Bretha im fhuillema gell ‘Judgements concerning pledge-interests’

  • Old Irish
  • prose
pp. 28a–38a
rubric: ‘Bretha im fuillema gell. Cia luigem i fuillemaib gell la ni gell foircsen fo bid bith fonascc omna iarna chul nochis ed gell forccsen la gell bis i llaim neich bessa set co brith no deroscc’
beg. ‘.i. breitheamnas seo berar imna fuillmhib daberar laisna geallaib no gellaib laisa tabar in fuillem iarna follugudh’
The only continuous copy, edited in CIH 462.19-477.30.
p. 26b.i–c.sup
beg. ‘Ni nach ba ⁊ nach eich ⁊ nach or ⁊ nach airget tucc bean in brughadh ann sin i ngell nair damadh iat-sin [etc]’
Passage based on the text (Breatnach). Edited in CIH 106.4 -14.
pp. 263a.m–264b.sup
beg. ‘Nach duine dobeir a geall, mad i comind fia fiadna’
Two quotations, with extensive commentary, edited in CIH 792.24-794-24.
Breatnach has identified quotations from the text in O’Davoren’s glossary, §§ 147-150, 539, 724-5, 992, 1134 and 1391, as numbered in Stokes’ edition.
  • Old Irish
prose (primary)






Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

According to Fergus Kelly (1988), Damian McManus has been working on an edition of the text for the Early Irish Law Series.
[dipl. ed.] Binchy, D. A. [ed.], Corpus iuris Hibernici, 7 vols, vol. 2, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1978.  
comments: numbered pp. 339–744; diplomatic edition of legal material from: London, British Library, MS Harley 432; Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1316; Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1337.
462.19–477.30 TCD 1316 (section: pp. 11-38).
[dipl. ed.] Binchy, D. A. [ed.], Corpus iuris Hibernici, 7 vols, vol. 1, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1978.  
comments: numbered pp. 1–337; diplomatic edition of legal material three manuscripts: the Bodleian manuscripts Rawlinson B 487 and Rawlinson B 506, and TCD 1433 (E 3. 5).
106.4–106.14 Rawl. B 506.
[dipl. ed.] Binchy, D. A. [ed.], Corpus iuris Hibernici, 7 vols, vol. 3, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1978.  
comments: numbered pp. 745–1138; diplomatic edition of legal material from Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1337 (continued, pp. 745–1109); Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1317 (pp. 1111–1138)
792.24–794.24 TCD 1337, citations.
[ed.] [tr.] Hancock, W. Neilson, Thaddeus OʼMahony, Alexander George Richey, and Robert Atkinson [ed. and tr.], Ancient laws of Ireland, 6 vols, vol. 5: Uraicecht Becc and certain other selected Brehon law tracts, Stationery Office: Dublin, 1901.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
[ed.] [tr.] Vallancey, Charles, “No. IV (app.). Part of the ancient Brehon laws of Ireland; Two laws from the Corporation Book of Irishtown, Kilkenny”, in: Charles Vallancey [ed.] (ed.), Collectanea de rebus Hibernicis, 6 vols, vol. 1, 2nd ed., Dublin: Luke White, 1786. 645–672.
Internet Archive – Originally available from Google Books: <link>, <link>, <link>
657–666 [‘Fragment 1’] Fragment beginning with the passage concerning Mugdorn. This is not a reliable edition or translation, but it is given here for historical interest. Headed “Fragment I. In the possession of Sir John Sebright, Bart. being Part of the Collection made by Mr. Edw. Lhwyd for the Chandois Library.” A 19th-century transcript of this is found in NLI MS G 111, pp. 119, 122-126.

Secondary sources (select)

Bemmer, Jaqueline, “The types of pledges in medieval Irish law: form, function and context”, in: Anders Ahlqvist, and Pamela OʼNeill (eds), Medieval Irish law: text and context, 12, Sydney: Celtic Studies Foundation, University of Sydney, 2013. 3–23.
Stacey, Robin Chapman, Dark speech: the performance of law in early Ireland, The Middle Ages Series, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.
44–45, 172
Breatnach, Liam, A companion to the Corpus iuris Hibernici, Early Irish Law Series, 5, Dublin: DIAS, 2005.  

A companion to D. A. Binchy, CIH (1978). Review article: Neil McLeod, ‘Review,A true companion to the Corpus iuris Hibernici’, Peritia 19 (2005).

296 ( (23) Bretha im fhuillemu gell), 311, etc.
Kelly, Fergus, A guide to early Irish law, Early Irish Law Series, 3, Dublin: DIAS, 1988.
28, 47, 51, 78, 111, 112 n. 90, 116, 165 n. 62, 166, 244, 249, 278 (App. I, no. 60)
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
March 2022, last updated: June 2023