The Welsh King and His Court

Author(s): Thomas Charles-Edwards Morfydd E. Owen Paul Russell

Language: English

Genre(s): Welsh Interest

  • December 2000

  • · eBook - pdf - 9781417508587

About The Book

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 law books 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 organisation and working of the courts of native Welsh rulers before the Edwardian conquest.


'... The editors, the organizers of the seminar series, the Board of Celtic Studies and the University Press are all to be Congratulated on the production of a volume which is rich in content and handsome in form ...' (Legal History 2002)

'...a massive compendium of essays filled with meticulous discourse of the Welsh royal household...The Welsh King and His Court is a scholarly text that combines deep thought with multi-level analysis of historical politics. An intriguing and recommended historical study.' Bookwatch

'...a major contribution...' English Historical Review

About the Author(s)

Thomas Charles-Edwards

Thomas Charles-Edwards is a professorial fellow at Jesus College at the University of Oxford. He has written a number of works on Welsh medieval history.

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Morfydd E. Owen

Dr Morfydd E. Owen is a retired academic whose current major study is connected with medieval Welsh medical texts, and is also involved in the study of major medieval prose.

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Paul Russell

Paul Russell is a Professor of Celtic studies at the University of Cambridge, specialising in Celtic philology and early Welsh orthography.

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