An edition, translation and analysis of the Senchas Már Status-Tract
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The main aim of this thesis is to provide a reliable edition and translation of the legal tract known in modern scholarship as the Senchas Már Status-Tract as it survives in both Trinity College Dublin, MS H 4. 22 (1363) and Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson B 506. This is a highly important legal source emanating from one of the most prominent legal schools in early medieval Ireland which has unfortunately received minimal scholarly attention to date, likely due to the fragmentary state in which it survives. This study seeks to address this significant gap in the literature in the hopes of allowing the Senchas Már Status-Tract to assume a more prominent position in future medieval Irish legal scholarship. To achieve this aim, alongside providing an edition and translation, I have sought to examine the tract’s manuscripts witnesses, including the social and historical context in which they originate, its contents, date, form, relationships with other sources and place within the legal corpus of medieval Ireland. As this thesis will show, the Senchas Már Status-Tract yields a vast amount of information on numerous legal topics, the dating of legal glosses and commentary, the possible motivations of later legal scribes and the transmission of knowledge between various legal traditions and discourses. It also highlights the need for sources such as this to be afforded the same consideration as those tracts whose Old Irish canonical stratum survives fully so as to provide a more encompassing view of medieval Irish law from the early medieval to the early modern periods.