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The Welsh King and His Court

Early medieval kingship was exercised in a domestic setting with no divide between the officers of state and the royal household. The Laws of Court in the medieval Welsh lawbooks provide some of the most interesting evidence for the structure and operation of a royal court in early medieval Europe. These are richly detailed but also problematic texts, and their correct interpretation is the central concern of The Welsh King and his Court.

The various essays discuss the composition and functioning of the itinerant royal household, and demonstrate the different ways in which government roles might emerge from the household duties which were the essential elements of dignified mobility, for example the officers in charge of food, alcoholic drink, horses, sleeping-quarters, and the priest. The Welsh Laws of Court shed light on medieval royal government and also exemplify ways in which such a household ordered the rituals of domestic life into a powerful cohesive force.

The Welsh King and His Court not only provides thematic discussions of the royal household, but also presents primary texts along with English translations and, for comparative purposes, an Irish text dealing with hereditary court offices is also included. The chapters collected here comprise a fascinating and detailed study of the organization and working of the courts of native Welsh rulers before the Edwardian conquest.

603 pages | 3 figures, 14 tables | 6 1/2 x 9 1/2 | © 2000

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables

Excursus: The Lawbooks and their Relation, by Dafydd Jenkins
1 Prolegomena to the Welsh Laws of Court, by Dafydd Jenkins
2 King, Queen and Edling in the Laws of Court, by Robin Chapman Stacey
3 Teulu and Penteulu, by A. D. Carr
4 The Household Priest (Offeiriad Teulu), by Huw Pryce
5 Ynad Llys, Brawdwr Llys, Iudex Curie, by J. B. Smith
6 Medics and Medicine, by Morfydd E. Owen
7 Bardd Teulu and Pencerdd, by Dafydd Jenkins
8 Court Poetry, Power and Politics, by Peredur I. Lynch
9 Breintiau Gwyr Powys: The Liberties of the Men of Powys, by T. M. Charles-Edwards and Nerys Ann Jones
10 Royal Propaganda: Stories from the Law-Texts, by Morfydd E. Owen
11 Hawk and Hound: Hunting in the Laws of Court, by Dafydd Jenkins
12 Swydd, Swyddog, Swyddwr: Office, Officer and Official, by Paul Russell
13 Llys and Maerdref, by Glanville R. J. Jones
14 Food, Drink and Clothing in the Laws of Court, by T. M. Charles-Edwards
15 Clothes Talk from Medieval Wales, by Robin Chapman Stacey
16 Defod a Moes y Llys, by Manon Phillips
17 Nósa Ua Maine: Fact or Fiction? by Máire Ní Mhaonaigh
18 Comparative Aspects of the Tractates on the Laws of Court, by D. B. Walters
19 The Laws of Court: Past Reality or Present Ideal? by David Stephenson
20 Descriptions of the Welsh Manuscripts, by Daniel Huws
21 The Laws of Court from Cyfnerth, by Morfydd E. Owen
22 The Laws of Court from Latin B, by Paul Russell
23 Nósa Ua Maine: ‘The Customs of the Uí Mhaine’, by Paul Russell
24 Canu i Swyddogion Llys y Brenin, by Paul Russell

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