Cáin Fhuithirbe

  • Old Irish
  • Early Irish law texts
  • extent: fragmentary
Fragment A =
CIH (vol. 3) 756.21-764.40
Fragment B =
CIH (vol. 3) 766.36-777.5
Fragment C =
CIH (vol. 5) 1553.26-1555.40
Fragment D =
CIH (vol. 5) 1580.1-1581.6
Fragment E=
CIH (vol. 3) 687.37-690.26
in quotations
  • Old Irish
c. 680 (Breatnach)
Munster (Breatnach)


Early Irish law textsEarly Irish law texts


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.

[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)
[ed.] Binchy, D. A. [ed.], Corpus iuris Hibernici, 7 vols, vol. 5, Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1978.  
Volume 5 of the Corpus iuris Hibernici, which is numbered pp. 1532–1925, contains diplomatic editions of legal material from TCD 1363 (H 4. 22), the Book of Ballymote (RIA 23 P 12), BL Egerton 90 and TCD 1336 (H 3. 17).

Secondary sources (select)

Breatnach, Liam, “The ecclesiastical element in the Old-Irish legal tract Cáin Fhuithirbe”, Peritia 5 (1986): 36–52.  
This paper examines some aspects of the Old Irish legal tract Cáin Fhuithirbe, especially the role of the church in its compilation. This text is of particular importance in that it can be dated on historical grounds to within a few years of AD 680. The paper discusses the state of preservation of the text, analyses various passages which can shed light on the date and style of composition of, and ecclesiastical involvement in, this fragmentarily preserved text, and concludes with a discussion of the final part of the text which is of relevance to Patrician studies.
(source: Brepols)
Jaski, Bart, “Reconstructing Cáin Fhuithirbe”, Utrecht University website, Online: Utrecht University, 2005–.  
The early Irish law tract Cáin Fhuithirbe (ca. 680) is preserved in five fragments which contain glossed excerpts of the original text. This article is a preliminary attempt to reconstruct, as far as possible, the sequence of the original text by comparing the five extant fragments. The reconstructed text is given without glosses, translation or analysis. In one manuscript version of the tract, TCD 1363 (olim H. 4. 22), a page is missing which has not been noted previously.
Academia.edu – 2017 version, with minor revisions: <link>
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
June 2017, last updated: January 2024