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Re: Gaelic Archery

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:12 pm
by brendan
for instance? ...not looking to argue, I am genuinely interested!

Re: Gaelic Archery

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:15 am
by cellachán chaisil
brendan wrote:for instance? ...not looking to argue, I am genuinely interested!


A specific example doesn't come to mind, but one such may be gleaned from the change from the bride-price (coibhche) to the dowry (tionnscra). I seem to recall a writer assuming the value mentioned was paid from the husband to the wife, whereas the commentator assumes it was paid from the wife to the husband.

Re: Gaelic Archery

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:36 pm
by brendan
I would have to check my notes - I was at a lecture on the broader subject of women under Brehon law by Fergus Kelly a few years back - but from what I remember the Bride Price was paid to the Wife's family to be returned if she wasn't fertile (I think) and she got to keep a percentage. I don't remember any specific mention of how that changed over time.
I do know that the woman did get to keep an increasing percentage of the payment if she was married more than once - particularly important in dynastic marriages

Re: Gaelic Archery

PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:59 pm
by cellachán chaisil
brendan wrote:I would have to check my notes - I was at a lecture on the broader subject of women under Brehon law by Fergus Kelly a few years back - but from what I remember the Bride Price was paid to the Wife's family to be returned if she wasn't fertile (I think) and she got to keep a percentage. I don't remember any specific mention of how that changed over time.
I do know that the woman did get to keep an increasing percentage of the payment if she was married more than once - particularly important in dynastic marriages


That would be the problem. The state of the law is far easier to determine when it was being redacted, as opposed to being commentated on. During the time of the commentaries things become very messy, firstly because society was changing rapidly (which is quite contrary to the view initially expounded by Binchy that the law was immutable), but secondly because a chasm was opening due to the commentators inability to determine the content of the texts accurately. One should be careful not to overstate (or understate) that point however.

Re: Gaelic Archery

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:49 pm
by brendan
my guess is that the interpreters kept with the publicly stated notion that the law was immutable.
I remember reading Binchy's (?) transcription/commentary on Breatha dén Chéacht(sp? the one one medical law). What I took from it was that they adapted to future needs by narrowing in the scope of the original law to the point where it really didn't apply rather than actively changing it - but that is memory

Re: Gaelic Archery

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:47 pm
by cellachán chaisil
brendan wrote:my guess is that the interpreters kept with the publicly stated notion that the law was immutable.


Unfortunately, initially Bincy fell for it hook line and sinker. He disagreed with any historical intepretation that contradicted the view that Irish was a collection of hundreds of independent tribes until quite late in his life. The turning point was an essay he wrote on the Viking impact on Irish society, wherein he finally recognises that the structure of society and polity had changed.

I remember reading Binchy's (?) transcription/commentary on Breatha dén Chéacht(sp? the one one medical law). What I took from it was that they adapted to future needs by narrowing in the scope of the original law to the point where it really didn't apply rather than actively changing it - but that is memory


Are you referring to sick-maintenance? That's one example of the texts themselves changing as opposed to the commentaries reinterpreting them. Once again imporant to rebut the immutability of Brehon Law. Another sign of the fact the law wasn't immutable was the improvement of the position of women in marriage law.

Re: Gaelic Archery

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:14 pm
by brendan
I am not saying that it was immutable, more that it was probably presented as immutable...except where it suited.
It couldn't have lasted as long as it did if there had been no change.

Re: Gaelic Archery

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:05 pm
by cellachán chaisil
brendan wrote:I am not saying that it was immutable, more that it was probably presented as immutable...except where it suited.
It couldn't have lasted as long as it did if there had been no change.


I'm sorry, I didn't assume that you had made that claim.