Ancient Irish Law

Great piece on fascinating subject

Stair na hÉireann | History of Ireland

‘Irish law is the oldest, most original, and most extensive of mediaeval European legal systems. It is a unique legal inheritance, an independent indigenous system of advanced jurisprudence that was fully evolved by the eighth century. It is also far less well-known than it deserves.’

‘Early medieval Ireland evolved a system of law (often called ’Brehon’ law, from the Old Irish word brithemain ’judges’) which is remarkable in several respects. No other early medieval society has left such a substantial amount of written law, and none has preserved its laws entirely in the vernacular. Early Irish law is unique also amongst medieval legal codes in the range and nature of the subjects that are covered by it. It has also, until relatively recently, suffered unique neglect. Thanks, however, to the researches of scholars in the last half-century or so, the full richness of the Irish legal material from the period…

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