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Title: Grágás : an examination of the content and technique of the old Icelandic Law Books, focussed on Þingskapaþáttr (the 'Assembly Section')
Author: Dennis, Andrew Ian
ISNI:       0000 0001 3422 2419
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1974
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This dissertation is concerned with law books, sections of law books, and manuscript fragments which contain the surviving formal record of the rules of Old Icelandic law from the period of the Icelandic commonwealth (930-1262 A.D.) as recorded close to or after the end of that period . The basis of the dissertation is a closely analytical and annotated translation of the main procedural sections of the old laws; the Þingskapaþáttr (Assembly Section), and the short Lögsögumannsþáttr (Law Speaker Section) and Lögréttuþáttr (the section concerned with the Lögrétta, the Old Icelandic legislature and highest organ of the Alþing, the National Assembly). This translation is preceded by an examination of certain aspects of the laws with three principal concerns: (1)To provided a general assessment of the passages translated, summarizing the main themes and examining such matters as structure, completeness and internal consistency, and general linguistic and legislative techniques (chapters 2 and 6). (2)To place these sections in the context of the other concerns of the law books. This is principally achieved by the provision of a summary of the other sections of the laws, a comparison of the major legal manuscripts, and an examination of one of the most recurrent themes or techniques of the , laws, the provision of penalties (chapters 3 , 4 and 5) . (3)To place these sections of the laws and the law books themselves in a wider context of Old Icelandic history and jurisprudence. In connection with this, an attempt has been made to analyse some of the difficulties encountered in translating legal ideas from Old Icelandic into Modern English (chapters 1, 5, 6 and 7).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral