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Brehon Laws

Passed down for centuries, the Brehon Laws have made it to the present day. Although no longer in practice, the Brehon Laws give us a glimpse of what things were like in Ireland centuries and centuries ago. The actual technical term for the law tracts is Fenechas, which basically means the law of the Freemen. These laws are probably the oldest European laws that we know of. They were originally composed in poetic verse and were memorized by the Filid. Years later they were written down and preserved in several books of law, such as the Senchus Mor, the Book of Acaill, and the Uraiccecht Becc. The Brehon Laws are believed to have existed as early as the common Celtic Period (c. 1000 BCE). According Alix Morgan MacAnTsaoir, author of Introduction to the Brehon Law, The Brehon Law was ordered codified in 438CE by Laighaire, High King of Ireland. This work was done by three kings, three Brehons and three Christian missionaries, and is contained in the Senchus Mor. The texts originate in the 7th and 8th centuries CE and are found in manuscripts written in the 14th-16th centuries. Ireland is well known for their legends and myths and their laws seem to have mingled within them as well. Legends have become intermingled with almost every aspect of Irish living. Perhaps that is why they are called a superstitious lot. It stands to reason then that because of Christianity coming into practice, there are many inconsistencies and later additions that make room for new ideas. In spite of all these discrepancies, the collection of laws that have come to our eyes are astonishing.Finding information on the history of English Laws was not so simple. Englands country stayed in uproar for much of its beginning years and was held by many different conquerors. Some of the earliest people were the Celtic people. It is not really fair to clump them all together but too difficult to separate all of them in this paper. So, due to the amount...

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