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Body of legal principles that prevailed in England from the 6th century until the Norman Conquest (1066). It was directly influenced by early Scandinavian law as a result of the Viking invasions of the 8th and 9th centuries and indirectly influenced (primarily through the church) by Roman law. Anglo-Saxon law had three components: laws promulgated by the king, customary practices such as those regulating kinship relations, and private compilations. The primary emphasis was on criminal law, though certain material dealt with problems of public administration, public order, and ecclesiastical matters.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Anglo-Saxon law, visit Britannica.com.
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