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594: Big Alasdair Son of the King 594: Alasdair Mòr Mac an Rìgh

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Alasdair Mòr Mac an Rìgh

Gaelic Gàidhlig

Tha ceathramh de sheann bhàrdachd Ghàidhlig ann an Leabhar Deathain Lios Mòr – làmh-sgrìobhainn bhon t-siathamh linn deug. Tha e ag ainmeachadh fear ‘Alaxandair Uaibhreach’. Saoil cò bha ann?

Uill, cha robh e Albannach. Tha an rann ag innse dhuinn gur e ‘flath’ a bha ann ‘on Fhionn Ghrèig’. Tha ‘flath’ a’ ciallachadh ‘prionnsa’ no ‘ceannaire’. ʼS e seann fhacal a tha ann. Tha ‘an Fhionn Ghrèig’ a’ ciallachadh fair no beauteous Greece.

Tha mi a’ dèanamh dheth a-nise gu bheil fios agaibh cò tha anns an fhlath sin. Alexander the Great, Rìgh Greugach Rìoghachd Mhacedon. Gu tric, bidh sinn a’ gabhail ‘Alasdair’ air Alexander ann an Gàidhlig. Mar sin, ʼs e ‘Alasdair Uaibhreach’ a chanas mi ris. Tha uaibhreach a’ ciallachadh ‘proud’ no ‘haughty’.

Tha mi a’ beachdachadh air an t-seann rìgh Ghreugach sin oir bha mi a’ leughadh alt a sgrìobh an sgoilear Gàidhlig –‘Alasdair’ eile – Alasdair MacIlleBhàin. Tha an t-alt mu dheidhinn Bhàideanach. Agus tha e cuideachd mu dheidhinn treas Alasdair – Alasdair Mòr Mac an Rìgh, a bhuineadh do Bhàideanach.

Seo na sgrìobh an t-ùghdar ann am Beurla: [Alasdair] gets confused with his famous namesake of Macedon, also Alasdair Mòr, but the more accurate of tradition-mongers differentiate them easily, for they call Alexander the Great ‘Alasdair Uaibhreach Mac Rìgh Philip.’ Chan eil fhios agam a bheil mi nam ‘thradition monger’ ach ʼs e ‘Alasdair Uaibhreach’ a ghabhas mi fhìn air an Rìgh Ghreugach, seach ‘Alasdair Mòr’. ʼS iomadh croitear Gàidhealach air an robh, no air a bheil, Alasdair Mòr mar ainm!

ʼS e an ath cheist, ma-thà, cò bha ann an Alasdair Mòr Mac an Rìgh? Uill,

tha e aithnichte ann am Beurla mar ‘The Wolf of Badenoch’. B’ e mac Rìgh Raibeirt II a bha ann. B’ e am fear a bu chumhachdaiche ann an ceann a tuath na h-Alba ri a linn. Bha e foghainteach ach borb.

Chaidh Alasdair Mòr agus Easbaig Mhoireibh a-mach air a chèile gu dubh. Loisg Alasdair bailtean Farrais is Eilginn – agus Cathair-eaglais Eilginn – gu làr. Aig a’ cheann thall, an robh e cho diofraichte sin bho Alasdair Uaibhreach na Fionn Ghrèige?

Big Alasdair Son of the King

English Beurla

There is a quatrain of old Gaelic poetry in the Book of the Dean of Lismore – a manuscript from the 16th century. It names a certain ‘Alaxandair Uaibhreach’. I wonder who he was?

Well, he wasn’t Scottish. The verse tells us that he was a ‘flath’ from ‘Fair Greece’. ‘Flath’ means ‘prince’ or ‘leader’. It’s an old word. ‘ An Fhionn Ghrèig’ means ‘fair or beauteous Greece’.

I reckon now that you know who that leader is. Alexander the Great, the Greek king of the kingdom of Macedon. Often, we translate Alexander as Alasdair in Gaelic. Thus, I call him ‘Alasdair Uaibhreach’. Uaibhreach means proud’ or ‘haughty’.

I’m thinking of that old Greek king because I was reading an article that the Gaelic scholar – another Alexander – Alexander MacBain – wrote. The article is about Badenoch. But it is also about a third Alexander – ‘big Alasdair the son of the king’ who belonged to Badenoch.

