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Colonial Adventures: Commercial Law and Practice in the Making addresses the question how and to what extend the development of commercial law and practice, from Ancient Greece to the colonial empires of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, were indebted to colonial expansion and maritime trade. Illustrated by experiences in Ancient Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia, the book examines how colonial powers consciously or not reshaped the law in order to foster the prosperity of homeland manufacturers and entrepreneurs or how local authorities and settlers brought the transplanted law in line with the colonial objectives and the local constraints amid shifting economic, commercial and political realities. Contributors are: Alain Clément (†), Alexander Claver, Oscar Cruz-Barney, Bas De Roo, Paul du Plessis, Bernard Durand, David Gilles, Petra Mahy, David Mirhady, M. C. Mirow, Luigi Nuzzo, Phillip Lipton, Umakanth Varottil, Jakob Zollmann.
Author: Ian Maclean
In Episodes in the Life of the Early Modern Learned Book, Ian Maclean investigates intellectual life through the prism of the history of publishing, academic institutions, journals, and the German book fairs whose evolution is mapped over the long seventeenth century. After a study of the activities of Italian book merchants up to 1621, the passage into print, both locally and internationally, of English and Italian medicine and ‘new’ science comes under scrutiny. The fate of humanist publishing is next illustrated in the figure of the Dutch merchant Andreas Frisius (1630-1675). The work ends with an analysis of the two monuments of the last phase of legal humanism: the Thesauruses of Otto (1725-44) and Gerard Meerman (1751-80).
Author: Sanne Muurling
Female protagonists are commonly overlooked in the history of crime; especially in early modern Italy, where women’s scope of action is often portrayed as heavily restricted. This book redresses the notion of Italian women’s passivity, arguing that women’s crimes were far too common to be viewed as an anomaly. Based on over two thousand criminal complaints and investigation dossiers, Sanne Muurling charts the multifaceted impact of gender on patterns of recorded crime in early modern Bologna. While various socioeconomic and legal mechanisms withdrew women from the criminal justice process, the casebooks also reveal that women – as criminal offenders and savvy litigants – had an active hand in keeping the wheels of the court spinning.
This is the first major study of the interplay between Latin and Germanic vernaculars in early medieval records. Building on previous work on the uses of the written word in the early Middle Ages, which has dispelled the myth that this was an age of ‘orality’, the contributions in this volume bring to the fore the crucial question of language choice in the documentary cultures of early medieval societies. Specifically, they examine the interactions between Latin and Germanic vernaculars in the Anglo-Saxon and eastern Frankish worlds and in neighbouring areas. The chapters are underpinned by an important comparative dimension on account of the two regions’ shared linguistic heritage and numerous cross-Channel links.

Contributors are: Stefan Esders, Albert Fenton, Robert Gallagher, Wolfgang Haubrichs, Charles Insley, Kathryn A. Lowe, Rosamond McKitterick, Rory Naismith, Janet L. Nelson, Edward Roberts, Annina Seiler, Marco Stoffella, Francesca Tinti, Kate Wiles, Bernhard Zeller.
Concepts of New Administrative System for the Constitutional Kingdom of Poland (1813-1815)
In the history of the development of Polish law and administration, the short period of the constitutional Duchy of Warsaw, and next of the Kingdom of Poland, was a special time. This is because it was the only moment in the 19th century when the Polish elites gained an opportunity to concentrate their efforts on the organization of the modern state machinery. This book presents the process of restructuring the administrative structures following the collapse of the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw and before the establishment of the Kingdom of Poland in 1815. The author focuses on the approach of the Polish elites to the nascent modern state, increasing importance of administration within it and to the young Polish bureaucrats.
Author: Ka-Chai Tam
In Justice in Print: Discovering Prefectural Judges and Their Judicial Consistency in Late-Ming Casebooks, Ka-chai Tam argues that the prefectural judge in the judiciary of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) became crucial to upholding justice in Chinese society.

In light of two late Ming casebooks, namely the Mengshui zhai cundu by Yan Junyan and the Zheyu xinyu by Li Qing, Ka-chai Tam demonstrates that the late Ming judges handled their cases with a high level of consistency in judicial reasoning and practice in every type of case, despite their differing regions and literary styles. Equipped with relative institutional independence and growing professionalism, they played an indispensable role in checking and guaranteeing the legal performance of their subordinate magistrates.
A Diachronic Semantic Analysis of Consideration in the Common Law
Author: Caroline Laske
In this monograph, Caroline Laske traces the advent of consideration in English contract law, by analysing the doctrinal development, in parallel with the corresponding terminological evolution and semantic shifts between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is an innovative, interdisciplinary study, showcasing the value of taking a diachronic corpus linguistics-based approach to the study of legal change and legal development, and the semantic shifts in the corresponding terminology. The seminal application in the legal field of these analytical methodologies borrowed from pragmatic linguistics goes beyond the content approach that legal research usually practices and it has allowed for claims of semantic change to be objectified. This ground-breaking work is pitched at scholars of legal history, law & language, and linguistics.
Editor: Katja Tikka
The Development of Commercial Law in Sweden and Finland provides a broad perspective on recent research into the history of North European commercial law in a comparative and international framework. The book brings together themes that have previously been considered largely from a national perspective.

Despite Sweden's and Finland's peripheral locations in Europe, global legal phenomena took place there as well. These countries were at the crossroads of cultures and commercial interests, allowing us to re-examine them as lively laboratories for commercial laws and practices rather than dismissing them as a negligible periphery. The importance of trade and international transactions cannot be disclaimed, but the book also emphasizes the resilient nature of commercial law.

Contributors are: Dave De ruysscher, Stefania Gialdroni, Ulla Ijäs, Marko Lamberg, Heikki Pihlajamäki, Jussi Sallila, and Katja Tikka.
While comparative constitutional law is a well-established field, less attention has been paid so far to the comparative dimension of constitutional history. The present volume, edited by Francesco Biagi, Justin O. Frosini and Jason Mazzone, aims to address this shortcoming by bringing focus to comparative constitutional history, which holds considerable promise for engaging and innovative work along several key avenues of inquiry. The essays contained in this volume focus on the origins and design of constitutional governments and the sources that have impacted the ways in which constitutional systems began and developed, the evolution of the principle of separation of powers among branches of government, as well as the origins, role and function of constitutional and supreme courts.

Contributors include: Mark Somos, Gohar Karapetian, Justin O. Frosini, Viktoriia Lapa, Miguel Manero de Lemos, Francesco Biagi, Ctherine Andrews, Gonçalo de Almeida Ribeiro, Mario Alberto Cajas-Sarria, and Fabian Duessel.