Legal History

Download e-book for iPad: A History of European Law by Paolo Grossi

By Paolo Grossi

ISBN-10: 140515294X

ISBN-13: 9781405152945

This booklet explores the improvement of legislations in Europe from its medieval origins to the current day, charting the transformation from legislation rooted within the Church and native group in the direction of a acceptance of the centralised, secular authority of the nation.

  • Shows how those alterations mirror the broader political, monetary, and cultural advancements inside of eu history
  • Demonstrates the variety of traditions among eu states and the probabilities and obstacles within the look for universal eu values and goals

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Example text

These facts of daily life are constantly forged and reforged in the ever-busy workshop of change that is late medieval society; the work of scholars removes facts from the furnace of change and discovers in them a higher, more rigorous, more universal message. Scholarship makes the legal formulations and institutions of legal practice into models that can be deployed in other similar contexts and at other points in time. In so doing the work of jurists takes upon itself the function of ordering the law, a goal it fulfils completely.

Finally, there was the ius commune – constructed from the interpretation of the ‘universal laws’ (Roman and canon) by the universal community of jurists. The civic political order was unitary, but within the city walls also dwelt plural, diverse legal orders which coexisted with one another and shared in the government of the city’s inhabitants. The law was not held in the smothering embrace of the apparatus of public power; instead it led society, expressing its desires and conditioning its actions.

Antiquity was held worthy of especial veneration: as the abovementioned John of Salisbury says, venerabilior est vetustas (‘age should be respected more’). Secondly, the legislator in question was Justinian, who was not only a Roman emperor but moreover an unimpeachably Catholic one. Justinian cherished orthodoxy and protected, or even over-protected, the Church – as can be seen in the learned and respectful manner adopted by those parts of the Corpus iuris which deal with Church dogma. Roman law served as an excellent means by which to justify the validity of medieval legal scholarship: it was the authoritative model which would, in turn, guarantee its emulators’ authority and therefore widespread compliance with their work.

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A History of European Law by Paolo Grossi


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