Communities and kinship
Thornton, David E.
91 - 106
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A Companion to the early middle ages: Britain and Ireland, c.500–c.1100
The purpose of this chapter is to examine the local communities that existed in Britain and Ireland during the sub- and post-Roman periods. What was the nature of these communities? Should they be seen as population groups or territories? What were their internal dynamics and what were the personal networks that determined how their individual members interacted with one another? And how were such interactions, especially disputes, regulated by society? It is not an easy task to answer such questions for this particularly “dark” period: our extant historical documents are few and far between, and those that have survived are invariably later in date and not always reliable when dealing with the fi fth to eighth centuries. Furthermore, most of these sources are concerned primarily with the important kingdoms and their rulers, and have little to say about the lives of their more ordinary inhabitants.
KeywordsCommunities and kinship
Fifth and sixth centuries, representing end of centralized Roman administration in West
Post‐Roman communities, squatting on Roman predecessors
Kinship, representing fundamental social network
Kinship, agnatic and patrilineal
“hide” ‐ terra unius familiae
Christianity and canon law, influencing native legal tradition
Published Version (Please cite this version)https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444311020.ch7