Early Irish and Welsh Kinship

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Overview


This is a major comparative study of early Irish and Welsh kinship. Kinship is a central element in all human societies and was of particular significance in early medieval Ireland and Wales where government institutions were, in general, weak. T. M. Charles-Edwards examines the forms of kinship found in Ireland and Wales at the earliest periods for which documentation is sufficient (the seventh century for Ireland and the twelfth through thirteenth centuries for Wales). His analysis of kinship vocabulary and careful consideration of the available evidence enables him to take the discussion back to earlier periods. This is the first extended scholarly treatment of the topic. It is an intensively researched, erudite, and fascinating study of the interplay of tradition and innovation in the development of kinship from the prehistoric to the medieval period.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a book that should make its mark on many scholars...No one writing on the structure of society, land-holding, lordship, or farming in the two countries concerned will be able to ignore it."--American Historical Review

"This book breaks new ground in several ways...It is an essential book, and not just for historians of Ireland and Wales. Medievalists, anthropologists, and students of social theory will find much in it."--Albion

"Charles-Edwards adds significantly to our understanding of medieval Irish and Welsh society."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Although its title might imply something narrower, the book is in fact a major contribution to the understanding of Celtic societies.

"The book is excellently produced...this is a major work, which will surely endure."--Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198201038
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1993
  • Pages: 616
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps
List of Genealogical Tables
Abbreviations and Conventions
A Note on Terminology
Introduction 1
I Irish Kinship 21
1 The Structure of Irish Kinship 23
A Agnatic Lineage and Bilateral Kin 23
B Kinship Terms 33
C Gelfine, Derbfine, Iarfine, and Indfine 49
D Inheritance 61
E Secondary Forms of Kinship 73
2 Irish Ruling Kindreds 89
A Succession to the Kingship 89
B The Genealogies 111
C Early Hagiography 134
D The Gens in the Ogham Inscriptions 147
II Welsh Kinship 167
3 The Shape of Welsh Kinship 169
A Kinship Terminology 169
B The Kinship of Status 172
C Kinship and the Life-Cycle 175
D Kinship and Wergeld 181
E Large Kindreds and Heads of Kindreds 201
F Inheritance in Welsh Law 211
G Kinship and Politics 216
4 The Gwely and the Gafael 226
III Claims to Land by Virtue of Kinship 257
5 Irish Tellach 259
6 Welsh Dadannudd 274
IV Kin and Lord 305
7 The Fuidir: the Half-Free in Ireland 307
8 Irish Clientship 337
9 Kinship and Lordship in Wales 364
A Introduction 364
B Gwestfa 370
C Dawnbwyd 383
D The Convergence of Gwestfa and Dawnbwyd 391
E The Early History of Welsh Lordship 395
F The Problem of Tir Cyfrif 400
G Conclusions 407
V Kinsman and Neighbour 413
10 Kinship and Neighbourhood in Ireland 415
11 Kinship and Neighbourhood in Wales 431
Conclusions and Further Reflections 460
Appendix A: A Note on Irish Units of Value 478
Appendix B: Previous Theories about 'the Four Fini' 486
Appendix C: Fodlai Fine, 'The Divisions of the Kindred', and the Kinship Poem 515
Appendix D: The Sections on Sharing the Patrimony in Welsh Law 510
Bibliography 518
Glossary 545
Index 577
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