Marion Deane – Fír Flathemon The Ruler’s Truth

The Letter 59 & 60 Summer – Autumn 2015, pages 77-90

A belief in the power of the spoken word as a vehicle for truth was of Indo-
European origin. It formed the basis of Early Irish kingship ideology. The tale
Feis Tigi Becfholtaig ‘Sojourn in the House of Little Wealth’ concludes with
the people’s response to a king’s public declaration of truth. The aim of his
speech was to thank them for their past co-operation and to guarantee that
he, in the interests of justice, would continue to reciprocate their services. The
selected portion of the tale, as printed below, deals with the process through
which he comes to know the truth that he will later proclaim. This paper will
examine the relationship between truth and reality as formulated in this excerpt
against Lacan’s contention that there is no ultimate reality.
Key words: truth, reality, knowledge, being, lack, adequation theory

Feis Tigi Becfholtaig Luid Dectire siur Concobuir coecait ingen for aithed dichmaircch-Ulad ocus Concobuir.
Ni con fess eng na eis dib, ocus buithi og a cuinnchid go cenn teora m-bliadan.

Sojourn in the House of Little wealthDectire, Concobar’s sister, eloped with fifty young women, without asking permission of the Ulstermen and Concobar.
No track nor trace of them was discovered, and they were being sought for three years.

Luidh Briccriu amach iarsin. Gu gcuala ni: in cloi deroil. Ro cluinter in fogur, ocus ni fes cia raide. Ted-i iarum fon fogur docum in tigi. Con facco in tech mor coin cumtachto ar a chinn. Tet-e don dorus rathuigtir isin tig.
Rathaig-i taisiuch inn tige.

Briccriu went out after that.
He heard something: a slight commotion. A noise is heard, and it was not known who spoke.
Then he goes towards the sound, approaching the house. He saw a big beautiful impressive house ahead of him. He goes to the door that he notices in the house.
The master of the house notices him. …

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