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Legal and Moral Theological Literature and the Formation of Early Modern Ibero-America
Editors: Thomas Duve and Otto Danwerth
Knowledge of the pragmatici sheds new light on pragmatic normative literature (mainly from the religious sphere), a genre crucial for the formation of normative orders in early modern Ibero-America. Long underrated by legal historical scholarship, these media – manuals for confessors, catechisms, and moral theological literature – selected and localised normative knowledge for the colonial worlds and thus shaped the language of normativity.

The eleven chapters of this book explore the circulation and the uses of pragmatic normative texts in the Iberian peninsula, in New Spain, Peru, New Granada and Brazil. The book reveals the functions and intellectual achievements of pragmatic literature, which condensed normative knowledge, drawing on medieval scholarly practices of ‘epitomisation’, and links the genre with early modern legal culture.

Contributors are: Manuela Bragagnolo, Agustín Casagrande, Otto Danwerth, Thomas Duve, José Luis Egío, Renzo Honores, Gustavo César Machado Cabral, Pilar Mejía, Christoph H. F. Meyer, Osvaldo Moutin, and David Rex Galindo.
Corpses and Proofs in Early Modern European Medicine
When, why and how was it first believed that the corpse could reveal ‘signs’ useful for understanding the causes of death and eventually identifying those responsible for it? The Body of Evidence. Corpses and Proofs in Early Modern European Medicine, edited by Francesco Paolo de Ceglia, shows how in the late Middle Ages the dead body, which had previously rarely been questioned, became a specific object of investigation by doctors, philosophers, theologians and jurists. The volume sheds new light on the elements of continuity, but also on the effort made to liberate the semantization of the corpse from what were, broadly speaking, necromantic practices, which would eventually merge into forensic medicine.
The development of the Spanish Navy in the early modern Mediterranean triggered a change in the balance of political and economic power for the coastal populations of the Hispanic Monarchy. The establishment of new permanent squadrons, endowed with very broad jurisdictional powers, was the cause of many conflicts with the local authorities and had a direct influence on the economic and production activities of the region. Manuel Lomas analyzes the progressive consolidation of these institutions in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, their influence on the mechanisms of justice and commerce, and how they contributed to the reconfiguration of the jurisdictional system that governed the maritime trade in the Mediterranean.

Abstract

This introductory essay provides an overview of the scholarship on state socialist engagements with international criminal and humanitarian law, arguing for a closer scrutiny of the socialist world’s role in shaping these fields of law. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the historiography on post-1945 international law-making has been generally dominated by a post-1989 sense of Western triumphalism over socialism, where the Soviet Union and its allies have been presented as obstructionists of liberal progress. A wave of neo-Marxist scholarship has more recently sought to recover socialist legal contributions to international law, without however fully addressing them in the context of Cold War political conflict and of gross human rights violations committed within the Socialist Bloc. In contrast, this collection provides a balanced understanding of the socialist engagements with international criminal and humanitarian law, looking at the realpolitik agendas of state socialist countries while acknowledging their progressive contributions to the post-war international legal order.

In: Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d'histoire du droit international
A Case of Legal Pluralism in Early Modern Europe
Now available in Open Access thanks to the support of the University of Helsinki. In Conquest and the Law in Swedish Livonia (ca. 1630-1710), Heikki Pihlajamäki offers an exciting account of the law and judiciary in seventeenth-century Livonia. Immediately after Sweden conquered the province in the 1620s, a reorganization of the Livonian judiciary began. Its legal order became largely modelled after Swedish law, which differed in important ways from its Livonian counterpart. While Livonian legal tradition was firmly anchored in the European ius commune, the conquerors’ law was, by nature, not founded in legal learning. The volume convincingly demonstrates how the differences in legal cultures decisively affected the way Livonian judicial and procedural systems were shaped. Based on archival sources, the study presents an important contribution to the comparative legal history of the early modern period.
Sharīʿa and Cultural Change in Russian Central Asia
Visions of Justice offers an exploration of legal consciousness among the Muslim communities of Central Asia from the end of the eighteenth century through the fall of the Russian Empire. Paolo Sartori surveys how colonialism affected the way in which Muslims formulated their convictions about entitlements and became exposed to different notions of morality. Situating his work within a range of debates about colonialism and law, legal pluralism, and subaltern subjectivity, Sartori puts the study of Central Asia on a broad, conceptually sophisticated, comparative footing. Drawing from a wealth of Arabic, Persian, Turkic and Russian sources, this book provides a thoughtful critique of method and considers some of the contrasting ways in which material from Central Asian archives may most usefully be read.

Publication in Open Access was made possible by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation.
In: Conquest and the Law in Swedish Livonia (ca. 1630–1710)
In: Conquest and the Law in Swedish Livonia (ca. 1630–1710)
In: Conquest and the Law in Swedish Livonia (ca. 1630–1710)