The Law's Beginnings

Law, as we know it, with its rules and rituals, its procedures and professionals, has not been around forever. It came into being, it emerged, at different places and different times. Sources which allow us to observe the processes of law’s beginnings have survived in some cases.
In this book, scholars from various disciplines–linguists, lawyers, historians, anthropologists–present their findings concerning the earliest legal systems of a great variety of peoples and civilizations, from Mesopotamia and Ancient India to Greece and Rome, from the early Germanic, Celtic and Slavic nations, but also from other parts of the world. The general picture is complemented by an investigation into the Indo-European roots of a number of ancient legal systems, contributions from the point of view of legal philosophy and theory, and an overview of the insights gained.

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Co-publication with E.M. Meijers Instituut
' Insgesamt ist der vorliegende Band eine über-aus interessante Zusammenstellung unterschiedlicher Forschungen zur frühen Rechtsentwicklung, die dem Ostrechtler - der hierbei durch Feldbrugges Beitrag zum altrussischen Recht von bekannten Terrain ausgehen kann - den Blick über seinen Tellerrand erlaubt und Fragen aufwift, die durchaus auch in Bezug auf die osteuropaïsche Rechtsgeschichte eine Antwort verdienen. ' Herbert Küpper, Ost Europa Recht, April 2004.
Foreword F. Feldbrugge, Incipient Law. Aspects of Legal Philosophy P. Cliteur, Early Law in India D. Kolff, Justice and Written Laws in the Formation of the Polis E. van der Vliet, An Aspect of Archaic Roman Law: Auctoritas tutoris B. Sirks, An Emerging Legal System in an Embryonic State.The Case of Early Medieval Ireland D. Edel, The Lex Frisionum. The Genesis of a Legalized Life N. Algra †, The Earliest Law of Russia and its Sources F. Feldbrugge, Glimpses of Indo-European Law S. Zimmer, Before Hammurabi of Babylon. Law and the Laws in Early Mesopotamia K. Veenhof, Aspects of Law and Order in Early State Societies H. Claessen, A New Beginning of Law among Indigenous, Peoples.Observations by a Legal Anthropologist A. Hoekema, Law’s Beginning W. Witteveen, Law’s Beginnings. Some Concluding Observations F. Feldbrugge, Contributors, Index.