“Wolfing”, Díberg and Fianna

“Brigandage that is the activity of organised bands of killers, was particularly abhorrent to the Church, and in the Old Arraí is associated with Druidism and satirising among the sins for which there could be no remission of penance. It was regarded as a Pagan practice and evidently had its own ritualistic code of conduct.” Díberg as defined by R. Sharpe.

O’Mulcronys Glossary describes the etymology of díberg as “dí-bi-arg – ‘non-be-hero’ for he is not reckoned with heroism like the hero of the fianna, for denial of God and and clientship with the Devil is not proper to heroism.”

This may very well be a later interpretative gloss by Christian scribes, as older sources make no distinction between those described as fiannas or díberg.

In the Togail Bruidne Da Derga, Connaire son of Eterscél, King of Tara, and the sons of Dond Désa, the féindid or fían-champion are fostered together. But when Connaire fulfils his destiny and succeeds his father as King of Tara – where taking of díberg is now taboo. Ultimately the three brothers continuing violent behaviour (díberg) in verses 19 and 20 is explicitly linked with Wolves:-

They took up díberg with the sons of nobles of Ireland around them. A hundred and fifty of them under instruction when they were wolfing in the territory of Connachta.

𝐓𝐨𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐁𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐧𝐞 𝐃𝐚 𝐃𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐚

https://tinyurl.com/y4r9lwn5

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