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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 703: Medieval Irish Writing: Objects, Texts, and Sources

Tuesday 2 July 2019, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Department of History, National University of Ireland, Galway
Paper 703-aWhat Should an Irish Druid Have in His Travel Bag?: Some Investigation on the Sources for Forbhais Droma Damhghaire Saga
(Language: English)
Tatiana Shingurova, School of Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture, University of Aberdeen
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Celtic, Local History, Pagan Religions
Paper 703-bAutomatic Dating of Medieval Irish Texts with Cluster Analysis
(Language: English)
Oksana Dereza, School of Linguistics, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow
Index terms: Language and Literature - Celtic, Technology

Paper -a:
Forbhais Droma Damhghaire or the Siege of Knocklong is a Middle Irish text describing the battle between two kings of Irish Heroic Age, Fiachu Muillethan and Cormac mac Art, which was documented much later than the event. Therefore, an anonymous medieval scholar, in an attempt to recall the events from the remote past, had difficulty portraying key-participants of the story - druids with their tools. The scribe consulted his sources, which are investigated in the present paper, and put to the druid's travel bag a bird mask, a poison-stone, the tinder box of Simon, the flint of Daniel, and the kindling wood of Eitheoir Ilchruthaigh.

Paper -b:
As more and more medieval texts are being digitized, it becomes reasonable to use computational methods, proved reliable for modern languages in various Natural Language Processing tasks such as morphological analysis, thematic modelling, or stylometry. This paper describes a series of experiments on using cluster analysis for automatic dating of medieval Irish texts, comparing different algorithms of clusterisation and drawing special attention to the correspondence of automatically obtained results to human judgement.