[13] Tech Foichle Hérenn Fernæ

[14] Litánacht Hérenn Less Mór.

[15] Senchas Hérenn Imblech Ibair.

[16] Bérla Féine Hérenn Corcach.

[17] Légend Hérenn Ross Ailithre .

[18] Téite Hérenn Tír Dá Glas.

[19] Anmchairde Hérenn Clúain Ferta Brénainn .

[20] Escaine Hérenn Lothra.

[21] Brethemnas Hérenn Sláine.

[22] Dúire chrábaid Hérenn Fobur Féichín .

[23] Áibne Hérenn Ard mBreccáin.

[24] Diúite Hérenn Ross Commáin.

[25] Fáilte Hérenn Ráith mBoth nó Druimm Lethan.

[26] Deserc Hérenn Dún Dá Lethglas.


[27] Trichtach Hérenn Dairchaill .

[28] Fossugiud Hérenn Mag mBile .

[29] Martra Hérenn Tulen .

[30] Ailbéimm Hérenn Cell Rúaid .

[31] Genas Hérenn Lann Ela.

[32] THBrí tairleme Érenn: Daire Calgaig ⁊ Tech Munna ⁊ Cell Maignenn .

[33] Trí aithechpuirt Hérenn: Clúain Iraird, Glenn Dá Locha, Lugbad .

[34] Trí clochraid Hérenn: Aird Macha, Clúain Maic Nóis, Cell Dara.

[35] Trí háenaig Hérenn: áenach Tailten, áenach Crúachan, áenach Colmáin Ela.

[36] Trí dúine Hérenn: Dún Sobairche, Dún Cermna, Cathair Chonrúi.

[37] Trí slébe Hérenn: Slíab Cúa, Slíab Mis, Slíab Cúalann.

[38] Trí haird Hérenn: Crúachán Aigli, Ae Chúalann , Benn mBoirchi.

[39] Trí locha Hérenn: Loch nEchach, Loch , Loch nErni.

[40] Trí srotha Hérenn: Sinann, Bóand, Banda.

[41] Trí machaire Hérenn: Mag Midi, Mag Line, Mag Lifi.

[42] Trí dorcha Hérenn: úam Chnogba úam Slángæ dercc Ferna 19.

[43] Trí díthruib Hérenn: Fid Mór hi Cúailgni, Fid Déicsen hi Tuirtri, Fid Moithre hi Connachtaib.

[44] Trí dotcaid Hérenn: abbdaine Bendchuir, abbdaine Lainne Ela , ríge Mugdorn Maigen.


[45] Trí huilc Hérenn: Crecraigi , Glasraigi, Benntraigi.

[46] Trí cáemnai Hérenn: abbdaine Liusca, ríge trí Cúalann , secnabbóite Arda Macha .

[47] Trí trága Hérenn: Tráig Ruis Airgit, Tráig Ruis Téiti, Tráig Baili.

[48] Trí hátha Hérenn: Áth Clíath, Áth Lúain, Áth Caille.

[49] Trí sligid Hérenn: slige Dála, slige Asail, slige Midlúachra.

[50] Trí belaige Hérenn: Belach Conglais , Belach Luimnig , Belach Duiblinne .i. Átha Clíath .

[51] Trí drommanna Hérenn: Druimm Fingin, Druimm nDrobeoil, Druimm Leithe.

[52] Trí maige Hérenn: Mag mBreg, Mag Crúachan, Mac Liphi .

[53] Trí clúana Hérenn: Clúain Maic Nóis, Clúain Eois, Clúain Iraird.

[54] Trí tellaige Hérenn: tellach Temrach, tellach Caisil, tellach Crúachan .

[55] Trí hessa Hérenn: Ess Rúaid, Ess Danainne, Ess Maige.

[56] Trí fothirbi Hérenn: Tír Rátha Laidcniáin, Slíab Commáin, Slíab Mancháin .

[57] Trí tiprata Hérenn: Tipra na nDési, Tipra Húarbeoil, Tipra Úaráin Garaid .

[58] Trí haimréide Hérenn : Breifne, Bairenn , Bérre .

[59] Trí hinbera Hérenn: Inber na mBárc, Inber Féile, Inber Túaige.

[60] Trí hairderca Hérenn: Léimm Conculaind, Dún Cáin, Srub Brain.


[61] Trí gnátha Hérenn: Tráig , Lúachair Dedad, Slíab Fúait.

[62] Trí hamrai la Táin Bó Cúailnge: .i. in cuilmen dara héisi i nÉrinn; in marb dia haisnéis don bíu .i. Fergus mac Róig dia hinnisin do Ninníne éicius i n-aimsir Corbmaic maic Fáeláin: intí dia n-aisnéther, coimge bliadna dó .

[63] Trí meinistri fer Féne: .i. cích, grúad, glún.

[64] Trí dotcaid duine: deog therc d'uisci, ítu i cormthig, suide cumang for achad.


[65] Trí dotcaid threbtha: gort salach, iarmur cléithe, tech drithlennach.

