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On Judgements Concerning Privileged Classes, in an Irish Law Book

On Judgements Concerning Privileged Classes, in an Irish Law Book

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1571

Shelfmark: Cotton MS Nero A VII

Item number: f.132r

Length: 15

Width: 10.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Irish law has a long tradition in the middle ages, a body formed from native and church law. Much of it has to do with social rank, especially the upper ranks, which included not only kings and warriors but also the poets. This late medieval law manuscript on privileged classes is said to have been copied by Matha O Luinin, a member of a renowned scribal family of County Fermanagh. It was made for Aimirgin who presented it to Morann Mac Main, a judge. The book begins with a declaration of the need for a true knowledge of the law and speaks of two main divisions of society: the free and the servile.

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