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The deòradh in medieval Scotland has nothing to do with the crown official called the toschederach, nor does the word ever refer to a relic. The deòradh is a hereditary relic-keeper. The scattered surviving records include charters and annals, but also – when read with this in mind – the literature of saints' cults. These show that the relic, and therefore sometimes (but not always) a deòradh, could be involved in representations of ecclesiastical authority, for cursing and blessing, for raising tribute, enforcing laws and inaugurating kings, for bringing battle victory or preventing battle altogether, for the swearing of oaths, for the protection of private property, for healing the sick and for the protection of the dead and dying. The record also reveals something of the economic position of the deòradh and his land-holding, and how this position began to change in the sixteenth century.
|Glasgow Author(s):||Markus, Mr Gilbert|
|College/School:||College of Arts > School of Humanities > Celtic and Gaelic|
|Journal Name:||Innes Review|
|Publisher:||Edinburgh University Press|
|Published Online:||November 2009|