Early Mediaeval Law Links


Contents

The information given here is not intended to be comprehensive, although it is hoped that it will become more so as the project progresses.

  • Volterra early Mediaeval law texts
  • Volterra Chartae Latinae Antiquiores database
  • Murison and his work on Theophilus, Institutionum Paraphrasis
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    General


    Most of the early mediaeval legal texts were published within the leges series as part of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Scanned versions of all these works are now available on-line, although these are not searchable texts, simply images of the printed pages. Note that some of the most recent MGH editions are not available (e.g. the new Merovingian Diplomata volumes). Searchable CD-ROMS of the MGH have been produced by Brepols and are available networked in some academic libraries. Access to this database is also available over the net, but by subscription only.

    Max-Planck-Institut für europäischer Rechtsgeschichte: major centre for research and publication in legal history. They also maintain a growing on-line library of XIX and early XX century German legal journals.

    Manuscripts of Canon law and Roman law: Professor Dolezalek's comprehensive lists of legal manuscripts.

    CSEG: Codices Electronici Sangallenses comprises an extensive set of digitised images of St. Gall manuscripts, including several, which contain important legal texts; e.g. Cod. Sang. 671, 673, 722, 728, 730, 731.

    CEEC: Codices Electronici Ecclesiae Coloniensis provides full digitized versions of manuscripts from the Cologne Cathedral Library, including canon law texts.

    Liber exquisiti xenii: An on-line version of Gerhard Köbler's Liber exquisiti xenii (LEX) : Lexikon frühmittelalterlicher Rechtswörter für Freunde frühmittelalterlicher Rechtsgeschichte(Arbeiten zur Rechts- und Sprachwissenschaft 46; Giessen, 1999).

    The Avalon Project of theYale Law School includes English translations of some ancient and mediaeval texts (such as the Capitulary of 802 and Louis the Pious's Ordinatio Imperii of 817).

    Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Medieval Legal History: varied texts in English translations.

    Professor Detlef Liebs maintains a web-page, with details of his work. He has published three major books on late Roman and early Mediaeval jurisprudence, covering Italy (1987), Africa (1993; new ed. 2005) and Gaul (2002).

    Professor Kenneth Pennington of the Catholic University of America maintains a large and varied web-site of Medieval Legal History, but primarily concerned with Canon Law and the development of the Ius Commune in the High Middle Ages.

    Details of journals with either full text or lists of contents available on-line are given on our On-line Resources for Roman Law page.

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    Roman Law

    The best general site is Ernie Metzger's Roman Law Resources. However, links to on-line texts of the Roman legal material up to the sixth century can be found on our own On-line Resources for Roman Law page, including the Theodosian Code and the Institutes, Digest, Code and (some) Novels of Justinian. We have also mounted on the web the text of the Epitome of Julian and of the associated Dictatum de Consiliariis and Collectio de Tutoribus.

    Scholia Veronensia: Zachariae von Lingenthal's edition of the scholia from the sixth-century Verona palimpsest of the Justinian Code (Zeitschrift für geschichtliche Rechtswissenschaft.15 (1850) 90-132).

    Summa Perusina: Book VI of our digital edition of this amalgamated set of early mediaeval Justinian Code summaries and glosses is now available on-line.

    Lex Romana Curiensis: complete set of scanned images of the famous St. Gall ms of c.800 (Cod. Sang. 722) containing various legal texts including the summary of Roman law, based on the Breviary of Alaric, as used in Churraetia.

    Lo Codi: a 12th C. abbreviation of the Justinian Code (Books 1-IX), originally composed in Occitan, but also existing in Latin and Castilian versions. This web-page provides electronic copies in all three languages, plus selected images from the manuscripts.

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    Canon Law

    Stephan Kuttner Institute of Medieval Canon Law: useful site with a very full page of links. The Institute also publishes:

    The Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law: this page lists contents for Bulletins 1-16 (actually published within Traditio 6-26 (1955-1970) and for the new series vol. 1 (1971) to 28 (2008).

