McManus, Damian, “Celebrating the canine II: the hunt in medieval Ireland, with special reference to the evidence of Classical Irish poetry”, Ériu 68 (2018): 145–192.
- journal article
This paper investigates the nature of the hunt in Medieval Ireland. It confirms from the evidence of Fianaigecht material backed up by contemporary Classical Irish poetry that the hunt was in the nature of a drive and ambush rather than a chase; that two types of hound were used in the hunt, the gadhair to drive the quarry from its covert and the coin to hem it in by securing the corridor to the ambush site, where the latter were slipped on the quarry; that this practice was common in Scotland as well as in continental Europe at the time; and that the deployment of the hunt was an important part of the training of a young nobleman in Ireland. Crossover material reflecting parallels between hound and hero celebration is also investigated.
This edition of the poem Slán dona saoithibh sealga ‘Farewell to the masters of the hunt’ begins by addressing the question of whether this is the elegy for a Mág Carthaigh hound referred to by Fearghal Óg Mac an Bhaird in his poem, Teasda eascara an fhiadhaigh ‘Dead is the wild game's foe’. The contents of the poem are then summarised and an edition complete with translation and critical apparatus is presented.
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