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The Laws of Alfred and Ine

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Chapter Summary

King Alfred's "mighty code", including the laws of King Ine of Wessex, is a monument of English law, influential through the Anglo-Saxon period and into the Norman era. Although royal codes were issued in the names of kings from Æthelbert of Kent through Cnut, Alfred's laws are paradigmatic for the study of Anglo-Saxon legislation. To address the laws of Alfred and Ine, four topics are critical to understanding their significance. "Manuscripts and Contexts" conveys how the physical setting of the codes reveals their meaning in the collections where they appear. "Format as Symbol" considers the traditional presentation of Alfred-Ine and its symbolic value. "Preliminary Materials: Chapters and Preface" analyzes the origin and development of these integral parts of the text. Finally, "Texts and Contexts" discusses the sources of Alfred and Ine and the relationship between their law codes.

Keywords: Æthelbert; Alfred's laws; Anglo-Saxon legislation; law codes; laws of King Ine



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