Dinnshenchas of Mag Muirthemne
- Middle Irish
- Dinnshenchas Érenn, Dinnshenchas
- Dinnshenchas Érenn C supplement
- MS S only: prose only
- Middle Irish
Muirthemne appears to be explained as a compound consisting of muir + te(i)me, meaning ‘darkness of the sea’ (temhe in mara), or ‘(it is) under the sea’s roof’ (fo scemil mara h-é). Two different accounts are offered for this etymology:
- It was covered by sea for 30 years after the Flood.
- It was once covered by a magic sea (muir draidechta) that was inhabited by a sea-monster described in Irish as a muir-selche. It could suck in any armed warrior and put him inside its treasure-bag (autsad-bolg). One day, however, the Dagda struck his club of wrath (lorg anfaid) on the creature and in a chant told it to disappear. The sea receded along with the creature.
The same anecdote is told in the long version of Tochmarc Emire, with which it shows a number of verbal correspondences. Gwynn suggests that the story in the present text was, in fact, borrowed from TE.For further discussion, see Jacqueline Borsje, From chaos to enemy (1996): 46–48; 145. » People: The Dagda » Places: Mag Muirthemne » Events: The Flood » Textual sources: Tochmarc Emire » Keywords: mythological monsters » Irish keyword(s): muir-selche
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Secondary sources (select)
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