Front Page Titles (by Subject) PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION. - Lectures on the Early History of Institutions
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION. - Sir Henry Sumner Maine, Lectures on the Early History of Institutions 
Lectures on the Early History of Institutions, 7th edition (London: John Murray, 1914).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
WHITLEY STOKES, ESQ.
secretary to the government of india in the legislative department
THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED IN RECOLLECTION OF A LONG OFFICIAL CONNECTION AND STILL LONGER FRIENDSHIP
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
In the Lectures printed in this Volume an attempt is made to carry farther in some particulars the line of investigation pursued by the Author in an earlier work on ‘Ancient Law.’ The fortunes of the legal system which then supplied him with the greatest number of his illustrations have been strikingly unlike those of another body of law from which he has now endeavoured to obtain some new materials for legal and social history. The Roman Law has never ceased to be spoken of with deep respect, and it is in fact the source of the greatest part of the rules by which civil life is still governed in the Western World. The Ancient Irish Law, the so-called Brehon Law, has been for the most part bitterly condemned by the few writers who have noticed it; and, after gradually losing whatever influence it once possessed in the country in which it grew up, in the end it was forcibly suppressed. Yet the very causes which have denied a modern history to the Brehon Law have given it a special interest of its own in our day through the arrest of its development; and this interest, the Author hopes, is sufficient to serve as his excuse for making the conclusions it suggests the principal subject of the Lectures now published, except the last three.
The obligations of the Author to various Gentlemen for instruction derived from their published writings or private communications are acknowledged in the body of the work, but he has to express his especial thanks to the Bishop of Limerick, and to Professor Thaddeus O’Mahony, for facilities of access to the still unpublished translations of Brehon manuscripts, as well as for many valuable suggestions.
The Lectures (with the omission of portions) have all been delivered at Oxford.