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Cite this: eDIL s.v. dantmír or
Last Revised: 2019


Forms: dant-mír, dant-mír

n nn, n. (dant + mír). Usually identified with curad-mír `the heroes' morsel,' but dant-mír seems to signify a piece of food which, according to old custom, was put between the teeth of the dead: rosfúair hi fástig oc fuiniu héisc for indéin ┐ bae cenn Lomnai for bir hi cinn na tened. in cétlucht doralad dind indéin rantai Coirpri doa tríb nonburaib ┐ ní tardad dantmír i mbeolu in chinn olṡodain ba geis la Fiannu the first batch that was taken from the gridiron, Coirpre distributes it to his thrice nine men; but the `dantmír' was not put into the mouth of the head though it was a `geis' with the ancients (to do so) (rather: 'a thing which it was a geis with the Fíanna to do' RC xxxvii 19) Corm. Bodl. 30. 2 . Stokes's interpolation is wrong and disturbs the sense. The custom must have been deeply rooted, for in the old Egerton fragment of Finn's death, ZCP i 464 sq. , it is told how supernatural powers secure the dant-mír for the decapitated head of Finn: confuaradar iascaire na Boinde. ceathrar dóibh .i. trímaic Uircreann ┐ Aicleach... conécmaing Aicleach a cheann de ┐ corubhradar maic U.— rucsat a chenn leo i ḟásteach ┐ roḟuinsit a niasc ┐ rorannsat i nde. a cheann hi cind tenedh. tabraid dantmír dó or fer dubh docluichi ó na mair Aicleach. rorannadh in tiasc i nde .i. fo thrí ┐ badar trí cuibhrind ann béos. cidh so or fer díbh. is ann isbert an cend a cind tened:

ised fodera an tresraind libhsi cen síl napeli

arnatabhar damsa oc proind uaibsi mo ṁír ma...ele.

The Brehon Laws punished the removal of the `dant-mír' with `athgabáil treise': athgabáil treise i folomrad do mairb (d s. fem.) archor auptha mimir do chor do choin dantmir do breith ó fir besa ái carrying away the `dantmír' from the person to whom it belongs Laws i 176. 4 ; to which the commentary adds the following note: .i. curadmír .i. do breith ón fir isa hae hé .i. diablad in cura[d]mír no eneclann .i. amail roberta ó Choinculainn. eneclann and ar treisi, ib. 180. 3 f.b. This seems only an attempt of the commentator to find some sense in a word that naturally enough was obscure to him, as the pagan custom it refers to was bound to have disappeared with Christianity.