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In 1807, Napoleon Bonaparte created the Duchy of Warsaw from the Polish lands that had been ceded to France by Prussia. His Civil Code was enforced in the new Duchy too and, unlike the Catholic Church, it allowed the dissolution of marriage by divorce.

This book sheds new light on the application of Napoleonic divorce regulations in the Polish lands between 1808-1852. Unlike what has been argued so far, this book demonstrates that divorces were happening frequently in 19th century Poland and even with the same rate as in France. In addition to the analysis of the Napoleonic divorce law, the reader is provided with a fully comprehensive description of parties as well as courts and officials involved in divorce proceedings, their course and the grounds for divorce.
Volume Editor: Hans W. Blom
Often considered a secularizing force in the rise of the nation state, natural law was called upon in the defence of the early-modern confessional states. The fourteen chapters of this volume show how religious and legal thought around natural and biblical law interacted and combined in the new Christian states of Lutheranism, Calvinism and Catholicism. The volume addresses also questions of political legitimacy, civic and ecclesiastical authority, societal stability, conceptions of common good, liberalism’s value pluralism (and its pretence), toleration and the lingering humanist project of determining “who are we”, issues that were then important as they are now.

Contributors are: Dominique Bauer, Thomas Behme, Hans Blom, Jiří Chotaš, Alberto Clerici, Stefanie Ertz, Arthur Eyffinger, Heikki Haara, Mads Langballe Jensen, Adriana Luna-Fabritius, Denis Ramelet, József Simon, and Markus M. Totzeck.
The Theology of God’s Power and Its Bearing on the Western Legal Tradition, 1100–1600
With a foreword by Diego Quaglioni

This book attempts to determine the degree to which the modern fate of the Western legal tradition depends on one of the most long-standing debates of the Middle Ages, the distinction between potentia Dei absoluta and ordinata (God’s absolute and ordered power). The mediaeval investigation into God’s attributes was originally concerned with the problem of divine almightiness. It underwent a slow but steady displacement from the territory of theology to the freshly emerging proceedings of legal analysis. Here, based on the distinction, late-mediaeval lawyers worked out a new terminology to define the extent of the power-holder’s authority. This effort would give rise, during the early modern era, to the gradual establishment of the legal-political framework represented by the concepts of the prince and sovereignty.
Legal historians have analysed the characteristics of merchant guilds and nationes (i.e., associations of foreign merchants), as well as the political clout of merchants, including foreign ones. However, how the legal status of citizens related to the merchant class and how its contents were influenced by trade remains largely unclear. Did governments have a policy of citizenship that was tailored to commercial interests? Were foreign merchants belonging to a separate legal category of resident? If so, what defined this category? To what extent could different types of legal status and membership of communities or guilds overlap? And how did all this affect merchants’ identities, their self-images of belonging? This collection of essays provides anwers to these questions.

Contributors are: Sonja Breustedt, Pieter De Reu, Gijs Dreijer, Maurits den Hollander, Marco In’t Veld, Marta Lupi, Manon Moerman, Remko Mooi, Patrick Naaktgeboren, and Joost Possemiers.
Strathspey and the Regality of Grant (c. 1690-1748)
This book fills a significant gap in our current understanding of early modern Scottish history. It is the first systematic consideration of the workings of seigneurial courts of feudal lords in 18th century Scotland. For several hundred years, these courts were one of the main forums for justice across Europe. Until 1748, Scottish courts of barony and regality handled both criminal complaints and civil disputes; they made by-laws and levied taxes; they set wages and enforced morality. The 18th century was a time of epoch-defining events in Scotland, such as the Jacobite rebellions, and union with England. The amount of literature on this period of Scottish history is extensive; it is therefore remarkable that the story of these courts has been left untouched.
Editor / Translator: Howell A. Lloyd
Written c. 1567 (though unpublished until 1603), this is the work of an extraordinary scholar, a radical and polemicist, rival of many of the leading intellectual and political figures of his day. According to François Hotman’s distinguished biographer Donald Kelley the Antitribonian ‘is, or should be, a landmark in the history of social and historical thought’. It is also a landmark in the history of legal thought. The present edition is the first to evaluate Hotman’s text in the context of the history of Roman law from the time of the sixth-century Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to the Germany of the Enlightenment.
Law-Making and Local Normativities in Iberian Asia, 1500-1800
Volume Editor: Manuel Bastias Saavedra
Norms beyond Empire seeks to rethink the relationship between law and empire by emphasizing the role of local normative production. While European imperialism is often viewed as being able to shape colonial law and government to its image, this volume argues that early modern empires could never monolithically control how these processes unfolded. Examining the Iberian empires in Asia, it seeks to look at norms as a means of escaping the often too narrow concept of law and look beyond empire to highlight the ways in which law-making and local normativities frequently acted beyond colonial rule. The ten chapters explore normative production from this perspective by focusing on case studies from China, India, Japan, and the Philippines.

Contributors are: Manuel Bastias Saavedra, Marya Svetlana T. Camacho, Luisa Stella de Oliveira Coutinho Silva, Rômulo da Silva Ehalt, Patricia Souza de Faria, Fupeng Li, Miguel Rodrigues Lourenço, Abisai Perez Zamarripa, Marina Torres Trimállez, and Ângela Barreto Xavier.
Forms of Unfreedom at the Intersection between Christianity and Islam
Volume Editor: Felicia Roşu
Slavery in the Black Sea Region, c.900–1900 explores the Black Sea region as an encounter zone of cultures, legal regimes, religions, and enslavement practices. The topics discussed in the chapters include Byzantine slavery, late medieval slave trade patterns, slavery in Christian societies, Tatar and cossack raids, the position of Circassians in the slave trade, and comparisons with the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. This volume aims to stimulate a broader discussion on the patterns of unfreedom in the Black Sea area and to draw attention to the importance of this region in the broader debates on global slavery.

Contributors are: Viorel Achim, Michel Balard, Hannah Barker, Andrzej Gliwa, Colin Heywood, Sergei Pavlovich Karpov, Mikhail Kizilov, Dariusz Kołodziejczyk, Maryna Kravets, Natalia Królikowska-Jedlińska, Sandra Origone, Victor Ostapchuk, Daphne Penna, Felicia Roșu, and Ehud R. Toledano.