O'Davoren's Glossary (p. 106 in _Three Irish Glossaries_, edited
by Stokes) has the following saying:
"Mecon cinadh cubus braith." I translate this as:
"The taproot of crime is a treacherous conscience."
Neil, does this sound familiar from in the Laws?
It's interesting that rather than the biblical "the love of money"
as "the root of all evil", this proverb identifies treachery as the
underlying problem. Could it be that avarice is the more apt "root"
in a mercantile society, while treachery is what looms large as a
threat in a "heroic" society, one held together by bonds of family,
clientship, fosterage, and personal fealty? Or am I being a
socio-anthropological romantic? :-)