Aspects of diberg in the tale Togail Bruidne Da Derga The terms diberg 'brigand, brigandage' and fian 'warrior', have been alluded to in recent investigations by Richard Sharpe and Kim McCone.1 Sharpe used mostly late seventh and eighth century hagiographical texts in his discussion of diberg2 as a pagan practice with a ritualistic code of conduct abhorrent to the Church, while McCone concentrated on the assembly of evidence from a wide variety of hagiographical and literary sources which reflect the possible social organization of diberg and fian groups. These he then showed to be reflections of the widely attested Männerbund phenomenon, bands of youthful warrior-hunters, living on the borders of civilized society and indulging in lawless activities for a time before inheriting property and taking their places as members of settled, landed communities. The terms diberg and flan appear to have been interchangeable in the sources: both were referred to as maic bais 'sons of death' and both were seen to engage in murderous See R. Sharpe, 'Hiberno-Latin laicus, Irish laech and the Devil's Men', iZriu 30 (1979) pp. 75-92; K. McCone, 'Aided Cheltchair maic Uthechair: hounds, heroes and hospitallers in early Irish myth and story1, firiu 85
Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie (ZcP) – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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