    History of Medieval Canon Law: website of the the project run by Wilfried Hartmann and Kenneth Pennington to write a multi-volume history of Canon Law. Three volumes have so far been published by CUA Press, Washington DC:
    Volume 1: L. Kéry, Canonical Collections of the Early Middle Ages (ca. 400-1140): A Bibliographical Guide to the Manuscripts and Literature (1999)
    Volume 2: D. Jasper and H. Fuhrmann, Papal Letters in the Early Middle Ages (2001)
    Volume 4: W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, The History of Byzantine and Eastern Canon Law to 1500 (2012) [one section is available on-line: Sources of the Greek Canon Law to the Quinisext Council (692): Councils and Church Fathers]
    Volume 6: W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, The History of Medieval Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140-1234 (2008)

    Bibliography of writings of the late Prof. Hubert Mordek (d. 17 March 2006), noted especially for his work on the Vetus Gallica and the Carolingian Capitularies. His contributions to volumes 3 and 4 of the History of Medieval Canon Law are yet to be published.

    Carolingian Canon Law project (CCL): This is producing a searchable, electronic rendition of major works of Carolingian canon law, in a presentation that shows their relation to other works of canon law used by Carolingian jurists.

    Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals (or False Decretals): a detailed web-site devoted to this ninth century compilation and its sources, which includes full text of the three Books plus the Capitula Angilramni and the Collectio Danieliana.

    Benedict Levita's False Decretals: this mid-ninth century collection, closely related to Pseudo-Isidore, is here published in a new electronic edition, the product of a project led by Profs. Wilfried Hartmann and Gerhard Schmitz at Tübingen. The site also includes full details of manuscripts (including a recently identified ninth-century fragment of Book III now in the Beinecke Library), and texts or discussions of other related materials, which were either sources of or drew on the Decretals (e.g.Collectio Hispana Gallica Augustodunensis (Vat. lat. 1341) and the Summa de Ordine Ecclesiastico).

    Ivo of Chartres: on-line versions of his Collectio Tripartita, Decretum and Panormia, being the work of Bruce Brasington, Martin Brett and Przemyslaw Nowak.

    Decretum of Gratian: a scanned version of Friedberg's 1879 edition.

    Initia Operum Iuris Canonici Medii Aevi: Giovanna Murano's list of Canon law incipits (from Prof. Dolezalek's Leipzig site).

    Ecclesiae Occidentalis Monumenta Iuris Antiquissima: Philip Amidon has compiled an on-line index of names to Turner's multi-fascicled work on the earliest church councils of the IVth C. (1899-1939).

    Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Series 2 Volume XIV: an on-line version of this rather dated volume containing the first seven Oecumenical Councils in English.

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    Visigothic Kingdom

    The main legal texts relating to the Visigothic kingdom can be read on-line in the scanned volumes of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica. The principal omission is the Breviary of Alaric (or Lex Romana Visigothorum) of AD506, which was planned but never published. The Projet Volterra is planning a digital Breviary, of which Book 1 of the Pauli Sententiae is now available. Otherwise, the standard edition of that work remains that of G. Hänel from 1849 (repr. 1962 and 2004), which is now available on-line as a pdf. Some parts of the Breviary are available separately: thus the Epitome of Gaius (also on a second site), the interpretationes to the Sententiae Pauli, and the extracts from the Gregorian and Hermogenian Codes. The appendices found in some manuscripts are also available. A scanned manuscript version from St. Gall (Cod. Sang. 731; copied in Lyon in AD793) is available on-line at CSEG. Also available on-line is S.P. Scott's English translation (1909) of the Lex Visigothorum (Liber Iudiciorum). Note that his version does not reflect the different editions of that work as presented in MGH. We have made available on-line the Fragmenta Gaudenziana, a set of chapters apparently reflecting Visigothic law, preserved in the 10th century compilation known as the Collectio Gaudenziana.

    Isidore of Seville (d. 636): his account of Roman law can be found in Book V of his Etymologiae (Origines). Note: Isidore of Seville is now regarded as patron saint of the internet and modern IT.

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    Ostrogothic Kingdom

    The main survival from Ostrogothic rule are the Variae of Cassiodorus, containing a great deal of his official pronouncements written for Theoderic and Athalaric. The other surviving legal text is the so-called Edict of Theoderic. The on-line text is taken from Bluhme's edition for the MGH. Although its attribution to Italy c.500 is now widely accepted, there is also the view, championed by G. Vismara, that it should be attributed to the Visigothic kingdom in the mid-5th century.

