Cáin Lánamna

An Old Irish Tract on Marriage and Divorce Law

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Cáin Lánamna "The Law of Couples", an Old Irish text dated to c. 700, is arguably the most important source of information concerning women and the household economy in early Ireland. The text describes all the recognized marriages and unions, both legal and illegal, and provides information regarding the allocation of property in the event of a divorce. The text was heavily glossed over a period of several centuries and provides insights into changes in the Irish legal system. This book provides, for the first time, an English translation of the entire text and all the accompanying glosses and commentary. It also includes an introduction to early Irish society, linguistic and legal notes, and a glossary to the tract.
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Biographical Note

Charlene M. Eska, Ph.D. (2006) in Celtic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University, is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Her recent publications focus on marriage and divorce in early Irish law.

Table of contents

CONTENTS
Acknowledgements … xi
Preface … xiii
Abbreviations … xv
Grammatical Abbreviations … xvi
Irish Law Tracts Cited in this Volume … xvii
Introduction … 1
Legal Introduction … 3
The Structure of Early Irish Society … 3
The Law of Marriage in Medieval Wales and Anglo-Saxon
England … 30
Manuscript Introduction … 35
Relationship of the Sources … 55
Date of the Text … 61
EditorialMethod … 63
The Structure of Cain Lanamna ... 67
Cain Lanamna
(text and translation)
§1 Introductory Matters … 78
§2 … 84
§3 … 106
§4 … 114
§5 lanamnas comthinchuir “union of joint contribution” … 118
§6 … 124
§7 … 128
§8 … 132
§9 … 134
§10 … 138
§11 … 142
§12 … 150
§13 … 154
§14 … 156
§15 … 162
§16 … 166
§17 ... 170
§18 … 174
§19 ... 184
§20 ... 192
§21 lanamnas mna for ferthinchur “union of a woman on a man’s
contribution” … 196
§22 … 198
§23 … 204
§24 … 208
§25 ... 214
§26 … 218
§27 … 222
§28 … 228
§29 ... 234
§30 … 236
§31 lanamnas fir for bantinchur “union of a man on a woman’s
contribution” … 240
§32 ... 248
§33 … 254
§34 lanamnas fir thathigtheo “union of aman visiting” ... 262
§35 lanamnas airite for erail “union accepted at the instigation (of
the man)” … 268
§35 lanamnas foxail “union by abduction” and lanamnas taide
“union of secrecy” … 274
§36 lanamnas eicne “union by rape” and lanamnas sleithe “union
by stealth” … 282
§37 lanamnas genaide “union ofmockery” … 292
appendices
Appendix 1. E, Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson
B.506, fols. 19b–19d … 303
Appendix 2. F, Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson
B.506, fol. 42d … 309
Appendix 3. G, Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson
B.506, fols. 55b–56d … 311
Appendix 4. K, Trinity College, Dublin, 1337 (H.3.18), p. 43a … 325
Appendix 5. T, Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson
B.506, fol. 22 a–b … 329
Appendix 6. Additional Commentary … 333
Glossary … 343
Bibliography … 355
Index … 371

Readership

All those interested in Celtic Studies, medieval secular and canon law, social history, and Women's Studies, as well as medieval historians, archaeologists, linguists, and general medievalists.

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