London, British Library, MS Egerton 150
  • 1773-1774
Rutten, Stuart, “Battles at the ford: an introduction to the tradition of Comrac Fir Diad, with editions of the later versions of the tale”, PhD thesis, University of Toronto, 2006.  
This thesis is an introduction to the Old Irish tale Comrac Fir Diad, commonly known as "The Fer Diad Episode" from Tain Bo Cuailnge. The thesis introduces the reader to critical issues concerning the tale as it exists in the context of the larger Irish work and as it exists as a self-standing tale in later manuscripts in the context of the Cuchulainn saga.

Appended to the thesis and referred to in the introduction are four editions of the tale as it exists in later manuscripts and one self-standing version of "Feidhm as mo," a poem from the tale. These editions include a new edition of the tale as it appears in MS University College Dublin A25, as it appears in MS British Library Egerton 106, as it appears in MS British Library Egerton 150, and as it appears in MS Royal Irish Academy 24L20.

First, the thesis presents a history of scholarly criticism surrounding the tale and its inclusion within Tain Bo Cuailnge. Second, the thesis describes the various recensions of the tale and the manuscripts containing those recensions and offers a comparative chart for all versions of the tale. Third, the thesis examines the historical, mythological, onomastic and literary roots of Comrac Fir Diad by comparing it with similar episodes and tales in early Irish manuscripts in terms of character functions and by examining the relationship between the earliest extant manuscripts. Fourth, the thesis relates the tradition of the tale as it appears in the early recensions of Tain Bo Cuailnge and points out areas where an outside version of the tale has influenced "The Fer Diad Episode" in Tain Bo Cuailnge. Fifth, the thesis examines three, heretofore unexamined, later versions of Comrac Fir Diad from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries and their inclusion in the new context of the Cuchulainn saga of tales. Finally, the thesis suggests a number of areas for further scholarship concerning the tale, particularly in relation to its later versions.

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