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This is a peer-reviewed book series on the history of law in the broadest sense. The approach is preferably comparative in nature, both vertically and horizontally, although studies that approach the subject matter from a different perspective are not automatically excluded. The aim of the Library is to study the historical development of particular areas of law and to explain existing differences and similarities arising in other systems where such comparison is possible. An additional aim is to contribute to a mutual understanding of different approaches to similar problems within the various legal systems. In this way, the Library provides a forum for works related to the growing need for a ius commune in today’s globalising world and provides the necessary historical information for those working in the field of harmonisation projects throughout the world.

The Library not only welcomes dogmatical studies but also offers a forum for interdisciplinary volumes that incorporate law and legal history as their main theme. The editors seek novel, path-breaking, and innovative works that reflect the highest standards of academic writing regardless of the methodologies or approaches employed in any particular volume. Such works are often scholarly monographs, but collected works of previously unpublished contributions forming a cohesive and significant contribution to a particular field of legal history are also welcomed by the editors. There is no restriction in terms of topic, chronology, or geography with the exception of works on the history of international law and on medieval law which should be submitted directly to the Library’s subseries Studies in the History of International Law or Medieval Law and Its Practice.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts to the series editors Remco van Rhee, Dirk Heirbaut, and M.C. Mirow or the publisher at BRILL, Alessandra Giliberto.

The series includes the subseries Studies in the History of International Law and Studies in the History of Private Law.

Brill is in full support of Open Access publishing and offers the option to publish your monograph, edited volume, or chapter in Open Access. Our Open Access services are fully compliant with funder requirements. We support Creative Commons licenses. For more information, please visit Brill Open or contact us at
Volume Editors: and
This comprehensive volume offers fresh insights on Latin American and Caribbean law before European contact, during the colonial and early republican eras and up to the present. It considers the history of legal education, the legal profession, Indigenous legal history, and the legal history concerning Africans and African Americans, other enslaved peoples, women, immigrants, peasants, and workers. This book also examines the various legal frameworks concerning land and other property, commerce and business, labor, crime, marriage, family and domestic conflicts, the church, the welfare state, constitutional law and rights, and legal pluralism. It serves as a current introduction for those new to the field and provides in-depth interpretations, discussions, and bibliographies for those already familiar with the region’s legal history.

Contributors are: Diego Acosta, Alejandro Agüero, Sarah C. Chambers, Robert J. Cottrol, Oscar Cruz Barney, Mariana Dias Paes, Tamar Herzog, Marta Lorente Sariñena, M.C. Mirow, Jerome G. Offner, Brian Owensby, Juan Manuel Palacio, Agustín Parise, Rogelio Pérez-Perdomo, Heikki Pihlajamäki, Susan Elizabeth Ramírez, Timo H. Schaefer, William Suárez-Potts, Victor M. Uribe-Uran, Cristián Villalonga, Alex Wisnoski, and Eduardo Zimmermann.
From Antiquity to the Twentieth Century
This volume offers an extensive introduction to Western legal traditions from antiquity to the twentieth century. Drawing from a variety of scholarly writings, both in English and in translation, thirteen leading scholars present the current state of western legal history research and pave the way for new debates and future study. This is the ideal sourcebook for graduate students, as it enables them to approach the key questions of the field in an accessible way.

Contributors are: Aniceto Masferrer, C.H. van Rhee, Seán P. Donlan, Stephan Dusil, Gerald Schwedler, Jean-Louis Halpérin, Jan Hallebeek, Agustín Parise, Heikki Pihlajamäki, Dirk Heirbaut, Bernd Kannowski, Adolfo Giuliani, and Jacques Vanderlinden.
Founding Myths, Charters and Constitutions through History
Volume Editor:
“Constitution” is a rich term in Western political culture, encompassing political and juridical doctrine as well as government practices through the ages. This volume examines “constitutional moments” in history, those occasions or episodes when significant steps were taken in the definition or redefinition of polities. Their actors were writers or politicians, rulers or ruled, who found inspiration in a distant past or instead looked towards a future to be drawn anew. This book sheds light on such moments from Ancient Greece to the present day, mostly in Europe but also in the Ottoman world and the Americas, thereby uncovering a revealing variety of constitutional thinking and action throughout history.

Contributors are: Jon Arrieta, Niall Bond, Luc Brisson, Peter Cholakov, Nora Chonowski, Angela De Benedictis, F. Sinem Eryilmaz, Hakon Evju, Pablo Fernández Albaladejo, Javier Fernández Sebastián, Merieke Gebhardt, Xavier Gil, Mark J. Hill, Ferenc Hörcher, Jaska Kainulainen, Thomas Lorman, Adriana Luna-Fabritius, Ere Nokkala, Brian Kjaer Olesen, András Pap, Nikola Regent, Alberto Mariano Rodríguez Martínez, Pablo Sánchez León, José Reis Santos, and Ersin Yildiz.
The open access publication of this book has been published with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

This volume sheds new light on modern theories of natural law through the lens of the fragmented political contexts of Italy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the dramatic changes of the times. From the age of reforms, through revolution and the ‘Risorgimento’, the unification movement which ended with the creation of the unified Kingdom of Italy in 1861, we see a move from natural law and the law of nations to international law, whose teaching was introduced in Italian universities of the newly created Kingdom. The essays collected here show that natural law was not only the subject of a highly codified academic teaching, but also provided a broader conceptual and philosophical frame underlying the ‘science of man’. Natural law is also a language wherein reform programmes of education and of politics have taken form, affecting a variety of discourses and literary genres.

Contributors are: Alberto Clerici, Vittor Ivo Comparato, Giuseppina De Giudici, Frédéric Ieva, Girolamo Imbruglia, Francesca Iurlaro, Serena Luzzi, Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina, Emanuele Salerno, Gabriella Silvestrini, Antonio Trampus.