Order in the Court: Medieval Procedural Treatises in Translation


In Order in the Court, Brasington translates and comments upon the earliest medieval treatises on ecclesiastical legal procedure. Beginning with the eleventh-century “Marturi Case,” the first citation of the Digest in court since late antiquity and the jurist Bulgarus’ letter to Haimeric, the papal chancellor, we witness the evolution of Roman-law procedure in Italy. The study then focusses on Anglo-Norman works, all from the second half of the twelfth century. The De edendo, the Practica legum of Bishop William of Longchamp, and the Ordo Bambergensis blend Roman and canon law to guide the judge, advocate, and litigant in court. These reveal the study and practice of the learned law during the turbulent “Age of Becket” and its aftermath.

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Bruce C. Brasington, Ph.D. (1990), UCLA, is Professor of History at West Texas A&M University. He has published monographs and articles on medieval law and co-authored, with Robert Somerville, Prefaces to Canon Law Books in Latin Christianity(Yale, 1998).
"The title of this book might lead readers to expect something more modest. While the translations make it of obvious worth to anyone interested in the legal organization of premodern Western Europe, Order in the Court is really a scholarly monograph in its own right. In it, Brasington describes the conditions that gradually made law more a matter of learning than of custom. Throughout this process, Roman law exerted a gravitational pull on litigants and experts, eventually overwhelming the independent legal traditions that had built up in its absence... As much for its careful discussion of the [textual] materials (delivered with a command of a staggering range of scholarly publications) as for the texts themselves, I am grateful for the work that must have gone into the preparation of this important volume, which is sure to benefit both the teaching and the study of legal history. I expect my copy will see much use in the years to come."
Stefan Jurasinski, The Medieval Review (2017)

"Um es gleich vorweg zu nehmen: Ich kenne momentan keine andere derart gelungene kurze Zusammenfassung der Prozessrechtsgeschichte, die zugleich viel Raum für weitere Entdeckungen lässt. Immer wieder gelingen Brasington souveräne Übersichten. Seine Beobachtungen bis in die Details sind überzeugend und die Linien geben dem Leser die allgemeine Orientierung. [...] Man erkennt an diesen Erwägungen, wie informierend und anregend die Darstellung von Brasington selbst für erfahrene Rechtshistoriker ist. Doch auch Unkundige werden hier die beste Einführung in die Geschichte bis zum Hohen Mittelalter finden. Brasington vermittelt eine Quellen- und Literaturkenntnis, die dem Stand der Kanonistik entspricht, und erklärt dabei zugleich, warum das römische Recht so einflussreich sein konnte. Er leistet damit eine neue Grundlage zum Verständnis der Entwicklung des hochmittelalterlichen Prozessrechts, das in einigen Elementen noch bis heute fortwirkt."
Mathias Schmoeckel, ZRG KA 104 (2018)

Acknowledgments ix
Preface xi
Glossary xx
Abbreviations xxvii
Introduction 1
1 The Ecclesiastical Ordo iudiciorum Around 1100 25
2 The Early Romano-Canonical Process: The Worlds of Hariulf
and Bulgarus 52
3 The Anglo-Norman Ordo iudiciarius: Pseudo-Ulpianus, De edendo 112
4 William of Longchamp’s Practica Legum et decretorum 172
5 The Ordo Bambergensis 197
Conclusion 276
Selected Bibliography 287
Index of Sources and Parallels 316
General Index 324
All interested in medieval law, in particular ecclesiastical courts, procedure, and the development fo Roman and canon law, as well as anyone with a broader interest in legal history.
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