[66] Trí hairgarta ecalse: caillech fri clocc, athláech i n-apdaine , banna for altóir .

[67] Trí fáilti co n-íarduibi: fer tochmairc , fer gaite, fer aisnéise .

[68] Trí bróin ata ferr fáilti: brón treóit oc ithe messa, brón guirt apaig , brón feda fo mess .

[69] Trí fáilti ata messu brón: fáilti fir íar ndiupairt , fáilti fir íar luga eithig , fáilti fir íar fingail .

[70] Trí fiada co n-aṅfiad : gréss i n-óentig fri muintir, uisce rothé dar cosa , bíad goirt cen dig .

[71] Trí dotcaid maic athaig: clemnas fri hócthigern , gabáil for tascor ríg, commaid fri meirlechu.

[72] Trí dotcaid threbairi: tarcud do drochmnái, fognam do drocḣflaith , cóemchlód fri drocḣferann .

[73] Trí búada trebairi : tarcud do degmnái, fognam do deġflaith , cóemchlód fri daġferann .


[74] Trí hóenaig eserte : célide hi tig gobann, célide hi tig sáir, dul do chennuch cen áirche .

[75] Trí cóil ata ferr folongat in mbith : cóil srithide hi folldeirb , cóil foichne for tuinn, cóil snáithe dar dorn dagmná.

[76] Trí duirn ata dech for bith : dorn degsáir, dorn degmná, dorn deggobann .

[77] Tréde conaittig fírinne: mess, tomus, cubus.

[78] Tréde conaittig brethemnas: gáis, féige, fiss.

[79] Trí túarascbála étraid: osnad , cluiche, céilide. 21

[80] Tréde ara carthar escara: máin, cruth, innraccus.

[81] Tréde ara miscnigther cara: fogal , dognas, dímainche .

[82] Trí buirb in betha: óc contibi sen, slán contibi galarach , gáeth contibi báeth .

[83] Trí buidir in betha: robud do throich, airchisecht fri faigdech , cosc mná báithe do drúis .

[84] Trí cáin docelat éitchi : sobés la anricht , áne la dóer, ecna la dodelb .

[85] Trí héitich docelat cáin: bó binnech cen as, ech án amlúath, sodelb cen tothucht.

[86] Trí óible adannat seirc : gnúis, alaig , erlabra.

[87] Trí haithne co fomailt : aithne mná, aithne eich, aithne salainn .

[88] Trí búada téiti : ben cháem, ech maith, cú lúath.

[89] Trí ségainni Hérenn : fáthrann , adbann a cruit , berrad aigthe .


[90] Trí comartha clúanaigi : búaidriud scél, cluiche tenn , abucht co n-imdergad .

[91] Trí gena ata messu brón: gen snechta oc legad, gen do mná frit íar mbith ̇fir aili lé, gen chon ̇foilmnich .

[92] Trí báis ata ferr bethaid : bás iach, bás muicce méithe, bás foglada 22.

[93] Trí húathaid ata ferr sochaidi: úathad dagbríathar , úathad bó hi feór, úathad carat im chuirm.

[94] Trí brónaig choirmthige: fer dogní fleid , fer dia ndéntar, fer ibes menip sáithech .

[95] Trí cuitbidi in domain: fer lonn, fer étaid, fer díbech.

[96] Trí cuil túaithe: flaith brécach, breithem gúach, sacart colach .

[97] Trí fuiric thige degduni : cuirm, fothrucud, tene mór.

[98] Trí fuiric thige drochduni: debuid ar do chinn, athchosan frit, a chú dot gabáil .

[99] Trí gretha tige degláich: grith fodla , grith suide , grith coméirge.

[100] Trí dorchæ ná dlegat mná do imthecht : dorcha cíach, dorcha aidche, dorcha feda.

[101] Trí sailge boccachta: imgellad , immarbág, imreson .

[102] Trí airisena boccachta: sírchéilide, sírdécsain, síriarfaige .


[103] Trí comartha meraigi : slicht a chíre ina ̇folt , slicht a ̇fíacal ina chuit , slicht a luirge ina diaid .

[104] Trí máidme clúanaigi : ató ar do scáth, rosaltrus fort , rot-fliuchus com étach .

[105] Trí bí focherdat marbdili: oss foceird a congna, fid foceird a duille, cethra focerdat a mbréṅfinda .

[106] Trí scenb Hérenn: Tulach na nEpscop, Ached Déo, Duma mBúirig .

[107] Trí hingnad Hérenn: lige inn abaic, lige nEothuili, allabair i foccus .

[108] Trí daurthige Hérenn: daurthech Birra, daurthech Clúana Eidnech, daurthech Leithglinde .

[109] Trí hingena berta miscais do míthocod : labra, lesca , anidna . 23

[110] Trí hingena berta seirc do cháintocud : túa, éscuss, idnæ .

[111] Trí túa ata ferr labra : túa fri forcital, túa fri hairfitiud, túa fri procept .

[112] Trí labra ata ferr túa: ochán ríg do chath, sreth immais , molad iar lúag .