Here’s what the author wrote in English: Alasdair] gets confused with his famous namesake of Macedon, also Alasdair Mòr, but the more accurate of tradition-mongers differentiate them easily, for they call Alexander the Great ‘Alasdair Uaibhreach Mac Rìgh Philip.’ I don’t know if I’m a ‘tradition monger’but I’ll call the Greek king ‘Alasdair Uaibhreach’ rather than ‘Alasdair Mòr’. There’s many a Highland crofter that was, or is, called ‘Big Alasdair’!

The next question, then, is who was Alasdair Mòr Mac an Rìgh? Well, he’s known in English as ‘The Wolf of Badenoch’. He was a son of King Robert II. He was the most powerful man in the north of Scotland in his day. He was powerful but brutal.

Alasdair Mòr and the Bishop of Moray fell out with each other completely. Alasdair burned the towns of Forres and Elgin – and Elgin Cathedral – to the ground. In the end, was he very much different to Alexander the Great of Fair Greece?

Show English

Alasdair Mòr Mac an Rìgh

Gaelic Gàidhlig

Tha ceathramh de sheann bhàrdachd Ghàidhlig ann an Leabhar Deathain Lios Mòr – làmh-sgrìobhainn bhon t-siathamh linn deug. Tha e ag ainmeachadh fear ‘Alaxandair Uaibhreach’. Saoil cò bha ann?

Uill, cha robh e Albannach. Tha an rann ag innse dhuinn gur e ‘flath’ a bha ann ‘on Fhionn Ghrèig’. Tha ‘flath’ a’ ciallachadh ‘prionnsa’ no ‘ceannaire’. ʼS e seann fhacal a tha ann. Tha ‘an Fhionn Ghrèig’ a’ ciallachadh fair no beauteous Greece.

Tha mi a’ dèanamh dheth a-nise gu bheil fios agaibh cò tha anns an fhlath sin. Alexander the Great, Rìgh Greugach Rìoghachd Mhacedon. Gu tric, bidh sinn a’ gabhail ‘Alasdair’ air Alexander ann an Gàidhlig. Mar sin, ʼs e ‘Alasdair Uaibhreach’ a chanas mi ris. Tha uaibhreach a’ ciallachadh ‘proud’ no ‘haughty’.

Tha mi a’ beachdachadh air an t-seann rìgh Ghreugach sin oir bha mi a’ leughadh alt a sgrìobh an sgoilear Gàidhlig –‘Alasdair’ eile – Alasdair MacIlleBhàin. Tha an t-alt mu dheidhinn Bhàideanach. Agus tha e cuideachd mu dheidhinn treas Alasdair – Alasdair Mòr Mac an Rìgh, a bhuineadh do Bhàideanach.

Seo na sgrìobh an t-ùghdar ann am Beurla: [Alasdair] gets confused with his famous namesake of Macedon, also Alasdair Mòr, but the more accurate of tradition-mongers differentiate them easily, for they call Alexander the Great ‘Alasdair Uaibhreach Mac Rìgh Philip.’ Chan eil fhios agam a bheil mi nam ‘thradition monger’ ach ʼs e ‘Alasdair Uaibhreach’ a ghabhas mi fhìn air an Rìgh Ghreugach, seach ‘Alasdair Mòr’. ʼS iomadh croitear Gàidhealach air an robh, no air a bheil, Alasdair Mòr mar ainm!

ʼS e an ath cheist, ma-thà, cò bha ann an Alasdair Mòr Mac an Rìgh? Uill,

tha e aithnichte ann am Beurla mar ‘The Wolf of Badenoch’. B’ e mac Rìgh Raibeirt II a bha ann. B’ e am fear a bu chumhachdaiche ann an ceann a tuath na h-Alba ri a linn. Bha e foghainteach ach borb.

Chaidh Alasdair Mòr agus Easbaig Mhoireibh a-mach air a chèile gu dubh. Loisg Alasdair bailtean Farrais is Eilginn – agus Cathair-eaglais Eilginn – gu làr. Aig a’ cheann thall, an robh e cho diofraichte sin bho Alasdair Uaibhreach na Fionn Ghrèige?

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Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 898

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