Privacy in Early Ireland: An Overview and Analysis of Occurrences of Privacy in the Táin Bó Cúailnge and Early Irish laws
Asselt, B. van
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Privacy as a concept and a right has become an increasingly important topic of discussion and debate in the last few years, but privacy as a historical concept also merits discussion. This thesis positions itself in the field of the study of privacy in history, and offers new perspectives to this field as privacy in early (7th and 8th century) Ireland has not been studied thoroughly before. The thesis shows that privacy as a concept was present in both early Irish laws and narratives from the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge in many different ways. The instances of privacy that occur in the laws and in the narratives of the Táin Bó Cúailnge are noted and analysed according to different definitions of privacy, mostly having to do with privacy of information, privacy of action, and with access and control (over privacy). After this, a comparison is drawn up between the instances as found in the laws and in the narratives in order to view similarities. In doing so, this thesis sets out to show the importance of privacy in both these sources, and to show that, while privacy is often researched in a modern context, it has been around for many centuries, and that researching privacy in a historical context can provide valuable and unique insights into the concept of privacy as a whole while also giving a fuller and more complete picture of its history. This thesis is aimed mostly at those with an existing interest in medieval Ireland and in privacy studies, although efforts have been made to make it understandable and interesting for all.