Odd Topics, Old Methods and the Cradle of the Ius Commune: Byzantine Law and the Italian City-States
7 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2018 Last revised: 9 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 12, 2017
In this paper I try to demonstrate how Byzantine law, a subject odd and exotic at first sight provides a piece of the puzzle that helps us to complete the big picture, the origins of our European legal identity. I refer to some concrete examples of legal interaction between the Byzantine and the Western side of Europe in the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries – a period in which the ius commune began to take shape – and explain the method I used step by step, the specific challenges I confronted in the sources and the outcomes of this approach. The comparative legal study of documents of the medieval period at a European level can help us to answer the question whether, long before the making of today’s Europe, today’s European countries were already connected by common legal forms.
Keywords: Byzantine law, ius commune, European legal culture, comparative law, European private law
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