[113] Trí hailgesa étúalaing .i. éirg cen co dechais , tuc cenitbé, déna ceni derna .

[114] Trí hamaite bíte i ndrochthig óiged .i. sentrichem sen-chaillige , roschaullach ingine móile, sirite gillai .

[115] Trí hairig na ndúalche: sant, cráes, étrad.


[116] Tréde neimthigedar crossán: rige óile, rige théighe, rige bronn.

[117] Tréde neimthigedar círmaire: coimrith fri coin hic cosnum chnáma, adarc reithi do dírgud dia anáil cen tenid, dichetal for ochtraig co rathochra a mbí ina íchtur for a úachtar do chȯngna ⁊ cnámaib ⁊ adarcaib .

[118] Tréde nemthigedar sáer: dlúthud cen fomus, cen fescred, lúd lúadrinna, béimm fo chommus .

[119] TTréde neimthigedar liaig: dígallræ, díainme, comchissi cen ainchiss .

[120] Tréde neimthigedar gobainn: bir Neithin, fulacht na Morrígna, inneóin in Dagda .

[121] Tréde neimthigedar cerdai: fige ronn, cær comraic, plett for fæbur .

[122] Tréde neimthigedar cruitire: golltraige, gentraige, súantraige .

[123] Tréde neimthigedar filid: immass forosna, teinm læda, dichetal di chennaib .

[124] Dá mígairm míthocaid: commáidem do chétguine, do ben la fer n-aile .

[125] Teora airisena iarnduba : comar, cocless , clemnas.

[126] Trí bainne cétmuintire: bainne fola, bainne dér, bainne aillse.

[127] Trí coiri bíte in cach dúini: coire érma, coire goriath , coire áiged .


[128] Trí comartha láthraig bendachtan : clocc, salm, senad .

[129] Trí comartha láthraig mallachtan : tromm, tradna , nenaid .

[130] Teora muimmecha táide : caill , coim, adaig.

[131] Teora ranna sluinte fri cáintocad : trumma, toicthiu , tal-chaire.

[132] Teora ranna sluinte dotcaid : tlás, áes, airbire .

[133] Dí derbsiair : tlás ⁊ trúaige .

[134] Dá derbráthair : tocad ⁊ brugaide .

[135] Trí fuidb dotcadaig : ráthaiges, etargaire, fiadnaise. Dotoing dia fiadnaisi , íccaid dia ráthaiges, doberar béimm n-etar-gaire ina chinn .

[136] Trí sethracha góa: béss, dóig, toimtiu .

[137] Trí bráthair uamain : sta! sit! coiste!

[138] Trí mairb fortgellat for bíu : med, airmed , forrach .

[139] Trí brothcháin rátha : rothicc , rosiacht, rotochtaig .

[140] Trí dubthrebtha: tuga co fúatchai, imme co foṙngaire, tírad co n-aurgorad.

[141] Trí hiarnduba: fer tochmairc , fer gaite meirle, fer hic aisnéis .

[142] Trí maic beres drús do lonnus : tuilféth , fidchell, dulsaine .

[143] Trí maic beres féile do ainmnit : grúss, rúss, rucca .

[144] Trí maic beres neóit do deinmnait : crith, dochell, grith .

[145] Trí húar fíchte: tipra, muir, núæ corma.

[146] Trí fúammann móaigthe : fúam bó mblecht , fúam cerdchæ, fúam arathair.


[147] Trí hana antreinn: tipra i sléib, tene a liic , ana la fer calad .

[148] Trí aithgine in domuin: brú mná , uth bó, ness gobann.

[149] Trí diubarta forsná íada dílse: tinnscra mná, imthomailt lánamna, iarraid maicc .

[150] Trí cuir tintaiter do réir britheman: cor mná ⁊ micc ⁊ bothaich.

[151] Trí natat túalaing sainchuir: mac beo-athar, ben aurnadma, dóer flatha.

[152] Trí maic nad rannat orbai: mac muini ⁊ aurlai ⁊ ingine fo thrilis.

[153] Trí ái nad eplet faill: ái dochuind , ⁊ dochraite , ⁊ anfis.

[154] Trí fuile dlegat frecor: fuil catha, ⁊ eóit, ⁊ etargaire .

[155] Trí fuchachta nad increnat slabrai : a gabáil ar écin, a sleith tri mescai, a turtugud do ríg.

[156] Trí ná dlegat turbaidi : athchor maic, aicdi cherdai , gíallaigecht.

[157] Trí aithne ná dlegat taisec : aithne n-écuind , ⁊ ardneimid ⁊ aithne fuirmeda .

[158] Trí mairb direnaiter beoaib : aball, coll, fidnemed.

[159] Tríarditoing ná fortongar : ben, angar, amlabar .

[160] Trí ná dlegat athchommus: mac ⁊ a athair, ben ⁊ a céile, dóer ⁊ a thigerna.

[161] Trí nát fuigletar cia beith ar a ngáes: fer adgair ⁊ adgairther ⁊ focrenar fri breith.

[162] Trí fors ná tuit aititiu 'na ré: bás, anfis, anfaitches .


