Cyfraith Hywel ‘Law of Hywel (Dda)’

  • Middle Welsh, Latin
  • prose
  • Medieval Welsh law
  • extent: covers multiple recensions
multiple versions

Some 40 manuscripts have come down containing different redactions of the material, which scholarship has traditionally assigned to four or five broad groups: the [[Cyfraith Hywel (Iorwerth redaction) |Iorwerth redaction]], [[Cyfraith Hywel (Cyfnerth redaction) |Cyfnerth redaction]], the [[Cyfraith Hywel (Latin redactions) |Latin redactions]], the [[Cyfraith Hywel (Blegywryd redaction) |Blegywryd redaction]] and a further, miscellaneous group (follow the links for manuscript witnesses).

  • Middle Welsh Latin
  • Welsh and Latin.
prose (primary)
Associated items
Breintiau ArfonBreintiau Arfon

Short Welsh tract attested in two manuscripts of the Llyfr Iorwerth redaction of Welsh laws.


Cyfraith Hywel
Cyfraith Hywel
id. 535


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.] Owen, Aneurin [ed.], Ancient laws and institutes of Wales, 2 vols, London: Commissioners on the Public Records of the Kingdom, 1841.
Internet Archive: <link>
[ed.] Owen, Morfydd E., “The Laws of Court from Cyfnerth”, in: T. M. Charles-Edwards, Paul Russell, and Morfydd E. Owen (eds), The Welsh king and his court, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000. 425–477.
[tr.] Jenkins, Dafydd [tr.], The law of Hywel Dda: law texts from medieval Wales, The Welsh Classics, 2, Llandysul, Dyfed: Gomer Press, 1986.

Secondary sources (select)

Roberts, Sara Elin [project leader], and Bryn Jones [research ass.], Cyfraith Hywel, Online, 2013–. URL: <>. 
abstract: focuses on research on the manuscripts of Welsh law. Dr Sara Elin Roberts led the original research project, which was funded by the University of Wales and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. This site presents the contents of all of the manuscripts of Welsh law in the form of related and searchable databases. There is also a full bibliography of works on Welsh law, and texts and information on Ancient Laws, the first full study of the laws published in 1841.

Charles-Edwards, T. M., The Welsh laws, Writers of Wales, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1989.
Charles-Edwards, T. M., Paul Russell, and Morfydd E. Owen (eds), The Welsh king and his court, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
November 2010, last updated: March 2024