Críth gablach‘Forked purchase’
- Old Irish
- Early Irish law texts
Old Irish legal tract which offers a systematic examination of the principles of legal rank and status in early Irish society, focusing on the free and noble classes. Its composition has been dated to the first half of the eighth century.
- Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1337 10, pp. 214–268pp. 252–256§§ 1-27 in Binchy's edition. This part was written in c. 1540.
- Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1337 volume 2 (pp. 1-14) [s. xvi]pp. 1–7aComplete except that that the first folio is almost entirely missing. This part was written in c. 1510. On p. 7a and 7b, the text cites the Old Irish legal poem Ma be rí rofesser recht flatho.
- Dublin, Trinity College, MS 1337 14, pp. 399–438p. 419Fragment: copy of A written in the mid-16th century.
- Old Irish
Legal poem cited at the end of Críth gablach. It numbers 104 lines in Binchy’s edition.Bretha nemed toísechBretha nemed toísechOld Irish legal tract on the law of privileged persons (nemed), with particular attention being paid towards churchmen, poets and judges.
Legal poem cited at the end of Críth gablach. It numbers 104 lines in Binchy’s edition.
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.
Secondary sources (select)
The early eighth-century Irish legal tract, Críth Gablach (a text on status), ends with a discussion of kingship. It is particularly interesting for its perception of the relationship between a king and his people as a contract. It is argued that the background to this view is to be found within Ireland, especially in the relationship between client kings and their overlords and between the church and the laity. Críth Gablach’s account of kingship also includes a section on the proper arrangement of the king’s household. Some elements of this section are clearly artificial, but they can be explained in terms of a desire on the part of the author to include a christian interpretation of kingship.
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