[163] Trí foimrimme ná dlegad díre: homan, robud , toxal.

[164] Trí duilgine conrannat gníaid : duilgine coiri, duilgine muilinn, duilgine tige.

[165] Trí nóill doná dlegar frithnóill: nóill mná fri húaitni, nóill fir mairb, nóill díthir . 24

[166] Trí gráda coillte túath ina ngói : gói ríg, gói senchada, gói bretheman.

[167] Trí sóir dogníat dóeru díb féin : tigerna renas a déiss , rígan téite co haithech, mac filed léces a cheird .

[168] Trí ruip conberat duinechinaid: cú áraig , reithe lonn, ech daintech .

[169] Trí ruip ara tíagat cinta: cú foilmnech, sleg caille, slissén chomneibi.

[170] Trí imuscrenat: saill , imm, iarn , fechemnas toisc leimmid eicsi .

[171] Trí comartha : ecna, aisnéis, intlecht .

[172] Trí dlegat aurfocrai : aél coire, fidba cen seim, ord cen dimosc .

[173] Trí doruis gúa: tacra fergach, fotha n-utmall n-eolais, aisnéis cen chuimni .

[174] Trí doruis a n-aichnither fír : frecra n-ainmnetach , ái fossad, sóud fri fíadnu.

[175] Trí búada airechta: brithem cen fúasnad , etirchert cen écnach, coma cen diupairt.

[176] Trí tonna cen gáissi : tacra calad, breth cen eolas, airecht labar.

[177] Trí búada insci : fosta, gáis , gairde.

[178] Trí cumtaig gáisse: immed n-eolais, lín fássach , dagaigni do airbirt.


[179] Trí miscena indsci : rigne , dlúithe, dulbaire.

[180] Trí fostai dagbanais: fosta thengad ⁊ gensa ⁊ airnberntais .

[181] Trí fóindil drochbanais: fóindil scél ⁊ ataid ⁊ airberntais .

[182] Trí búada étaig: maisse, clithcha , suthaine.

[183] Trí ná dlegat othras: fer aslúi flaith ⁊ fini ⁊ fili .

[184] Trí tharsuinn archuillet othras : echmuir, mil, saillti.

[185] Trí mná ná dlegat díri: ben lasma cuma cipé las fái , ben gatach, ben aupthach .

[186] Trí dofortat cach flaith : góu, forsnaidm, fingal.

[187] Trí túarascbait cach ngenmnaide: fosta , féile, sobraide.

[188] Trí ara n-aichnider cach fergach: ír , crith, imbánad.

[189] Trí thúarascbait cach n-ainmnetach: sámtha , túa , imdercad.

[190] Trí thúarascbait cach n-úallach: mórthu , maisse, máine.

[191] Trí forindet cach n-umal: bochtatu , dinnime, humallóit.

[192] Trí airdi gáisse: ainmne, faiscsiu, fáthaige .

[193] Trí airdi drúisse: bág, imresain, condailbe .

[194] Tréde immifoilnge gáis do báeth: ecna, fosta, sochoisce.

[195] Tréde immifoilnge báis do gáeth: fúasnad, ferg, mesca.

[196] Tréde faillsiges cach ndaġferas : dán, gaisced, crésine .

[197] Tréde faillsigedar cach ndrocḣferas : serba, miscais, midlachas.

[198] Trí foglúaiset fóenledchu : ingreim, dolud , dommatu.


[199] Trí slabrada hi cumregar clóine: cotach, ríagail, rechtge .

[200] Trí all frisa timargar béscna: mainister , flaith , fine.

[201] Trí caindle forosnat cach ndorcha: fír, aicned, ecna.

[202] Tréde neimthigedar ríg : fonaidm ruirech, feis Temrach, roimse inna flaith.

[203] Trí glais foríadat rúine : náire, túa, dochta.

[204] Trí heochracha aroslicet imráitiu : mescca, tairisiu, serc.

[205] Trí orbai rannaiter fiad chomarbaib : orba drúith ⁊ orba dásachtaig ⁊ orba sin.

[206] Trí seithir óited: tol , áilde, féile.

[207] Trí seithir sentad: cnet, genas, éitche.

[208] Trí seithir sognáise: feidle, soithnges, cuinnmíne .

[209] Trí seithir dognáise: luinne, cétludche , tairismige.

[210] Trí seithir sotcaid : sognas , sochell, súarcus.

[211] Trí seithir sochlatad: léire, trebaire, rathmaire.

[212] Trí seithir dochlatad : laxa, díbe, prapchaillte.

[213] Trí seithir ferge: écnach, augra, doithnges .

[214] Trí seithir deirmiten: tromdatu, espatu, utmaille.

[215] Trí seithir airmiten: torbatu, airétrumma, fosta.

[216] Trí banlæ : lúan, mairt, cétáin. Mná co firu innib, bid mó a serc la firu indá serc a fer leo-som ⁊ beit a mná tar éis na fer sin.

