Christine James, Machlud Cyfraith Hywel: Golygiad Beirniadol ac Eglurhaol o Lsgr. BL Add 22356 (S) (Testunau ac Astudiaethau yng Nghyfraith Hywel III, Seminar Cyfraith Hywel: Caergrawnt, 2013).

  1. Introductory Pages and the Introduction
  2. Critical Edition
  3. Textual Notes
  4. Conspectuses 1 and 2
  5. Glossary and Index to Personal Names
  6. Bibliography and Abbreviations

The Volume

It would not be excessive to describe manuscript S, BL Add. 22356 as one of the high points of the manuscript tradition of Cyfraith Hywel. In this new edition, which includes a full introduction, a critical edition, notes and indexes, we are guided through a large and ambitious lawbook, one which reflects a very rich legal and cultural milieu.

The first part of S is an edited version of the Llyfr Blegywryd text, but there are substantial additions to that core text, which mean that S is a highly significant text in terms of the development of the lawbooks by the second half of the fifteenth century. As one of the last law manuscripts to be copied whilst Cyfraith Hywel was still a living legal system, S is without doubt the one legal text which shows all the colours of the sunset at their finest – before Henry VIII drew the blinds on native law by passing the Laws in Wales Acts (or Acts of Union) in the second quarter of the sixteenth century.

Professor Christine James

Professor Christine James’s interest in Cyfraith Hywel goes back to her time as a PhD student at Aberystwyth University.

She spent her career at Swansea University where she mainly taught medieval courses, and by the time of her retirement in 2017 she was the Head of the Welsh Department at Swansea University. Her research interests have focused mainly on medieval Welsh literature, but she has published in the modern era too. She won the Crown at Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Eryri a’r Cyffiniau in 2005, was elected Archdderwydd Cymru for 2013-16, and she is now Cofiadur yr Orsedd, the first woman ever to hold those two positions.