The laws of Alfred : the Domboc and the making of Anglo-Saxon law / Stefan Jurasinki, Lisi Oliver.

Jurasinski, Stefan [Browse]
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 2021.
  • ©2021
xxii, 472 pages : illustrations, facsimiles ; 23 cm.


Studies in legal history [More in this series]
Summary note
Alfred the Great's domboc ('book of laws') is the longest and most ambitious legal text of the Anglo-Saxon period. Alfred places his own laws, dealing with everything from sanctuary to feuding to the theft of bees, between a lengthy translation of legal passages from the Bible and the legislation of the West-Saxon King Ine (r. 688-726), which rival his own in length and scope. This book is the first critical edition of the domboc published in over a century, as well as a new translation. Five introductory chapters offer fresh insights into the laws of Alfred and Ine, considering their backgrounds, their relationship to early medieval legal culture, their manuscript evidence and their reception in later centuries. Rather than a haphazard accumulation of ordinances, the domboc is shown to issue from deep reflection on the nature of law itself, whose effects would permanently alter the development of early English legislation.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references (pages 443-466) and indexes.
Language note
Text translated from Old English to modern English on opposite pages.
  • Part I: Backgrounds
  • The emergence of written law in early England
  • Legal erudition in seventh- and ninth-century Wessex
  • Reshaping tradition : oaths, ordeals, and the "innovations" of Domboc
  • The transmission of the Domboc : Old English manuscripts and other early witnesses
  • Reception, editorial history, and interpretative legacies
  • Part II: Editions
  • Editorial procedure
  • Rubrics : edition and translation
  • Alfred's prologue
  • The laws of Alfred
  • The laws of Ine
  • Appendix: Handlist of prior editions.
Other format(s)
Also available online.
Other title(s)
Domboc and the making of Anglo-Saxon law
  • 9781108840903
  • 1108840906 (hardcover)
Statement on language in description
Princeton University Library aims to describe library materials in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the collections we manage. Read more...
Other views
Staff view