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Native Law and the Church in Medieval Wales$
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Huw Pryce

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203629

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203629.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Native Law and the Church in Medieval Wales

Huw Pryce

Oxford University Press

This book explores the relationship between native secular law and the Catholic Church in Wales during the medieval period. It examines legal texts containing cyfraith Hywel or the law of Hywel, the customary law of Wales which by the 13th century was attributed to Hywel Dda (Hywel the Good), the Welsh king who died in 949 or 950. However, although primarily intended as a contribution to the legal history of medieval Wales, this book is also concerned with ecclesiastical history. In interpreting the legal evidence, two complementary approaches are used. The first is dictated by the complex structure and varied content of the lawbooks, and consists of textual criticism of the different versions of relevant tractates or rules contained in them. Secondly, the legal material is compared with other evidence from medieval Wales. Topics covered by the book include the sacred dimension to legal processes, marriage and inheritance, testamentary disposition, the legal status of clerics, ecclesiastical sanctuary, land and lordship, and church and state.

Keywords:   Wales, medieval period, secular law, Catholic Church, legal history, ecclesiastical history, marriage, inheritance, lawbooks, clerics

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