Felix Liebermann’s Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen (1903-1916) remains the single most important contribution to the study of early English law. This volume marks the Gesetze’s centenary by bringing together original essays by an international group of leading scholars specializing in medieval legal culture. The essays address not only Liebermann’s life and legacy, but also major issues in the study of early law, including the relationship between Old English legal and penitential texts, the provenance of early English legal manuscripts, the composition and dating of pre-Magna Carta legislation, and the nature of Anglo-Saxon and Norman legal practice and procedure. This collection provides an essential assessment of the current state of early legal studies as well as a roadmap for future work.
Contributors are Hideyuki Arimitsu, Rebecca Brackmann, Daniela Fruscione, R.D. Fulk, Thomas Gobbitt, Janelle Greenberg, John Hudson, Stefan Jurasinski, Nicholas Karn, T.B. Lambert, Andrew Rabin, Mary P. Richards, Richard Sharpe, and Jürg Rainer Schwyter.
Stefan Jurasinski, Ph.D. (2003) in English, Indiana University, is Associate Professor of English at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. His publications include Ancient Privileges: Beowulf, Law, and the Making of Germanic Antiquity (2006).
Lisi Oliver, Ph.D. (1995) in Linguistics, Harvard University, is Professor of English at Louisiana State University. She is the author of The Beginnings of English Law (2002) and The Body Legal in Barbarian Law (2010).
Andrew Rabin, Ph.D. (2005) in English, University of Chicago, is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Louisville. His work on Old English law and legal culture has appeared in numerous journals and collections, including Viator, JEGP, and Speculum.
"...Stefan Jurasinski, Lisi Oliver and Andrew Rabin deserve hearty congratulations for producing such a superb collection, one which engages the neophyte and challenges the experts. Unlike many such compilations, English Law Before Magna Carta contains no weak link; every chapter's thesis is clear, the arguments rigorous, the conclusions compelling. Brill too deserves praise for producing such an elegant and carefully edited volume. I recommend this book for any college library; it is certain to prove useful on many levels."
Alison Williams Lewin, St Joseph's University, The Medieval Review 12.08.06
Preface ... xi
Abbreviations ... xiii
1. Felix Liebermann and Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen ... 1
2. Felix Liebermann: A Selected Bibliography ... 9
Section One: Felix Liebermann
3. Liebermann’s Intellectual Milieu ... 15
4. The Liebermann Library in Tokyo ... 27
Section Two: Language and Dating
5. L1 Interference in the Editing Process: Felix Liebermann, the Gesetze and the German Language ... 43
*Jürg Rainer Schwyter
6. Localizing and Dating Old English Anonymous Prose, and How the Inherent Problems Relate to Anglo-Saxon Legislation ... 59
*Robert D. Fulk
7. The Dating of Quadripartitus Again ... 81
Section Three: Anglo-Saxon Texts and Manuscripts
8. The Old English Penitentials and the Law of Slavery ... 97
9. I Æthelred in Felix Liebermann’s Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen and in the Mise-en Page of Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 383 ... 119
10. I–II Cnut: Wulfstan’s Summa? ... 137
*Mary P. Richards
11. Royal Protections and Private Justice: A Reassessment of Cnut’s ‘Reserved Pleas’ ... 157
*T. B. Lambert
12. Ritual Magic or Legal Performance? Reconsidering an Old English Charm Against Theft ... 177
Section Four: Beyond Anglo-Saxon England
13. Rethinking the Leges Henrici Primi ... 199
14. From the Leges to Glanvill: Legal Expertise and Legal Reasoning ... 221
15. Laurence Nowell’s Old English Legal Glossary and His Study of Quadripartitus ... 251
16. “St. Edward’s Ghost”: The Cult of St. Edward and His Laws in English History ... 273
Bibliography ... 301
Contributors ... 319
Index Legum ... 323
Index Manuscriptorum ... 325
Index Nominorum ... 326
All those interested in early English legal history, Old English and Anglo-Norman literature and culture, manuscript studies, and the history of scholarship on the English middle ages