[217] Trí ferlæ: .i. dardáin, áine, domnach . Mná co firu intib , beitit na mná sin fo dígrad ⁊ beitit a fir dia n-éisi . Satharn immorro is laithe coitchenn. Is comlíth dóib. Lúan sáer do dul fri cach les.

[218] Trí gníma rátha : fosta, féile, lobra . Fosta i n-árus , féile, arná ebra góe , lobra hícce .i. lécud a lomartha i n-indligud dar a fechimain .


[219] Trí brothcháin rátha: éiric nó thogním fecheman no díthechte .

[220] Trí húais rátha ⁊ aitiri nadma .i. dul fri dénam dúine ríg ⁊ daurthaige ⁊ choiri. Ar is úais do fir fine do thabairt fria céili .

[221] Trí as anergnaid do neoch: slaide a eich ríana thigerna co salaig a étach, dul ina chocar cen gairm, a sírdéicsiu ina agaid oc caithem neich .

[222] Trí bassa téchtai: bass etir a assa ⁊ a ochrai, bass etir a ó ⁊ a berrad, bass etir chorthair a léined ⁊ a glún.

[223] Cia mesam hi trebod? Maic mná méile, fleda menci, clemna ile , immat meda sceo fína: notchrínat, ní thormaiget 25.

[224] Trí galair ata ferr slainti: seola mná for mac , gríss bronn-galair glanas broinn, gríss timgaire olc dia maith .

[225] Trí fáilti coirmthige: immed ⁊ dúthracht ⁊ elathó .

[226] Trí fognama ata messam dogní duine: fognam do drochmnái ⁊ do drochthigerna ⁊ do drochgobainn.

[227] Trí ata ferr i tig: daim , fir, béla.

[228] Trí ata messum i tig: maic , mná, méile.

[229] Trí comartha tirdachta .i. immargal ⁊ immarbág ⁊ meraichne .

[230] Cenéle amus: salanaig buale ⁊ buicc brodnai ⁊ eóin erchoille ⁊ seiche corad .

[231] Cenéle dáileman: mórmenmnach meda , bolcsrónach brocóiti, itfa eserni , cúacroessach , donndabach, bolcra paitte , abartach escrai , geir grainne , cranndretel cuirn .


[232] Trí as anso bís do accallaim .i. imma gabáil ⁊ Gall ina lúirig ⁊ athech do muin commairchi .

[233] Trí as mó menma bís .i. scolóc iar légad a salm ⁊ gilla íar lécud a erraid úad ⁊ ingen íar ndénam mná dí

[234] Cetharda forná bí cosc ríagail .i. gilla sacairt ⁊ cú muill-eórach ⁊ mac bantrebthaige ⁊ gamain gamnaige .

[235] Trí húais dóib: dul ar ríg nó úasal nemid , ar is lethiu enech ríg aidbriud ; dul fri cath, ar ní túalaing nech glinni fri cath acht ríg lasmbíat secht túatha foa mám ; dul fri cim-midecht acht nech lasa mbí mug dóer . Secht n-aurgarta dóib : dul ar deoraid, ar drúth ⁊ ar dásachtach , ar díaraig, ar angar, ar éconn, ar essconn. Imnedach dano cach ráth , ar is écen dí díanapud im cach ngell dobeir , aill riam, aill íarum.

[236] Trí hamra Glinne Dalláin i tír Eogain: torcc Dromma Leithe, is ass rochin ⁊ is dó-side foṙféimid Finn ní, co torchair imMaig Lii la aithech búi hic tírad, ut dixit Finn: Ní mad biadsam ar cono. ní mad ríadsam ar n-echa tan is aithechán átha. romarb torcc Dromma Letha . Míl Leittreach Dalláin, cenn duine fair, dénam builc gobann olchena .i. ech usci robói isind loch i tóeb na cille, is hé dochúaid ar ingin in tsacairt co ndergene in míl frie . Dam Dili in tres ingnad. Asind loch cétna táinic a athair co ndechaid for boin do búaib in brugad robói i fail na cille, co ndeirgenai in dam de .


[237] Trí hamra Connacht: lige nÉothaili 'na thrácht. Comard hé frisin trácht . Intan atraig in muir, comard hé fria lán. Dirna (.i. cloch) in Dagdai, cia fochertar im-muir cia berthair , hi tech fo glass , dodeime a tiprait oca mbí ; In dá chorr i n-Inis Cathaig , nocha légat corra aili leo inna n-insi ⁊ téit in banchorr isin fairrgi síardo duth , co tóet cona heisínib essi ⁊ nocon fagbat curaig eolus cia airm in doithi .

[238] Trí luchra ata mesa: luchra tuinde, luchra mná bóithe, luchra con foléimnige .

[239] Cisne trí ana soitcedach? Ní handsa són. Immarchor erlam, cuirm cen árus, cummairce for sét.

[240] Trí maic beres genas do gáis: gal, gart, gaire.

[241] Trí airfite dála: drúth , fuirsire, oirce.

[242] Trí ata ferr do ̇flaith: fír, síth, slóg.

[243] Trí ata mesa do ̇flaith: lén, brath, míairle.

