GAILLIT was used in early Irish laws to refer to a treasure or curiosity brought from overseas. It seems to have applied to three things in particular: a British mare, the horn of a wild ox and ‘an exquisite nut’ (CNÚ GNÓE). The phrase CNÚ GNÓE turns up again, in an eighth-century legal text which deals with items given as pledges from one person to another. According to this text, such nuts could be accepted only by kings, bishops and hermits. In light of the obvious value attached to the item, it has been suggested that CNÚ GNÓE refers to a tropical drift seed such as the Entada gigas, commonly known as a ‘sea bean’.
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