- s. xx / s. xxi
The Old Irish word muirchrech (also murchrech and muirchreth) is found in law texts where it refers to the distance out to sea at which certain offenders are to be placed in a boat and left to the dictates of wind and tide. Uses of the word in literary texts either reflect this legal scenario or imply a convention of diplomatic protection within a muirchrech of a ruler's territorial lands. Although this general use of the term is clear, there has not yet been any agreement as to the literal meaning of muirchrech, or the actual distance referred to. This article sets out to explore possible literal meanings of muirchrech.
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