Magna Carta: The Road to Runnymede

This is one of the two Magna Carta owned by the British Library (c) The British Library Board

A look at the creation of the British Library’s Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy exhibition.

Trial by Battle in France and England

15th century Normandy, France: duel with swords between plaintiff and defendant. Hand-painted color miniatures with ornate borders. Illustration in: The Costumes de Normandie, ca. 1450-1470 (folio 89).

This dissertation surveys the history of trial by battle in the French-speaking regions of the European continent and England, concentrating on the period between roughly 1050 and 1350 when it was most practiced.

Law in the Lives of Medieval Women: Beyond the Magna Carta

women and magna carta

Ruth Mazo Karras discussed, through an analysis of the lives of three women, the way law affected (or not) women at different levels of society in medieval England.

Ostsiedlung or Transition of German Law? Legal Perspective on Settlement According to German Law in Medieval Poland

Pawel Dziwinski

Paper given at Twenty-First Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians – 6th Berg Institute International Conference

Capital and Corporal Punishment may have been rare in Anglo-Saxon England, researcher suggests

Skeletons under excavation at Walkington Wold - photo by Rod Mackey

A long standing belief about early medieval justice was that many offenders would be executed for serious crimes, or face punishments such as amputations for lesser offences. However, an examination of archaeological data suggests that these kinds of punishments were rare in Anglo-Saxon England.

Trolls in the Middle Ages

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Where did trolls come from? What did medieval and early modern people think of trolls? How did the concept of the modern day troll evolve?

Aquinas on Torture

Aquinas Benozzo_Gozzoli

Here we are faced with something that, for this writer at least, is something of an enigma. It does not appear that Aquinas approved of this practice. Nowhere does he defend it, although he explicitly defends putting heretics to death.

The King’s Courts and the King’s Soul: Pardoning as Almsgiving in Medieval England

Henry III - Royal 20.A.II, f.9

This paper examines the workings of the English royal courts in the thirteenth century through one of their practices—pardoning—and argues that the king and his officials could see courts not just as venues for justice, but also as institutions through which the king could see to the health of his own soul.

CONFERENCES: The Stellinga, the Saxon Elite, and Carolingian Politics

Battle of Fontenoy - The battle as depicted in the fourteenth-century Grandes Chroniques de France. Grandes Chroniques de France, France, Paris, Cote : Français 73 , Fol. 150

This is my summary of a paper presented at the Institute of Historical Research on the causes of the Stellinga uprising in the Carolingian period.

Women do not sit as Judges, or do they? The office of Judge in Vincentius Bellovacensis’ Speculum

Vincent of Beauvais (Vincentius Bellovacensis)

It was Charles Homer Haskins (1870-1936) who coined the expression “Renaissance of the twelfth century”. Before him this expression referred more specifically to the Italian Renaissance of the fifteenth century as nineteenth century Swiss historian Jakob Burckhardt put it.

The Patriarch Alexios Stoudites and the Reinterpretation of Justinianic Legislation against Heretics

Justinian and his attendants - 526-547 AD (Byzantine) San Vitale, Ravenna

Using normative legal sources such as law codes and imperial novels to illuminate Byzantine heresy is a very difficult proposition. One of the great problems in the analysis of Byzantine law in general is that the normative legal sources rarely were adapted to subsequent economic, political, or social conditions.

The Prologue to Alfred’s Law Code: Instruction in the Spirit of Mercy

Alfred the Great from a 13th Century manuscript

The Prologue to Alfred’s Law Code: Instruction in the Spirit of Mercy Michael Treschow Florilegium: Volume 13 (1994) Abstract Alfred’s law code tends to receive scant attention in discussions of the char- acter of his reign. It lacks the distinctive stamp of his other writings and acts. It is a conservative code that seeks not […]

Medieval English Law manuscript digitised

First page of the Textus Roffensis.

The Textus Roffensis, a 12th century legal encyclopaedia, is now available online.

Of sagas and sheep: Toward a historical anthropology of social change and production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland

Medieval hunt - images of sheep

This dissertation deals with the formation of chiefdoms, communities, ecclesiastical institutions and state, and with production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland in the context of climatic change and ecological succession.

Crafting the witch: Gendering magic in medieval and early modern England

The Devil and witches

This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.

The Lit de Justice: Semantics, Ceremonial, and the Parlement of Paris, 1300–1600

King Charles VIII of France

The curious phrase lit de justice originated in the fourteenth century and by the first decade of the fifteenth century designated particularly important royal sessions of the Parlement of Paris.

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