Early English Laws

Initiated in 2006, the Early English Laws project

aims to produce new editions of all legal codes and treatises produced in England between the reign of Æthelberht of Kent and Magna Carta (1215).

The results are impressive so far: high quality digital images of the manuscripts, transliterations, philological notes, translations, and scholarly commentary, all of which can be compared line by line in the very nice interface. Here is Aethelbert’s Code, which the project describes as:

This law-code is thought to be the one Bede attributes (Historia ecclesiastica, 2.5) to King Æthelberht of Kent (560–616). It has survived in a single manuscript written at Rochester in the early twelfth century. The code resembles most early Germanic law-codes, treating issues such as interpersonal violence, wergeld, rights and obligations, and the status of the king. It is thought to have been issued around the year 600.

And here is a link to the digital edition comparing the transliteration with the translation. See also the detailed notes on the translation at the end.

Also, the project provides a number of contextualizing essays.

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