[244] Ceithre báis breithe: a breith i ngó, a breith cen dílse , a breith cen ailig, a breith cen forus.

[245] Trí adcoillet gáis: anfis , doas , díchuimne.

[246] Trí muime ordain : delb cháin , cuimne maith, creisine.

[247] Trí muime menman: sotla , suirge, mesce.

[248] Cetheora miscne flatha: .i. fer báeth utmall, fer dóer dímáin, fer gúach esindraic, fer labor dísceoil; ar ní tabair labrai acht do chethrur: .i. fer cerda fri háir ⁊ molad, fer coimgni cuimnech fri haisnéis ⁊ scélugud, brethem fri bretha, sencha fri senchas.

[249] Trí dorcha in betha: aithne, ráthaiges, altrom.


[250] Trí urgarta bíd: a chaithem cen altugud, a chaithem d'éis óiged , a chaithem réna thráth cóir .

[251] Cetheora aipgitre gáise: ainmne, somnathe, sobraide , sothnges ; ar is gáeth cach ainmnetach ⁊ sái cach somnath , fairsing cach sobraid, sochoisc cach sothengtha.

[252] Cetheora aipgitre báise: báithe, condailbe, imresan, doingthe.

[253] Teora sírechta flatha: cuirmthech cen aisnéis, buiden cen erdonail , dírim cen chona.

[254] Trí indchoisc ordain do duine: .i. sodelb, sáire, sulbaire .

[255] Trí gúala doná fess fudomain : gúala flatha, gúala ecalse, gúala nemid filed.

[256] Trí féich nach dlegar faill : féich thíre, duilgine achaid , argius aiste.

Document details

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Title statement

Title (uniform): The Triads of Ireland

Author: unknown

Editor: Kuno Meyer

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled by: Emer Purcell

Proof corrections by: Emer Purcell and Hilary Lavelle

Second draft revised and enlarged by: Beatrix Färber

Funded by: University College, CorkThe HEA via the LDT Project. and CELT via the Writers of Ireland Project.

Edition statement

2. Second draft, revised and enlarged.

Extent: 10165 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2008

Date: 2011

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: G103006

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description

Manuscript sources

  1. Trinity College Dublin, MS TCD 1318 (H 2 16), The Yellow Book of Lecan, a vellum of the end of the fourteenth century, pp. 414b–418a, a complete copy.
  2. Royal Irish Academy Dublin, MS 23 P 12, the Book of Ballymote, a vellum of the end of the fourteenth century, pp. 65b–66b (ends imperfectly).
  3. Royal Irish Academy Dublin, MS Stowe, D II 1, the Book of Húi Maine, a vellum of the fourteenth century, fo. 190a–fo. 191a. A complete copy.
  4. Royal Irish Academy Dublin, MS 23 P 2, the Book of Lecan, a vellum of the fifhteenth century. The leaves on which the Triads are found are now bound up with the Codex H 2 17 belonging to Trinity College. It is a complete copy begining on p. 183b and ending on p. 184b. The editor remarks that, 'by an oversight' he has 'referred to the MS sometimes by Lec and sometimes by H. In some cases both Lec and H will be found quoted in the variants. The same MS is always meant.' This practice has been left stand.
  5. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 N 10, a paper ms written in the year 1575, pp. 98–101. A complete copy, the gap between p. 100 and 106 being made up by pp. 7a–10b of the vellum portion of the manuscript.
  6. Trinity College Dublin, MS H 1 15, pp. 946–957. This is a paper ms written by Tadhg Tiorthach Ó Neachtain in 1745. It is a complete copy with copious glosses in Modern Irish.
  7. Dublin, RIA, Stowe Collection, a paper quarto now marked 23 N 27, containing on fo. 1a–7b a copy of the Triads. It was written in 1714 by Domnall (or Daniel) o Duind mac Eimuinn. Its readings closely agree with those of N.
  8. Manchester, Rylands Library, a copy written in 1836 by Peter O'Longan, formerly in the possession of the Earls of Crawford.
  9. Edinburgh, Advocates Library, MS Kilbride III, vellum, begins on fo. 9b2.

Digital images of Meyer's edition

  • Available at http://www.archive.org.

Literature (incl. references given by Meyer)

