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Northumbrian Law Before the Vikings

November 14, 2023

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

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The Kates Room, Warren House

11 Prescott Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

In this talk, Professor Kristen Carella will comb through the existing record for what evidence remains of law and legal practice in Northumbria before the Viking raids led to the destruction of most of the documentary evidence. In particular, she will examine Anglo-Latin legal material—including the eighth-century Dialogus of Archbishop Ecgberht of York, the Legatine Capitulary of 786 and the Penitential of Theodore (as recorded by a Northumbrian cleric)—to determine what can be recovered of the content and character of Northumbrian law during this early period, suggesting that the early history of Northumbrian law (and Anglo-Saxon law more generally) owes a debt to Celtic ecclesiastical law emerging from Iona during this period, and especially from the pastoral mission of the Irish Céilí Dé. Co-sponsored by the Mahindra Humanities Center Celtic Literature and Culture Seminar, the Department of English, and the Harvard Law School Program of Study in Law and History.

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November 14, 2023, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

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