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LegalismProperty and Ownership$
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Georgy Kantor, Tom Lambert, and Hannah Skoda

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813415

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813415.001.0001

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Property and Possession in Medieval Celtic Societies

Property and Possession in Medieval Celtic Societies

(p.75) 3 Property and Possession in Medieval Celtic Societies

T. M. Charles-Edwards

Oxford University Press

The sources drawn upon for this paper are legal manuals. These come from the seventh and eighth centuries in the case of Ireland and, for Wales, from the thirteenth. Alongside some similarities in the way the two legal traditions handled concepts of property, there were also huge differences. The Irish texts are, on the whole, richer and more detailed. Where they are most rewarding is in the accounts they give of relationships and procedures presupposing distinctions between forms of property and possession: clientship, claims to land, pledging, and distraint. In Welsh law there are some clear parallels, most evidently in the case of claims to land, but the main interest lies in a more elaborate and explicit set of concepts. In Irish law, on the other hand, the main interest lies not in explicit conceptual distinctions but rather in distinctions implied by different areas of law, particularly by legal rituals.

Keywords:   Ireland, Wales, Clientship, Land Ownership, Legal Rituals, Conceptual Distinctions, Distraint, Livestock

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