  1. James Henthorn Todd (ed. & trans.), The Irish version of the Historia Britonum of Nennius (Dublin: Irish Archaeological Society 1848).
  2. Eugene O'Curry, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish. Vol. 1–3 (London 1873).
  3. Kuno Meyer, Cath Finntrága or Battle of Ventry (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1885). [From Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson B 487).
  4. Charles Plummer, Irish Miscellanies: the Conversion of Loegaire, and his death, Revue Celtique 6 (1884) 162–172.
  5. Whitley Stokes, The prose tales in the Rennes Dindshenchas, Revue Celtique 15 (1896) 418–484 (no. 44 and 111).
  6. W. Neilson Hancock, Thaddeus O'Mahony, Alexander George Richey & Robert Atkinson, Ancient Laws of Ireland, 6 vols. (Dublin, 1865–1901).
  7. Kuno Meyer, 'Das Apgitir Crábaid des Colmán maccu Béognae ', Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 3 (1901) 447–455.
  8. Whitley Stokes, Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee, Henry Bradshaw Society 29. (London 1905) 112.
  9. Siegmand Hellmann, 'Sedulius Scottus', p. 135, in: Ludwig Traube, 'Quellen und Untersuchungen zur lateinischen Philologie des Mittelalters', vol. 1 (München 1906).
  10. Whitley Stokes & John Strachan (ed. & tr.), Thesaurus palaeo-hibernicus (2 vols, Cambridge 1901–03, supplement by Whitley Stokes, Halle/Salle (1910), reprinted in two volumes, Dublin 1985).
  11. Patrick Weston Joyce, A Social History of Ancient Ireland, 2 vols (New York, London, and Bombay: Longmans, Green, & Company, 1903).
  12. Kuno Meyer (ed. & trans.), Cáin Adamnáin: an Old-Irish treatise on the Law of Adamnan, Anecdota Oxoniensia, Mediaeval & Modern Series 12 (Oxford 1905).
  13. Rudolf Thurneysen, Die Bürgschaft im irischen Recht, Abhandlungen der Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Klasse, no. 2 (1928).
  14. Rudolf Thurneysen, Irisches Recht, Abhandlungen der Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Klasse, no. 2 (1931).
  15. Éamonn de hÓir, 'The anglicisation of Irish place-names', Onoma 17 (1972) 192–204.
  16. For modern Irish proverbs in triadic form, compare for instance Enrí Ó Muirgheasa (ed.), Seanfhocail Uladh, Eagrán Nua (Baile Átha Cliath: Oifig an tSoláthair, 1976) 3–8.
  17. Patrick Sims-Williams, 'Thought, word, and deed: an Irish triad', Ériu 29 (1978) 78–111.
  18. Fergus Kelly, A Guide to Early Irish Law (Dublin: DIAS 1988).
  19. Michael A. Monk & John Sheehan, Early medieval Munster: archaeology, history and society (Cork 1998) [p. 83 on condiments and relishes mentions echmuir].
  20. Fergus Kelly, Irish Wisdom: Classic Irish Triads (Belfast: Appletree Press 1993).
  21. P. W. Joyce, The origin and history of Irish names of places. [Facs. of the original edition in 3 volumes published 1869–1913.] With a new introductory essay on P.W. Joyce by Mainchín Seoighe (Dublin: Éamonn de Búrca for Edmund Burke 1995).
  22. Kevin Murray, 'Fr Edmund Hogan's 'Onomasticon Goedelicum', ninety years on: reviewers and users', Ainm 8 (1998–2000) 65–75.
  23. Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames (London: Irish Texts Society 2003). [Volume 1 of Hogan's revised Onomasticon.]
  24. Pádraig Ó Riain, Diarmuid Ó Murchadha and Kevin Murray, Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames, Fascicle 1 [Names in A-] (London: Irish Texts Society 2003); repr. with addenda and corrigenda April 2007.
  25. Pádraig Ó Riain, Diarmuid Ó Murchadha and Kevin Murray, Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames, Fascicle 3 [C-Ceall Fhursa] (London: Irish Texts Society 2008).
  26. Fergus Kelly, Thinking in Trees: The Triad in Early Irish Literature (Sir John Rhys Memorial Lecture), Proceedings of the British Academy 125 (December 2004) 1–18.
  27. Diarmuid Ó Murchadha, 'Dún Cermna: a reconsideration', Éigse 34 (2004) 71–89.
  28. Kenneth Nicholls, 'The Protean placename', in: Cín Chille Cúile: Texts, Saints and Places. Essays in Honour of Pádraig Ó Riain, edited by John Carey, Máire Herbert and Kevin Murray (Aberystwyth 2004) 225–233.
  29. Bernhard Maier, Die Weisheit der Kelten. Sprichwörter aus Irland, Schottland, Wales und der Bretagne. (Munich: C. H. Beck 2011) [An anthology of proverbs from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany in the original languages, with German translation. Includes introduction and bibliographic references].

The edition used in the digital edition

Meyer, Kuno, ed. (1906). The Triads of Ireland‍. 1st ed. xv + 35 pp., v–xv Introduction, 1–35 Text and Translation, 36–43 Glosses and Notes, 45–46 Index Locorum, 46 Index Nominum, 47–54 Glossary. London: Hodges Figgis & Co.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  title 	 = {The Triads of Ireland},
  editor 	 = {Kuno Meyer},
  edition 	 = {1},
  note 	 = {xv + 35 pp., v–xv Introduction, 1–35 Text and Translation, 36–43 Glosses and Notes, 45–46 Index Locorum, 46 Index Nominum, 47–54 Glossary.},
  publisher 	 = {Hodges Figgis \& Co.},
  address 	 = {London},
  date 	 = {1906},
  UNKNOWN 	 = {seriesStmt}


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Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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The present text represents Meyer's Introduction and pages 2–34 of the edited text; corrigenda are integrated.

