OʼConnor, Ralph, “Searching for the moral in Bruiden Meic Da Réo”, Ériu 56 (2006): 117–143.
- journal article
The Middle Irish saga Bruiden Meic Da Réo tells how the vassal peoples of Ireland massacred the noble families of Ireland, and how the surviving nobles regained power through the mediation of Morann the judge. In this article I offer a literary analysis of the tale, paying particular attention to its treatment of kingship ideology and the message its author intended to convey to his audience. Comparisons with related texts, in particular the recension known as Scél ar Chairbre Cinn Cait, suggest that the author of Bruiden Meic Da Réo was not interested in pointing out a simple moral, but was concerned to explore the tensions and contradictions inherent within the ideology of kingship. In this respect Bruiden Meic Da Réo resonates with other sagas from the Middle Irish period in which a similar narrative template was used to prise open the fault-lines in this ideology.
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