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The Beginnings of English Law (Toronto Mediaeval Texts & Translations) (Toronto Medieval Texts and Translations)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Beginnings of English Law (Toronto Mediaeval Texts & Translations) (Toronto Medieval Texts and Translations).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Lisi Oliver(Author)

    Book details


The laws of Aethelbert of Kent (ca. 600), Hlohere and Eadric (685x686), and Wihtred (695), are the earliest laws from Anglo-Saxon England, and the first Germanic laws written in the vernacular. They are of unique importance as the only extant early medieval English laws that delineate the progress of law and legal language in the early days of the conversion to Christianity. Aethelbert's laws, the closest existing equivalent to Germanic law as it was transmitted in a pre-literate period, contrast with Hlohere and Eadric's expanded laws, which concentrate on legal procedure and process, and again contrast with the further changed laws of Wihtred which demonstrate how the new religion of Christianity adapted and changed the law to conform to changing social mores.This volume updates previous works with current scholarship in the fields of linguistics and social and legal history to present new editions and translations of these three Kentish pre-Alfredian laws. Each body of law is situated within its historical, literary, and legal context, annotated, and provided with facing-page translation.

Lisi Oliver is Greater Houston Alumni Chapter Endowed Alumni Professor in the Department of English at Louisiana State University.

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Book details

  • PDF | 304 pages
  • Lisi Oliver(Author)
  • University of Toronto Press (14 Dec. 2002)
  • English
  • 6
  • History

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Review Text

  • By Samuel Romilly on 19 March 2013

    This fine work takes you through the law codes from Aethelberht to Wihtred, giving the text in both Anglo-Saxon and English translation. Detailed and scholarly it is indispensible for anyone seriously interested in this early era of English legal History. Aethelberht's code featured in the first part of the excellent BBC series The Strange case of the Law.

  • By Michael D. Bloomfield on 16 May 2013

    An accessible and very informative text on early English law: I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants a full discussion of the subject.


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