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Tome: Studies in Medieval Celtic History and Law in Honour of Thomas Charles-Edwards

Tome: Studies in Medieval Celtic History and Law in Honour of Thomas Charles-Edwards

FIONA EDMONDS
PAUL RUSSELL
Volume: 31
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 264
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt81mmk
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  • Book Info
    Tome: Studies in Medieval Celtic History and Law in Honour of Thomas Charles-Edwards
    Book Description:

    Thomas Charles-Edwards, the distinguished scholar of medieval Britain and Ireland, has made important contributions to a number of fields, but is particularly renowned for his studies in Celtic history and law. In this volume, colleagues pay tribute to his work with essays that range across the medieval Celtic world, including medieval Wales, Ireland and Scotland. In the first part of the volume, they cover historical aspects (and, as is fitting, often reflect the honorand's interest in archaeology and epigraphy); in the second, they focus on medieval Irish and Welsh legal institutions and texts, which are used by some to inform new readings of literary texts. Contributors: Susan Youngs, Clare Stancliffe, Catherine Swift, David N. Dumville, Elizabeth O'Brien, Edel Bhreathnach, Oliver Padel, Nancy Edwards, Thomas Owen Clancy, Marie Therese Flanagan, Huw Pryce, Roy Flechner, Robin Chapman Stacey, Wendy Davies, Sara Elin Roberts, Fergus Kelly, Bronagh Ní Chonaill, Charlene Eska, Elva Johnston, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, Maredudd ap Huw.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-964-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Fiona Edmonds and Paul Russell
  5. List of Contributors
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  6. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xiv-xviii)
  7. 1 CLOUD-CUCKOO LAND? SOME CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS FROM POST-ROMAN BRITAIN
    (pp. 1-16)
    Susan Youngs

    Christian iconography is not so plentiful in the post-Roman states of Britain that we can afford to ignore a varied and interesting range of crosses and other motifs from a period when we are otherwise heavily dependent on epigraphic evidence, a tradition that was largely peculiar to the far west and north. The problem is the source: like dean Swift’s island of Laputa, a substantial body of hanging-bowls floats above the cultural landscape of seventh-century Britain. Often labelled ‘Anglo-Saxon’ from their usual find-places in furnished burials in eastern England, considerable ingenuity has been expended in the past in arguing for...

  8. 2 COLUMBANUS’S MONASTICISM AND THE SOURCES OF HIS INSPIRATION: FROM BASIL TO THE MASTER?
    (pp. 17-28)
    Clare Stancliffe

    Early medieval Ireland is famed for its monasticism, and the century running from 540 to 640 is that of the major monastic founders, while also being marked by individual ascetic enthusiasm. For the most part, however, contemporary documentation comprises laconic notices in the annals, with just a scattering of more informative texts such as the Penitential of Finnian and The Alphabet of Piety.¹ Against this background Columbanus stands out as the one figure for whom we have sufficient sources to enable us to discern his monastic vision and to see something of how he put it into practice. from his...

  9. 3 EARLY IRISH PRIESTS WITHIN THEIR OWN LOCALITIES
    (pp. 29-40)
    Catherine Swift

    The early-eighth-century collection of canons known as Collectio Canonum Hibernensis includes a book entitled On presbyters and priests.¹ Chapter twenty-five deals with correct punishment to be meted out to priests who are absent from their locality:

    Sinodus Hibernensis decrevit, ut sacerdos una tantum die ab ecclesia defuerit; si duobus, peniteat VII diebus cum pane et aqua; si autem mortuus ad ecclesiam adlatus fuerit et ille absens, penitere debet quia poenae reus illius est. B. Item: Si in uno die dominico ab ecclesia defuerit, agat penitentiam XX dierum cum pane et aqua, si autem duobus aut tribus, submovendus honore gradus sui.²...

  10. 4 POLITICAL ORGANISATION IN DÁL RIATA
    (pp. 41-52)
    David N. Dumville

    An examination of the evidence provided by medieval Irish chronicles for political organisation in the Gaelic world before about 1200 has shown that there was an absolute minimum of 600 population groups led by kings in the 750 years of record from the mid-fifth to the late twelfth century.¹ The distribution of these across time and space is interestingly complicated, and detailed discussion of it will have to await publication of the evidence. Suffice it to say, for the moment, that, contrary to what has been stated by some historians over the last generation, the local kingship of local population...

  11. 5 IRISH BOUNDARY FERTA, THEIR PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT
    (pp. 53-64)
    Elizabeth O’Brien and Edel Bhreathnach

    when, in 1976, Thomas Charles-edwards published his paper ‘Boundaries in Irish Law’, based on evidence contained in early Irish law tracts,² I doubt he envisaged that around thirty years later we would be in a position to corroborate that legal evidence by physically identifying and dating boundary ferta. In that paper, and in a subsequent publication,³ Professor Charles-Edwards describes how the boundary to a territory was marked by a fert (a grave mound) or ferta (a collection of grave mounds or a collection of burials in one mound). According to the legal procedure tellach (legal entry), which is described in...

