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The benefit to Romanists of using the Basilica


The example of B. 14,1,26,8 (D. 17,1,26,8)


Hylkje de Jong

In Roman and Byzantine legal literature there has been much debate about the payment (merces/μισθός) claimed by the mandatory in D. 17,1,26,8 (B. 14,1,26,8). The reason was the requirement of gratuitousness of mandatum, which made that this case should in principle be classified as a locatio conductio/μίσθωσις. To explain the presence of merces in Roman law literature several suggestions were made: interpolation, remuneration, the existence of two contracts or a pactum adiectum. In Byzantine law literature μισθός was interpreted as the payment for the slave. These interpretations are one way or another unsatisfactory. In (early) Byzantine law a plausible new interpretation can be found. Here the payment is interpreted as expenses incurred to make the property, i.e. slave, worth more, and such expenses (for training slaves) are ‘useful’ expenses. This interpretation is plausible and applies also for classical Roman law. It shows that the use of the Basilica is of indispensable benefit to Romanists.


Berthold Kupisch†

The principal item of the article is how to understand the meaning of the words ‘ne a semet ipso ei [servo] adimatur libertas’ as well as ‘a semet ipso [servus] libertatem accipit’, both phrases applied to a servus cum libertate heres institutus. Usual interpretations do not convince. A similar problem of understanding affects the wording ‘sicuti legari sibi non potest, ita nec a se adimi’. Main question in this text: can a testator take away the freedom of a slave who is instituted as an heir by codicil? The principle of the favor libertatis implies the negative answer to this question.


Enemies of the Count and of the City


The collective exile of rebels in fourteenth-century Flanders


Jan Dumolyn and Milan Pajic

During the fourteenth century, the struggle for power between the craft guilds and patricians dominated the county of Flanders to such an extent that it resulted in three major revolts between 1302 and 1361. A common punishment for collective action was banishment from the city or from the entire county, either temporarily or for life. A mitigation of the capital punishment, sending those politically defeated into exile, partially transferred social and political tensions abroad and allowed the victorious party to restore order, although sometimes only until the return of the exiles under new political conditions. Thus these revolts were followed by waves of large scale collective expulsions, in the execution of which both princely and urban authorities were involved. After these, however, the importance of collective exile as a measure of repression sharply declined and other types of punishment were inflicted on rebellious communities. The purpose of this article is to explain this brief but intensive legal phenomenon within the judicial and political structures of the county.


How well do constitutions travel across time and space?


The Belgian Constitution of 1831 in Bulgarian constitutional history 1879–1940


Jean F. Crombois

This article discusses the question of possible constitutional models in constitutional history. More precisely, it deals with the influence of the Belgian Constitution of 1831 on the Bulgarian Constitution of 1879 which is also known as the Turnovo Constitution. In doing so, this article highlights the fact that one cannot speak of a Belgian model for the Bulgarian constitution. In other words, it seems that, in this case, the Belgian constitution did not travel so well in time and space. Nevertheless, this article also argues that such a discussion should also be included in the grand narrative of constitutional history in Europe in the 19th century. Finally, the claims and counter claims of a possible Belgian model became central during the inter-War period in the discussion about the desirability or not of the establishment of a liberal parliamentary regime in Bulgaria.


Dirk Heirbaut

The ‘Saxon Mirror’ was one of the most important books of medieval law, but literature on it in other Western European languages than German, remains scarce. This article therefore wants to present the Saxon Mirror to French readers by studying  its author Eike von Repgow and its content, characteristics and influence. The author also puts forward his own hypotheses concerning the Saxon Mirror. The Saxon Mirror has to be studied together with other texts which used the same material, more in particular the Auctor vetus de beneficiis, and the law book of Görlitz. Making a comparison with texts of feudal law elsewhere, it becomes clear that the Saxon Mirror was based on notes taken by practitioners, which could be compilated in different ways. The differences between the longer and the shorter versions of the Saxon Mirror may be explained by the groups behind them. Specialists of feudal law were responsible for the shorter version, whereas the longer version was the work of aldermen. In this context, it is not unlikely that Eike von Repgow may have been a pleader in feudal courts rather than an alderman.