Guilds?

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Guilds?

Postby gobae on Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:30 pm

To make a long story and the subsequent question short; how early can a guild system in Ireland be shown to exist?

On the one hand, one translation of AIL that I have lists traditional guild honorifics (journeyman, master) in the honor-price list, suggesting that perhaps a guild type system had been in place for a long time. That said, the AIL was first written down in an era when the medieval guild system did exist (or was coming into existence) so maybe the scribes were filling in medieval terms for older archaic ones? Or the AIL was updated to include medieval concepts?

Thoughts?
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Re: Guilds?

Postby brendan on Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:44 pm

I think that we would need to get one of the sources reviewed by someone who can translate early irish - AFAIK a lot of the translations use comparable terms...though the worker of wood thing does imply a grading of people from chariot maker up to Saer etc
Can you provide a specific passage and I can try and get someone to look at it?

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Re: Guilds?

Postby wiblick on Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:51 am

I don't know that we'd describe them as guilds that early. I'm actually doing a project on Dublin Guilds in the medieval period and will let you know if I found any comparisons that can be drawn with early Irish systems.

The issue you may be coming up against is a tendency to translate old Irish into known English terms which may not actually be the true meaning of the word.

So while it'll look like a guild system when translated, the functioning of it may have been quite different. Guilds being an Anglo Norman introduction like heraldry. You can't REALLY have a crest for an Irish family, or if you do it was adopted after the 12th century.

My project is ongoing through the summer months so will let you know as I progress.

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Re: Guilds?

Postby gobae on Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:51 pm

Any update on your guild project? Curious minds want to know :)
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Re: Guilds?

Postby wiblick on Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:48 pm

sorry! Short version: guild like associations were probably in existence in Ireland before the arrival of the Anglo Normans but this cannot be verified through documentation. The Guild Merchant existed from at least 1190 when the guild roll is thought to date from and possibly earlier due to potentially missing bits, and there is a charter of 1192 granting Dublin the right to have guilds - as far as I can tell these royal granted guilds were free from certain tolls & taxes etc. but confraternaties are known to exist in Roman times - I didn't look into that bit much but can read over those chapters and let you know. So the question is when does a guild become a guild - is it apprenticeship and brotherhood that makes a guild or is it their special privledges regarding taxes and status in towns.... if the former then they have existed for centuries as it is human nature to band together with like minded individuals for cooperation and sharing of resources, if the latter then they are 13th C and later. In Ireland you don't get differentiated craft guilds until the 15th Century, and the late 15th century at that.

There are Scandinavian names on the Guild Roll (1190) but only one Irish name has been identified....


Longer version tomorrow or at the weekend.

To my mind I prefer not referring to associations as guilds before the mid 12th century, they are linked to towns and charters and commerce and taxes and a move away from businesses being run purely by families/on a small scale/to supplement farming.
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Re: Guilds?

Postby Freebeard on Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:03 pm

In regards to
brendan wrote:I think that we would need to get one of the sources reviewed by someone who can translate early irish
, can you put up or pass on any available passages? I would love to take a look at them (in the edited Irish text form if possible). I don;t mean in translating for ye, but I would like to have a look at for myself, and if I can make an ok stab at it, I may pass it on. But depending on the linguistic detials, I may or may not be able to accurately do so.
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Re: Guilds?

Postby knightofredemption on Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:00 pm

I know someone who is...I am loath to use the word expert, but it may well be justified here...in early Irish. If you have anything in particular in mind Brendan. Pass it on, and I'll see what I can do.
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Re: Guilds?

Postby brendan on Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:20 pm

I dont *actually* have the primary sources, however I have seen some other translation work where the translation used for story or other reasons is not always the one that captures the subtlety of what is involved
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Re: Guilds?

Postby the_power on Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:15 am

If you are looking for such primary sources, an interesting resource is the Early Irish mailing list.

https://listserv.heanet.ie/cgi-bin/wa?A0=OLD-IRISH-L

It can be entertaining - people usually find some old poem or manuscript, copy it up, and then people take turns in translating alternate lines. The debates can be very educational.

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Re: Guilds?

Postby Freebeard on Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:04 pm

I am subscribed to this list already. It is quite good at times, others it has no relevance to my interests. Their back catalogue of emails is available online, and sometimes worthwhile looking through alright.
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