Talk:Anglo-Saxon law

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WikiProject Law (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
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This article is within the scope of WikiProject Law, an attempt at providing a comprehensive, standardised, pan-jurisdictional and up-to-date resource for the legal field and the subjects encompassed by it.
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From --Tagishsimon

anglo saxon marriage customs[edit]

Anglo-Saxon capital punishment[edit]

Didn't the Anglo-Saxons give a criminal who was to be executed the choice whether he wanted to die by "earth, wind, fire or water" (i.e. buried alive, hanging, burned alive, drowned, respectively)? It might have been the Saxons or the Celts, but I'm not sure... - THE GREAT GAVINI {T-C} 07:54, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

WP Law Assessment[edit]

I assessed this as A class as I thought it was an excellent article, well written and well sourced, even though it is a difficult area of legal history. The only knock on it is lack of images or tables, but I cannot see what could reasonably be added. Well done, somebody. --Legis (talk - contribs) 16:25, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Images of manuscripts. Rich Farmbrough, 21:15, 23 March 2013 (UTC).


The yogh that just got added in italics in "laʒu" is almost illegible. I have no clue how to fix it, but it does need to be changed. Buirechain (talk) 18:07, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Not A class[edit]

Much of the information reported in this article is misleading or false. It is also very poorly worded, and ideas are arranged in a very clumsy manner. This article needs alot of work.Eltheodigraeardgesece (talk) 13:33, 8 July 2008 (UTC)


The treaty of Edward and Guthrum is not a royal law code, but rather something like the private musings of Wulfstan II, Archbishop of York, or perhaps something like a bishop's capitulary, ~ the Canons of Edgar (see Whitelock, 1980).

How useful (to a typical wikipedia user) is a separate section on the 'Dialect' of the OE laws? Cannot this be collapsed into the 'Overview' paragraph?

There is A LOT of room for disagreement on which codes represent 'official' law and which are private; the 'division' system in this article is therefore problematic at best. This section also mentions some codes which are wholly ecclesiastic in nature (the Northumbrian Priests' Law, for instance), which doesn't suit the scope of the article, which seems to profess to discuss royal/secular law. My opinion is that, in the field of AS law, secular law cannot be discussed without being taken side-by-side with ecclesiastical law. This is particularly the case with the later codes of Ethelred and the codes of Cnut, ALL OF WHICH were drafted by Wulfstan II, Archbishop of York, all of which thoroughly blend secular and ecclesiastical concerns. Indeed, the code that Wulfstan drafted for Cnut is a mish-mash of the Archbishop's own previous writings, many of which are homilies/sermons. As this code is considered the greates of all AS codes (Wormald, 2000), and is by far the longest, it seems common sense that this article should include a section on Wulfstan himself, or at least a link to the Works of Wulfstan of York article. Eltheodigraeardgesece (talk) 13:40, 8 July 2008

Red alert[edit]

This article is awful... :-( Much of it is written in the wrong tense, and it seems more like a term paper than an encyclopedic treatment of the topic (especially with the familiar first and second person conversational tone). There are some references listed at the end of the article, but I didn't see any true inline citations. There have been some questions regarding the factual accuracy of the contents, and I personally believe there is a ton of original research in this article. While the article is chock full of content, without proper sources to verify the content it's impossible to know if this article is factual. Some of this may be because of the incorporation of text from the 1911 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica; I just don't know what content is worth salvaging and what needs to be scrapped. /Blaxthos ( t / c ) 00:30, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I was planning to do a re-write, but lost steam in the middle of the second section ("making law"); I never got round to adding the citations, though I assure you the material in the first two sections are not the product of original research. Please finish if you can.Eltheodigraeardgesece (talk) 13:02, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

More required[edit]

  1. Surviving codes, and mss
  2. history of the study from William Lambarde onwards...

Rich Farmbrough, 20:53, 23 March 2013 (UTC).

Dubious claims in Trias Politica removed[edit]

The premise of the "Trias Politica" section seems dubious. The English parliamentary system is the poster child for fusion of powers, which is the opposite of the three-part separation of powers. It seems in none of the Anglo-Saxon periods were there legislatures; the text itself as written seems to indicate that the monarch exercised both executive and legislative power directly. I removed any claims to that effect, leaving the section retitled "Criminal justice". If there are reliable sources that indicate there was in fact separation of powers before there wasn't, feel free to correct with citations. -- Beland (talk) 19:50, 22 May 2014 (UTC)