  12. 6 ASSER’S PAROCHIA OF EXETER
    (pp. 65-72)
    O. J. Padel

    This passage in Asser’s life of King Alfred has given rise to discussion owing to the uncertainty of the meaning of the word parochia, and particularly with regard to its potential implications for the ecclesiastical assimilation of Cornwall into wessex, since Cornwall’s integration into Wessex advanced considerably during King alfred’s reign.² The translation by Keynes and Lapidge, using the noncommittal word ‘jurisdiction’, wisely avoids precision about its implications. My purpose here is to examine some aspects of this clause in closer detail than has been possible in the more general surveys in which it has usually been discussed.³

    One preliminary...

  13. 7 VIKING-AGE SCULPTURE IN NORTH-WEST WALES: WEALTH, POWER, PATRONAGE AND THE CHRISTIAN LANDSCAPE
    (pp. 73-88)
    Nancy Edwards

    Early medieval stone sculpture is the most important archaeological evidence we currently have for identifying the process of conversion to Christianity and the development and distribution of ecclesiastical foundations and related sites in wales before the twelfth century.¹ Moreover, close examination of the sculpture – including quantification, and consideration of its archaeological and historical context, geology, form, function, ornament and inscriptions – also allows us to study it as an important manifestation of material, economic and social investment² and consequently to pose other interesting questions concerning cultural contacts, wealth and patronage, the ownership of land and the relationship between secular rulers and...

  14. 8 IONA V. KELLS: SUCCESSION, JURISDICTION AND POLITICS IN THE COLUMBAN FAMILIA IN THE LATER TENTH CENTURY
    (pp. 89-102)
    Thomas Owen Clancy

    In 1988 Máire Herbert’s magisterial Iona, Kells and Derry laid out a clear map of the progression of the authority within the Columban familia along the lines indicated in the title, with the comarbus or ‘successorship’ of the founder saint Columba passing to each of the named major monasteries within the federation from the sixth to the twelfth century.¹ Importantly, she gave careful consideration to the nature of the ‘hand-over’ periods between the institutions, making it clear, for instance, that despite the construction of the monastery of Kells during the period 807–14, the idea of Iona’s abandonment for Kells...

  15. 9 A TWELFTH-CENTURY INDULGENCE GRANTED BY AN IRISH BISHOP AT BATH PRIORY
    (pp. 103-114)
    Marie Therese Flanagan

    A cartulary of the Benedictine cathedral priory of Bath, which on the evidence of its script has been dated to around the mid-twelfth century, contains an indulgence granted by marcus Cluanensis episcopus to the ‘truly penitent’ who with alms and prayers would visit the church at Bath on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (14 September).¹ The text, which is printed in Appendix 1,² is preceded in the cartulary by similar indulgences from Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury (1138–61),³ and robert, bishop of Bath (1136–66),⁴ and followed by one from nicholas, bishop of llandaff (1148–83).⁵ as...

  16. 10 GERALD OF WALES, GILDAS AND THE DESCRIPTIO KAMBRIAE
    (pp. 115-124)
    Huw Pryce

    In the first preface to the Descriptio Kambriae, completed in 1194, Gerald of wales makes two related assertions: he had written a work of history, and he had sought to imitate the example of Gildas.¹ Although by no means ignored, both statements have remained at the margins of scholarly discussion, which has tended to concentrate on the Descriptio’s novelty as a remarkably detailed, albeit partial, account of a medieval country and people as well as on what it reveals of its author’s attitude towards wales and the welsh.² The emphasis on the work as an original contribution to ethnographic writing...

  17. 11 PATRICK’S REASONS FOR LEAVING BRITAIN
    (pp. 125-134)
    Roy Flechner

    As a foreigner in his adoptive land with no kin to vouch for him, Patrick needed to secure protection from local kings who guaranteed his safety.¹ Such protection, it seems, did not come cheaply. In his Confessio Patrick famously describes how he lavished praemia ‘gifts’ on kings and made mercedes ‘payments’ to sons of kings who travelled with him.² He also had to grease the palms of judges, to whom he gave pretium quindecim hominum ‘the price of fifteen men’, although we are never told what he received in return.³ But while Patrick may have given gifts to others, he...

  18. 12 LEARNING LAW IN MEDIEVAL IRELAND
    (pp. 135-144)
    Robin Chapman Stacey

    One of the many subjects on which Thomas Charles-Edwards has immeasurably broadened our understanding over the years is that of early Irish legal education.¹ Through his work we have been invited to contemplate not merely what, but how, budding lawyers were being taught in the schools. No tract addresses the issue of instructional method specifically; however, given the traditional understanding of the extant law tracts as textbooks for junior jurists, it seems only reasonable to imagine that one might be able to infer something about this from the texts that remain. Particularly difficult to reconstruct from this distance are the...