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    Burgundian Kingdom


    The Burgundian Code (Liber Constitutionum) and the Lex Romana Burgundionum (also known as the Liber Papiani Responsorum) are both available in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica scanned versions (each existing in two editions: one by Bluhme from the Leges in folio series vol. 3 and the other by de Salis in the Leges Nationum Germanarum series 2.1), but the Lex Romana Burgundionum (in the de Salis edition) is available on-line on the Koptev Roman law sites (Russia and Grenoble).

    Chartae Burgundiae Medii Aevi (CBMA): a searchable database of charters from mediaeval Burgundy. For discussion of this project, see E. Magnani and M.-J. Gasse-Grandjean , 'CBMA – Chartae Burgundiae Medii Aevi V. Actes cisterciens et prémontrés', Bulletin du centre d’études médiévales d’Auxerre (BUCEMA) 15 (2011).

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    Frankish Kingdoms

    The main texts relating to the Frankish kingdoms can be read on-line in the scanned volumes of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Note, also, a selection from the Epistulae Austrasicae (sixth century correspondence, mostly between Merovingian royalty and the imperial court).

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    Lombard Italy

    The Institut für Mittelalterforschung in Vienna maintains a very comprehensive site of Quellen zur Langobardengeschichte (Sources for Lombard History [all in Latin]), including the Lombard Laws and a range of charters (genuine and forged). The Lombard laws are also available in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica.

    See CSEG, for a scanned image of the 7th C. manuscript (Cod. Sang. 730) containing parts of the Edict of Rothari.

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    Byzantine Law

    The web-site of the University of Groningen's Department of Legal History (Rechtsgeschiedenis) has much useful information on their research and publications, which cover Roman, Byzantine and Roman-Dutch law. Note in particular the very full bibliographies of Byzantine Law compiled by Dr. Tom van Bochove and the details of the occasional journal Subseciva Groningana (vols. 1 [1984] to VIII [2009]).

    Novels of Justinian in translation: scanned images of an unpublished typescript of the Novels of Justinian in English, translated by Fred Blume (1875-1971), a Judge on the Wyoming Supreme Court. Blume's papers are held in the George W. Hopper Law Library of the University of Wyoming.

    Epitome of Julian: We have mounted an electronic version of the Epitome of Julian on the Volterra web-site, together with the associated Dictatum de Consiliariis and Collectio de Tutoribus.

    Justinian Code in translation: Blume also translated the Justinian Code. His text has been retyped by Tim Kearley (Director of the University of Wyoming Law Library) and up-loaded as a set of pdf files, which can be searched or copied.

    Basilica: a scanned version of Heimbach's edition of the Basilica, downloadable for free but in myriad small pieces. This currently includes only vol. 1 (Books I-XII; 1833) and vol. 2 (Books XIII-XXIII; 1840), plus the supplements of 1846 and 1897.

    Forschungen zur Byzantinischen Rechtsgeschichte: details of this important series published by the Max-Planck-Institut, including contents lists for the volumes of the Fontes Minores ( I [1976] to XI [2005]).

    Sources of the Greek Canon Law to the Quinisext Council (692): Councils and Church Fathers: part of volume 4 of the History of Medieval Canon Law: now published as W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, The History of Byzantine and Eastern Canon Law to 1500 (CUA Press: Washington DC, 2012).

    Two useful papers from the 21st International Congress of Byzantine Studies (August 2006) are available on-line: Bernhard Stolte, "Some recent developments in Byzantine legal history" and Alexander Beihammer, "Byzantinischer Diplomatik (dead or alive?)".

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    Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms


    Kemble: Anglo-Saxon Charters: web-site of the British Academy/Royal Historical Society joint committee for Anglo-Saxon Charters, named in honour of John Mitchell Kemble (1807-57), of Trinity College, Cambridge, editor of the Codex Diplomaticus Ævi Saxonici (1839-48). This site contains an expanding number of on-line texts and images. Note in particular the e-Sawyer, which presents in searchable and browsable form a revised, updated, and expanded version of Peter Sawyer's Anglo-Saxon Charters: an Annotated List and Bibliography (1968).

    Early English Laws is a project to publish online and in print new editions and translations of all English legal codes, edicts, and treatises produced up to the time of Magna Carta (1215).

    Anglo-Saxon Charters was a project based at King's College London, with aimed to produce editions of charters before 900, marked up in XML.

    DEEDS project (Documents of Early England Data Set): an electronic corpus of some 9,500 charters of the XII and XIII CC.

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    Last updated 1 February 2012