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Normalization: The electronic text represents the printed text. The editor's corrigenda have been integrated. Expansions shown in italics in the hardcopy have been marked. Variant readings are integrated into the apparatus, including the variants from Stowe Collection 23 N 7 MS included in the preface. At times the variants were unclear and it was not possible to integrate them into the apparatus. In these cases, as at entries 42, 64, 79, 92, 109 and 223, the variants are supplied as footnotes to the text. The reader is referred to the printed edition.

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Creation: By one or more unknown Irish authors.9th century

Language usage

  • The text is in late Old Irish. (ga)
  • Witness list and Introduction are in English. (en)
  • There are Latin passages in the Introduction. (la)
  • There are a few words in German in the Introduction. (de)

Keywords: gnomic; prose; medieval

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. 2012-10-03: One bibliographic reference added. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2011-02-26: More bibliographic references added. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2011-02-05: Bibliographical details added; new wordcount made. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2011-01-27: Meyer's Introduction converted to XML; proofed; structural and content markup applied; integrated into file for second draft of CELT edition. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  5. 2011-01-21: Minor modifications and additions made to header. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  6. 2008-09-11: File parsed and validated. SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  7. 2008-08-27: Header adapted from header of companion file T103006. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  8. 2008-08-15: Minor changes to structural markup and apparatus added. (ed. Emer Purcell)
  9. 2007-08-01: File proofed (1); some structural markup and apparatus added (ed. Emer Purcell)
  10. 2006-08: File proofed (1); some structural markup added. (ed. Hilary Lavelle)
  11. 2005: File captured by scanning. (text capture Data capture company)

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T103006: The Triads of Ireland (in English Translation)

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  1. By an oversight I have referred to this MS. sometimes by Lec and sometimes by H. In some cases both Lec and H will be found quoted in the variants. The same MS. is always meant. 🢀

  2. As appears from the following colophon on p. 101: “Oraoit uaim ar do lebor a hOedh in cédluan iar n-aurtach Johannes. Baile Tibhaird ar bla maige mo mendad scribne hi farrad Se(a)ain hi Maoilconari. Mese (Dubthach) do scrib in ball soin da derpiris ⁊ rlæ. Anno domini 1575. Guroiuh maith agat.” 🢀

  3. Where for “wrong stories” read “wrong counsels” (“sanasa sáeba”). 🢀

  4.  🢀

  5.  🢀

  6.  🢀

  7.  🢀

  8. This triad comes from the Glynns of Antrim, the Mac Donnells' district. 🢀

  9. I may mention particularly the relative forms “téite” 167, “bíte” 127, “ata” 75, 76, 224, &c., “berta” (O. Ir. “berte”) 109, 110, “fíchte” (145), “coillte” (166), “téite” (167), “aragellat” (sic leg. with N) 171; the deponent “neimthigedar” 116, &c.; “ató”, “I am” (104), and the use of the perfective “ad-” in “conaittig” 77, 78. 🢀

  10. “rátha” 56, “foglada” 92, “flatha” 151, 248, 253; “dara” 4, 34; “Ela” 31, 35, 44 (cf. “Lainne Ela”, AU. 816); “átha” 50, “betha” 82, 83, 249. 🢀

  11. The infinitive bith for O. Ir. buith (91), the dative cinn for O. Ir. ciunn (98, 135), the nom. pl. sligthi for O. Ir. sligid (which I have restored in paragraph 49), the confusion between do and di (e.g. 83), and other details are probably due to the Middle-and Modern-Irish transcribers. 🢀

  12. See Ancient Laws of Ireland, vol, v., pp. 118–373. 🢀

  13. Thus in the first volume of the Laws we find duads on p. 228, 15; 294, 27; triads on p. 50, 9. 27; 230, 4; 264, 20; 288, 28; tetrads 40, 21; 54, 7; 64, 1; 240, 24; 256, 4, &c.; 272, 25; 274, 3, &c.; pentads 30, 21; 50, 32; 90, 29; 102, 6; hexads 68, 11; 248, 7: a heptad 134, 9; an ennead 16, 20. 🢀

  14. This is the opinion of S. Hellmann, their latest editor. See his Sedulius Scottus, p. 135, in Traube's Quellen und Untersuchungen zur lateinischen Philologie des Mittelalters, vol. i.: München, 1906. 🢀

  15. A. 39, 41. B. 5. 🢀

  16. A. 52. 🢀

  17. A. 54. B. 3, 7. 🢀

  18. B. 1, 2. 🢀

  19. Variant reading from H Mss have been integrated into apparatus but it was unclear where [uaim Cnodba] should be inserted. Refer to printed text 🢀

  20. Variant readings are as follows; from BM luige dige, and from H luige re dig. 🢀

  21. Variant reading from LBM miad 🢀

  22. Variant reading from Lec luifenaich 🢀

  23. Variant reading from H which adds .i. esinrucas 🢀

  24. 166-220 omitted HBMLec 🢀

  25. Variant reading from n imchiana not integrated into apparatus 🢀


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