Live of Patrick and Old Irish laws

Viking, Saxon, and Early Christian Irish cultures

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Live of Patrick and Old Irish laws

Postby Thornvald on Thu May 29, 2008 11:25 am

I am looking for books about life of Patrick and Old Irish laws texts even in Irish, it'll be a good exercise of translation
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Re: Live of Patrick and Old Irish laws

Postby the_power on Thu May 29, 2008 2:31 pm

Check out the 'early irish law' series, by Fergus Kelly. It is a good guide to early religious and secular law, and has a wonderful biblography of many other books, including some by some wonderful German and French scholars on Early Irish.

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Re: Live of Patrick and Old Irish laws

Postby Freebeard on Thu May 29, 2008 5:44 pm

right, a good place to go to is and there are a whole lot of articles and stuff on there,. including stuff in irish and old irish

otherwise, go to, then click on colleges and departments, then faculty of arts and celtic studies and then faculty of celtic studies and thay have an area there on electronic resources and areas of interest that will also be helpful in what your looking for.

also, if you click on the Early Irish department they have the CDI (Celtic Digital Initiative) and there is a lot of info on Laws in there.
If you can't access them, then give me a pm, and i might be able to get em for ya (i'll ask the lecturers though - i'm sure they won't say no)

hope it helps
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Re: Live of Patrick and Old Irish laws

Postby oleg on Thu May 29, 2008 5:48 pm

You can take a look at Published Texts section on the website.
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Re: Live of Patrick and Old Irish laws

Postby Thornvald on Fri May 30, 2008 9:57 am

Thanks a lot I don't have a computer at home so most of time I am not able to go on web so If you could give the references so I could order them
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Re: Live of Patrick and Old Irish laws

Postby brendan on Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:08 pm

the Fergus Kelly books are published by the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies You will need to navigate through to the Celtic Studies and then publications.
That or Amazon.
- either should get you the ISBN etc

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Re: Live of Patrick and Old Irish laws

Postby claimhteoir on Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:35 am

I'd agree with the above...

Fergus Kelly's "A Guide to Early Irish Law" gives a basic introduction to the socio-legal structure of early Irish society, defining people and classes, the interaction of people and the contracat nature of early Irish law. It deals with social issues such as marriage, divorce, fosterage and children. It deals with property, inheritence and various offences. It also gives insight into the sources of the law, the law schools of the time and the later brehon septs.

Fergus Kelly's "Early Irish Farming", which is also in the DIAS early Irish Law series, is also a great book, which gives a much deeper insight into the society of the time, relying mainly on the law texts for evidence. It deals with farming, but with other social issues too. It must be remembered agricultural was at the core of the society of the time.

You have to get a hold of Fergus Kelly's books! They're a must read!

Daniel A. Binchy's works are often quoted by Kelly and in other books I've read. He's likely to be worth a look, but I've been told Kelly's books are the best sources for an introduction. I've found them very interesting, engaging and surprisingly clear, given the complexity of their subjects.

Some law texts are on CELT, as has been mentioned above. Cain Lamamna has been translated by Donnchadh O Corrain and is available from this source:

This is the law that pertains to marriage or unions in early Ireland. O Corrain has written a lot on early Irish society too quoting the laws, so look for any of his writings. He has a clerical background and often deals with Christianity's influence in early Irish law. The levels of influence that can be attributed to Christianity, Roman ideas and pre-Christian Irish oral traditions is a hot scholarly debate at present I've been told.

Daibhi O Croinin mentions the law tracts in some of his works on early Ireland too.

The Triads of Ireland are also worth a look. They're being discussed here: and are also up on CELT in translation.

I've never read the Life of Patrick, but it's a fairly famous hagiography alright and it's on CELT too:

Happy reading!
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