Bechbretha: an Old Irish law-tract on bee-keeping (paperback)


23 in stock

SKU: F4.1 PAPER Category:


ed. Thomas Charles-Edwards and Fergus Kelly
Published: 1983 (repr. with an additional Appendix 2008, 2020)
Format: paperback
Pages: xii + 214 (vol. I)
Reference: F.4.1
ISBN: 978 1 85500 209 8

Bechbretha ‘bee-judgements’ provides a detailed account of early Irish law relating to bee-keeping, and covers such topics as ownership of swarms, theft of bee-hives, and neighbours’ entitlements to honey from a beekeeper. The author also refers to the law-case which resulted from the blinding by a bee-sting of the eye of the Ulster king Congal Cáech, who died in 637. On linguistic and historical grounds, the editors date this remarkably well-preserved text to the seventh century AD.

This volume includes a description of the manuscripts, linguistic and legal introductions, an account of early Irish bee-keeping, a restored text with translation, and textual notes. The appendixes contain other Irish legal texts relating to bee-keeping, as well as Medieval Welsh legal material on this topic.

Additional information

Weight 316 g