  19. 13 HOLDING COURT: JUDICIAL PRESIDENCY IN BRITTANY, WALES AND NORTHERN IBERIA IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES
    (pp. 145-154)
    Wendy Davies

    The capacity to hold court can be a key to the distribution and exercise of political power; to the existence of public or of private power; and to the interplay both between local community and landlords and between local community and rulers’ agents. Of course, the phrase ‘holding court’ in modern english offers a multiplicity of meanings, just as the notion of holding court in the early Middle Ages covers a multiplicity of occasions: there were kings’ courts, bishops’ courts, secular lords’ courts, monastic lords’ courts – where business was done, celebrations held, visitors received, dues paid, gifts exchanged, plans made....

  20. 14 THE IORWERTH TRIADS
    (pp. 155-164)
    Sara Elin Roberts

    Cyfraith Hywel, the law of Hywel, was the system of law followed in Wales throughout the Middle Ages; attributed to Hywel ap Cadell (Hywel dda), d. 949 or 950, it survives in some forty manuscripts dating from the mid-thirteenth century to the fifteenth century.¹ It was a native legal system, distinct from both English Law and Canon Law; had the system survived to this day, it would be a third class of law in the United Kingdom, a Volksrecht-system to join the Scottish civil law tradition and the English common law.²

    The manuscripts of welsh law divide into three Welsh...

  21. 15 THE RECOVERY OF STOLEN PROPERTY: NOTES ON LEGAL PROCEDURE IN GAELIC IRELAND, SCOTLAND AND THE ISLE OF MAN
    (pp. 165-172)
    Fergus Kelly

    A good deal of general information on the law relating to theft is to be found in the surviving old Irish legal material from the seventh to the ninth centuries AD.¹ The main law text on this topic is Bretha im Gatta ‘judgements about thefts’, though it is incomplete, owing to the loss of a page in the manuscript.² Material on theft is also present in a number of other Old Irish law texts, such as Críth Gablach,³ Bechbretha⁴ and Bretha Cairdi.⁵

    The earlier material in Irish contains little specific information on the legal mechanisms for the recovery of stolen...

  22. 16 CONTENTIOUS KINSHIP: THE PENUMBRA OF ESTABLISHED KINSHIP IN MEDIEVAL IRISH LAW
    (pp. 173-182)
    Bronagh Ní Chonaill

    The medieval Irish legal tradition placed a high value on the presence and social function of the child within the community, understanding the practice of child-rearing to be undertaken for the well-being (socamail) of the household.¹ For social stability, a child ought to be the product of a union sanctioned by both affected kin-groups and preferably from parents within a common social bracket. And in all likelihood, this was the norm. A person’s legal worth and status at birth could determine not only the manner of upbringing, but also ultimately a person’s legal standing and the nature and extent of...

  23. 17 MARRIAGE BY PURCHASE IN EARLY IRISH LAW
    (pp. 183-192)
    Charlene M. Eska

    In a short tract on the Milesian Invasion there is a curious passage in which the Sons of Míl arrive in Ireland only to find the island inhabited by a group of Hebrew maidens. The maidens will not give up their land without receiving a payment (tindscra) for their ‘friendship’ (cairdes):¹ ‘Is de at fir crendai mnai in-Eri co brath ar im·chrenad lanamnai isin doman oilcheanai.’² Rudolf Thurneysen has discussed this passage in relation to the notion of marriage by bride-purchase and states that this passage represents the older procedure whereby a man simply buys a wife without expecting a...

  24. 18 KINGSHIP MADE REAL? POWER AND THE PUBLIC WORLD IN LONGES MAC nUISLENN
    (pp. 193-206)
    Elva Johnston

    This review of Healy Willan’s opera Deirdre, a distant descendant of the early Irish tale Longes Mac nUislenn,² is in a long interpretative tradition, even if indirectly. Of course, the twentieth-century opera is at many removes from the medieval narrative, separated by time and language, by substance and genre.³ Nevertheless, it reflects an assumption that this saga of broken bonds between men, of fraternal exile, of sex and death, pivots around its central female character, deirdre. She is simultaneously catalyst and victim, helpless to save her lover noísiu, and noísiu’s brothers, from deathly betrayal. This is no surprise: the Gaelic...

  25. 19 MONGÁN’S METAMORPHOSIS: COMPERT MONGÁIN OCUS SERC DUIBE LACHA DO MONGÁN, A LATER MONGÁN TALE
    (pp. 207-216)
    Máire Ní Mhaonaigh

    Compert Mongáin ocus Serc Duibe Lacha do Mongán(The Birth of Mongán and Mongán’s Love for Dub Lacha – or Dub Lacha’s Love for Mongán) belongs to the broad category of narrative Alan Bruford termed ‘ Romantic Tales’, encompassing in his view ‘all the late medieval and later romances found in Irish manuscripts from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries and the related folktales’.² The earliest copy is contained in the Book of Fermoy, written for David Mór son of Maurice Roche in the middle of the fifteenth century,³ and it was in Bruford’s view among the best of the Romantic tales...

  26. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE WRITINGS OF THOMAS CHARLES-EDWARDS
    (pp. 217-224)
  27. INDEX
    (pp. 225-236)
  28. TABULA GRATULATORIA
    (pp. 237-238)
  29. Back Matter
    (pp. 239-239)