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Bechbretha: an Old Irish law-tract on bee-keeping

Bechbretha: an Old Irish law-tract on bee-keeping

Edited by Fergus Kelly and Thomas Charles-Edwards

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First published in 1983. This reprint in 2008.

Part of The Early Irish Law Series. Volume I.

Bechbretha ‘bee-judgements’ provides a detailed account of early Irish law relating to bee-keeping, and covers such topics as ownership of swarms, theft of bee-hives, and neighbours' entitlements to honey from a beekeeper.

The author also refers to the law-case which resulted from the blinding by a bee-sting of the eye of the Ulster king Congal Cáech, who died in 637. On linguistic and historical grounds, the editors date this remarkably well-preserved text to the seventh century AD. This volume includes a description of the manuscripts, linguistic and legal introductions, an account of early Irish bee-keeping, a restored text with translation, and textual notes.

The appendixes contain other Irish legal texts relating to bee-keeping, as well as Medieval Welsh legal material on this topic.

Additional Information

Author Edited by Fergus Kelly and Thomas Charles-Edwards
Publisher Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies
Publication date 19 Jun 2008
Format Hardback
ISBN/EAN 9781855002098

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