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Manuel Lomas

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.

Law’s Dominion

Jewish Community, Religion, and Family in Early Modern Metz

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Jay R. Berkovitz

In Law’s Dominion, Jay Berkovitz offers a novel approach to the history of early modern Jewry. Set in the city of Metz, on the Moselle river, this study of a vibrant prerevolutionary community draws on a wide spectrum of legal sources that tell a story about community, religion, and family that has not been told before.

Focusing on the community’s leadership, public institutions, and judiciary, this study challenges the assumption that Jewish life was in a steady state of decline before the French Revolution. To the contrary, the evidence reveals a robust community that integrated religious values and civic consciousness, interacted with French society, and showed remarkable signs of collaboration between Jewish law and the French judicial system.

Wouter Druwé

Based on consilia and decisiones, Wouter Druwé studies the multinormative framework on loans and credit in the Golden Ages of Antwerp and Amsterdam (c. 1500-1680). He analyzes the use of a wide variety of legal financial techniques in the Low Countries, such as money lending and the taking of interest, the constitution of annuities, cession and delegation, bearer bonds, bills of exchange, partnerships, and representation in financial affairs, as well as the consequences of monetary fluctuations. Special attention is paid to how the transregional European system of learned Roman and canon law ( ius commune) was applied in daily ‘learned legal practice’. The study also deals with the prohibition against usury and with the impact of moral theology on legal debates.

Mediterranean Reconfigurations

Intercultural Trade, Commercial Litigation, and Legal Pluralism

The book series Mediterranean Reconfigurations is devoted to the analyses of historical change in the Mediterranean over a long period (15th - 19th centuries), challenging totalizing narratives that “Westernize” Mediterranean history as having led naturally to European domination in the 19th and 20th centuries. In reality, the encounters of Muslim, Jewish, Armenian and Protestant merchants and sailors with legal customs and judicial practices different from their own gave rise to legal and cultural creativity throughout the Mediterranean. Through the prism of commercial litigation, the series thus offers a more accurate and deeper understanding of the practices of intercultural trade, in a context profoundly shaped by legal pluralism and multiple and overlapping spaces of jurisdiction. Comparative case studies offer empirically-based indicators for both regional and more general processes, here called "Mediterranean reconfigurations", e.g. the changing interplay and positioning of individual and institutional actors on different levels in a variety of commercial and legal contexts.

Samuel Pufendorf Disciple of Hobbes

For a Re-Interpretation of Modern Natural Law

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Fiammetta Palladini

Fiammetta Palladini’s work is one of the most important discussions of Pufendorf to appear in the latter part of the twentieth century. It cut through the existing field of Pufendorf studies, laying bare its inherited templates and tacit assumptions. Palladini was thus able to peel back the ‘Grotian’ commentary in which the great thinker had been shrouded, revealing a Pufendorf well-known in the 1680s—a formidable and dangerous natural jurist and political theorist—but doubly obscured in the 1980s and still today, by a philosophical history that flies too high to see him, and by a commentary literature that too often does not like what it sees. David Saunders’ remarkable translation carries Palladini’s argument into English with maximum fidelity.

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Hylkje de Jong

In Ἐντολή (mandatum) in den Basiliken Hylkje de Jong deals with the way the Byzantine jurists of the early period (6th and early 7th century) and later period (11th and 12th century) dealt with the law of mandate as they found this in respectively Justinian’s compilation and in the 9th century Basilica. Commonly characterised as consistent Byzantine dogmatics, the remarks of these Byzantine jurists appear to be in reality individual approaches, coloured by each jurist’s own methodology of interpreting.

Based upon the Basilica texts, the law of mandate is set out thematically: the mandate’s object, the liability of parties, actions, remunerations. De Jong proves convincingly that the Byzantine remarks provide a better understanding of Justinian Roman law.



In der Studie Ἐντολή (mandatum) in den Basiliken beschäftigt sich Hylkje de Jong mit der Art und Weise, wie sich die byzantinischen Juristen des 6. und frühen 7. aber auch des 11. und 12. Jahrhunderts mit dem Auftragsrechts befassten, das sie in Justinians Kompilation bzw. in den Basiliken des 9. Jahrhunderts fanden. Die Äußerungen dieser byzantinischen Juristen werden in der Regel als einheitliche byzantinische Rechtslehre aufgefasst, erweisen sich aber in Wirklichkeit als individuelle Ansätze, die von der Methodik des jeweiligen Juristen geprägt und gefärbt sind.

Basierend auf den Basilikentexten wird das Auftragsrecht thematisch dargestellt: Gegenstand des Mandats, Haftung der Parteien, Klagen, Vergütungen etc. Überzeugend weist De Jong nach, dass die byzantinischen Darlegungen ein besseres Verständnis des römischen Rechts von Justinian vermitteln.

Ottoman Law of War and Peace

The Ottoman Empire and Its Tribute-Payers from the North of the Danube. Second Revised Edition

Viorel Panaite

Making use of legal and historical sources, Viorel Panaite analyzes the status of tribute-payers from the north of the Danube with reference to Ottoman law of peace and war. He deals with the impact of Ottoman holy war and the way conquest in Southeast Europe took place; the role of temporary covenants, imperial diplomas and customary norms in outlining the rights and duties of the tributary princes; the power relations between the Ottoman Empire and the tributary-protected principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. He also focuses on the legal and political methods applied to extend the pax ottomanica system in the area, rather than on the elements that set these territories apart from the rest of the Ottoman Empire.

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Edited by Simone Zurbuchen

The Law of Nations and Natural Law 1625-1800 offers innovative studies on the development of the law of nations after the Peace of Westphalia. This period was decisive for the origin and constitution of the discipline which eventually emancipated itself from natural law and became modern international law.

A specialist on the law of nations in the Swiss context and on its major figure, Emer de Vattel, Simone Zurbuchen prompted scholars to explore the law of nations in various European contexts. The volume studies little known literature related to the law of nations as an academic discipline, offers novel interpretations of classics in the field, and deconstructs ‘myths’ associated with the law of nations in the Enlightenment.

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Jean D'Aspremont

This book questions the critical attitude that is informing the critical histories that have been flourishing since the ‘historical turn’ in international law. It makes the argument that the ‘historical turn’ falls short of being radically critical as the abounding critical histories which have come to populate the international literature over the last decades continue to be orchestrated along the very lines set by the linear historical narratives which they seek to question and disrupt, thereby repressing the imagination of international lawyers. It makes the point that the critical histories that have accompanied the ‘historical turn’ have contributed to the repression of disciplinary imagination just like other linear disciplinary histories. This book argues that the critical histories must move beyond a mere historiographical attitude and promotes radical historical critique in order to unbridle disciplinary imagination.

Possessed by the Right Hand

The Problem of Slavery in Islamic Law and Muslim Cultures

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Bernard K. Freamon

In Possessed by the Right Hand, the first comprehensive legal history of slavery in Islam ever offered to readers, Bernard K. Freamon, an African-American Muslim law professor, provides a penetrating analysis of the problems of slavery and slave-trading in Islamic history. After examining the issues from pre-Islamic times through to the nineteenth century, Professor Freamon considers the impact of Western abolitionism, arguing that such efforts have been a failure, with the notion of abolition becoming nothing more than a cruel illusion. He closes this ground-breaking account with an examination of the slaving ideologies and actions of ISIS and Boko Haram, asserting that Muslims now have an important and urgent responsibility to achieve true abolition under the aegis of Islamic law.