Cáin lánamna ‘The regulation of couples’

  • Old Irish
  • Early Irish law texts

See Eska (2010) for a thorough examination of the manuscript evidence.

A =
pp. 53a4–59b14
Only complete copy.
B =
cols 233–243
= CIH 1804.12-1812.32. Numerous excerpts from the text.
C =
cols 449–452
= CIH 1947.2-1949.22. Excerpt from § 2 with glosses and commentary
D =
p. 381a
= CIH 903.19-36. Brief excerpts
E =
f. 19b–d
= CIH 89.26-90.32. Late commentary.
H =
p. 188a–b
= CIH 713.27-714.11. Excerpt with commentary.
K =
p. 434a
= CIH 974.34-975.27 and Eska (2010), Appendix 4.
N =
p. 136a–b (facs.)
Short commentary embedded in a version of Uraicecht becc
O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, O'Dav and Cormac:
see Eska for further references.
  • Old Irish


Early Irish law textsEarly Irish law texts


marriage lawcontract law
marriage law
id. 28986


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.] [tr.] Eska, Charlene M. [ed. and tr.], Cáin lánamna: an Old Irish tract on marriage and divorce law, Medieval Law and Its Practice, 5, Leiden: Brill, 2010.
[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.
502.7–519.35 Diplomatic edition of TCD 1316
[facs.] Best, R. I., and Rudolf Thurneysen [introduction], Senchas Már: facsimile of the oldest fragments from Ms.H.2.15 in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, Facsimiles in Collotype of Irish Manuscripts, 1, Dublin: Stationery Office, 1931.
39a–45a Facsimile of TCD 1316
[ed.] [tr.] Thurneysen, Rudolf [ed. and tr.], “Cáin lánamna”, in: Rudolf Thurneysen, Nancy Power, and Myles Dillon (eds), Studies in early Irish law, Dublin: Hodges Figgis, 1936. 1–80.
CELT – edition: <link>
[ed.] [tr.] Jaski, Bart [ed. and tr.], “Cáin lánamna ‘The regulation of couples’. Text and translation of the early Irish law-tract on marriage and sexual relationships”, Utrecht University website, Online: Utrecht University, 2005–.
[tr.] “Early medieval law, c. 700–1200”, in: Angela Bourke, Siobhán Kilfeather, and Maria Luddy [et al.] (eds), The Field Day anthology of Irish writing, vol. IV: Irish women's writing and traditions, Cork: Cork University Press, 2002. 6–44.
CELT – Cáin lánamna (pp. 22–26): <link>
Text translated at 22–26 (no edition).

Secondary sources (select)

Eska, Charlene M., “Varieties of early Irish legal literature and the Cáin lánamna fragments”, Viator 40:1 (2009): 1–16.
Jaski, Bart, “Marriage laws in Ireland and the Continent in the early Middle Ages”, in: Christine Meek, and Katharine Simms (eds), ‘The fragility of her sex’? Medieval Irishwomen in their European context, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1996. 16–42.
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
May 2011, last updated: January 2024