The Old English Cold Water Ordeals, which prescribe how an accused person was to be immersed in water and required to ‘prove’ his or her innocence by being accepted by the water, by sinking rather than floating, are very strange documents from the perspective of modern readers.
Henry II and Ganelon By Paul R. Hyams Syracuse Scholar, Vol.4:1 (1983) Introduction: Once upon a time, there was a king of Nantes, called Equitan, a good and courteous ruler, filled with a proper enthusiasm for princely things: Equitan had a seneschal, a good knight, brave and loyal, who took care of his land for him, […]
Although medieval rabbinic law generally forbade Jews from suing their co-religionists in state courts, this practice was widely accepted among some Mediterranean Jewish communities.
The sin of crime: The Mutual Influence of the Early Irish and Anglo-Saxon Penitentials and Secular Laws
One of the most fascinating questions concerning Medieval Irish and Anglo-Saxon society is not one about what was done when all went well, but rather, what was sought to be done when matters were not as they ought to be.
The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law, by Michael H. Roffer, explores 250 of the most fundamental, far-reaching, and often controversial cases, laws, and trials that have profoundly changed our world—for good or bad.
This thesis explores the relationship between proto-democracy, multiculturalism, and state formation. In the introduction, I express the desire to ascertain how legal multiculturalism on the Isle of Man could be viewed as a product of the shared protodemocratic character of the Irish and the Norse legal traditions.
This paper surveys the legal tradition that links Magna Carta with the modern concepts of the rule of law and the limits on government.
In this essay I address a little-known chapter in the lengthy history of crimes against (nonhuman) animals. My focus is not crimes committed by humans against animals, as such, but a practical outcome of the seemingly bizarre belief that animals are capable of committing crimes against humans
Justice Frederick H. Blume, attorney and long-time Justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court, single-handedly translated Justinian’s Code and Novels in the early twentieth century. His is the only English translation of the Code to have been made from the Latin version accepted as most authoritative.
The formulation of a general and comprehensive law of treason by the English government in the mid-fourteenth century allowed northerners to impose harsh penalties on those who offended them most grievously.
This dissertation explores the role of mens rea, or guilty mind, as a factor in jury assessments of guilt and innocence during the first two centuries of the English criminal trial jury, from the early thirteenth through the fourteenth century.
A review of the Lady Agnes Mystery by Parisienne author, Andrea Japp.
Expert examinations of wounds in the criminal court or justice in Cocentaina (Kingdom of Valencia) during the Late Middle Ages
Among the activities of doctors in the courts, one in particular stood out: the examination of wounds.
It’s August, and summer has begun its inevitable wind down. Unfortunately, this means the British Library’s spectacular exhibit, Magna Carta: Law, Liberty and Legacy is winding down as well. This is the final month to catch a glimpse of the famous 800 year old document before the exhibit comes to a close on September 1st.
Just like their modern day counterparts, medieval cities had to deal with their own criminal underworlds – the sex trade, gambling, and violence taking place within their walls. At the International Medieval Congress, held earlier this month at the University of Leeds, these issues were explored as part of session #706: Perceiving and Regulating Vices.
If you’re passing through London and want something to do that is very quick, free, and historical, check out this great little Magna Carta exhibit at Burlington House hosted by the Society of Antiquaries of London.