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Chapter Summary

Early Irish society was patriarchal, status-based, and polygynous. Every freeman born within a community was assigned a lg n-enech honorprice, all or part of which was paid to him or his kin for various crimes committed against him, his dependants, or members of his kin-group. The main purpose of CL is to describe the types of couples in medieval Ireland and to state which percentage, if any, of the marital goods each spouse received in the event that they should separate. This chapter commences with a discussion on the structure of early Irish Society and moves on to the law of marriage in medieval Wales and Anglo-Saxon England.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon England; early Irish marriage laws; freeman; medieval Wales



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