Arson in medieval Ireland: an analysis of the sources (with particular focus on Bretha Forloisctheo, the medieval Irish law tract concerned with arson)

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dc.contributor.advisor Murray, Kevin en
dc.contributor.author Doolan, Riona Aisling
dc.date.accessioned 2020-01-23T12:14:25Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.date.submitted 2019
dc.identifier.citation Doolan, R. A. 2019. Arson in medieval Ireland: an analysis of the sources (with particular focus on Bretha Forloisctheo, the medieval Irish law tract concerned with arson). PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/9565
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the issue of arson in medieval Ireland. This topic appears in written medieval literary sources and in historical sources such as the annals and is compared here with the medieval Welsh material on arson. Furthermore, a detailed review of the archaeological evidence for burning during the medieval period in Ireland is included. The main focus of this thesis is on the later medieval legal commentaries on burning which pay considerable attention to the penalties owed when a fire breaks out. Five commentaries discuss arson and two commentaries in particular, those in Rawlinson B506 and TCD H.3.17 (Commentaries A and B respectively) are based on a no-longer extant law-tract Bretha Forloisctheo ‘Judgements on Arson’. • Commentary A Rawlinson B506: 24vb42-25rb26 CIH 102.25-103.24 • Commentary B TCD 1336: 447.1-449.34 CIH 1945.08-1947.21 • Commentary C TCD 1336: 531.19-532.20 CIH 2013.22-2014.02 • Commentary D TCD MS 1337: 464a8-465a21 CIH 1025.03-1026.06 • Commentary E TCD 1387: 28b2-29a46 CIH 2184.15-2186.11 All five commentaries are edited semi-diplomatically with a discussion of the manuscript contexts, transmission methods for legal commentaries and the relationship of the commentaries to each other. Commentaries A and B are also translated into English for this thesis. Furthermore, the evidence for the law-tract Bretha Forloisctheo and its relationship to the Senchas Már collection of law-tracts is considered in detail in this thesis as well. The commentaries focus on a rural agrarian society and the consequences of a fire occurring in a house, farm buildings such as barns, or industrial buildings such as kilns or mills. For example, the fine is six cows and full compensation if a house is burned deliberately. If a mill or kiln is burned, the fine is three cows and full compensation. The statuses of the victim and the perpetrator of the fire are a major concern in the commentaries, with the penalties for the act graded accordingly. The intention behind the blaze is also taken into account when fines are calculated. The penalties are highest for deliberate arson, they decrease when a fire occurs due to negligence. Occasionally, there are no fines at all when a fire is started by accident. Furthermore, how the perpetrator reacts to the fire once it breaks out is considered in this material. The triad drochdénam, nemdénam 7 malldénam ‘bad-action, inaction and slow-action’ features prominently in these sources. If any of these actions contribute to a blaze being exacerbated, then the penalties rise to that of deliberate arson (even if a fire starts by accident). By utilising these legal commentaries on arson and contextualising their contents with a variety of early sources, this thesis discusses the impact of arson on the everyday lives of the people who lived in medieval Ireland. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2019, Riona Aisling Doolan. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Arson en
dc.subject Burning en
dc.subject Medieval en
dc.subject Legal commentary en
dc.subject Manuscripts en
dc.title Arson in medieval Ireland: an analysis of the sources (with particular focus on Bretha Forloisctheo, the medieval Irish law tract concerned with arson) en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en
dc.check.info Restricted to everyone for five years en
dc.check.date 2025-01-21T12:14:25Z
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Early and Medieval Irish / Sean- agus Meán-Ghaeilge en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason This thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this material en
dc.check.opt-out Yes en
dc.thesis.opt-out true
dc.check.embargoformat Apply the embargo to the hard bound thesis (If you have not submitted an e-thesis and want to embargo the hard bound thesis in UCC Library) en
dc.internal.conferring Spring 2020 en


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© 2019, Riona Aisling Doolan. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2019, Riona Aisling Doolan.
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