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Medieval Geopolitics: The Medieval “Judicial Revolution”

During the early medieval era, judicial power and authority – the right and ability to adjudicate legal disputes and enforce the law – had hemorrhaged from the public authorities of the Carolingian empire into the hands first of great magnates and then lesser lords.

How Law Was Taught at a Medieval University

Jason A. Brown focus on a medieval manuscript to show how law was taught in medieval universities.

Spoliation and disseisin: possession under threat and its protection before and after 1215

Each of the two great law-making events of 1215, Magna Carta and the Fourth Lateran Council, included provisions relating to dispossession (spoliation, disseisin) and how to remedy some of its previous deficiencies.

Justinian and the Corpus Iuris: An Overview

Justinian’s codification is the bridge that links Antiquity, the Byzantine Empire, and Europe. It is also the link between civil law and common law, and between canon law and civil law.

Anglo-Saxon Punishments: The Price of a Pinky

Recognizing that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, medieval lawmakers believed that justice could be satisfied by aggressors making financial compensation to victims.

Property, Power and Patriarchy: The Decline of Women’s Property Right in England After the Black Death

The social and governmental response to the Black Death in England undermined the social strength of women’s property rights and created a late-medieval patriarchal structure qualitatively different from that of the earlier fourteenth century.

‘To Avoide All Envye, Malys, Grudge and Displeasure’: Sociability and Social Networking at the London Wardmote Inquest, c.1470–1540

‘To Avoide All Envye, Malys, Grudge and Displeasure’: Sociability and Social Networking at the London Wardmote Inquest, c.1470–1540 By Charlotte Berry The London Journal, 42:3, 201-217 In 1540, the men chosen as members of the jury for the Aldersgate wardmote set down a series of regulations ‘for good rule and order to be kepte and observed […]

The Courts Christian in Medieval England

This article examines the structure and jurisdiction of the pre-Reformation ecclesiastical courts in England to determine their effect on the Reformation.

Mutilation and the Law in Early Medieval Europe and India: A Comparative Study

Such penalties, the rhetoric surrounding their use, and the circumstances in which they were prescribed sound very familiar to a historian of early medieval Europe, where the language and targets of such precepts were similar to those set out in the Indian material.

A Lifeʼs Worth: Reexamining Wergild in the Anglo-Saxon Royal Law Codes (c. 600-1035)

In the wide and growing world of Anglo-Saxon scholarship, wergild has an at once ubiquitous and spectral presence.

Trial by Combat: The Bloody Business of Justice

As a community of the faithful, medieval people believed that no matter how evenly or unevenly matched the fighters were, the one who was innocent would prevail, but trial by combat was not often a black-and-white thing.

Medieval Executions: The View from the Scaffold

Let’s take a brief look at what judicial execution was really like in the Middle Ages.

The mark of the Devil: medical proof in witchcraft trials

This thesis will analyze the intersection between medical and religious beliefs in the fourteenth through seventeenth centuries to evaluate the importance placed upon medical evidence by secular and ecclesiastical courts.

Women, attorneys and credit in late medieval England

In recent years, quantitative research regarding the use of later medieval English courts has dispelled the old myth that women at law were mostly engaged in litigation over land.

Unravelling a medieval murder mystery

In the ultimate cold case an Aberdeen historian has re-examined a 600 year old murder, fitting of a plot for Game of Thrones.

Legal Arguments: The Medieval Origin of a European Invention

What do we mean as we say that ‘During the Middle Ages Roman Law became the shared common law of Europe’?

Justinian and the Senate of Rome under Ostrogothic Rule

Although this law deals with a dry, technical matter, interesting only to the students of Roman civil law, especially testamentary law, it is also quite interesting for the study of the law making procedure in the time of Justinian.

10 Milestones in Medieval Law

Which moments from the Middle Ages have changed the way we look at the law and justice?

Henry II and Ganelon

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, […]

Jewish Law and Litigation in the Secular Courts of the Late Medieval Mediterranean

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.

Interview: Michael H. Roffer, author of The Law Book

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.

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