Municipal Magdeburg Law (Ius municipale Magdeburgense) in Late Medieval Poland

A Study on the Evolution and Adaptation of Law


In this volume, Maciej Mikuła analyses the extant texts of the Ius municipale Magdeburgense, the most important collection of Magdeburg Law in late medieval Poland. He discusses the different translation traditions of the collection; the application of Magdeburg Law in cities; how differences between the versions could affect the application of the rights; and how the invention of printing influenced the principle of legal certainty. Mikuła ultimately shows that the differences between the texts not only influenced legal practice, but also bear out how complex the process was of the adaptation of Magdeburg Law.
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Maciej Mikuła, Ph.D. (2012), habilitation (2018), Jagiellonian University in Cracow, is Assistant Professor at that university. He has published monographs, editions and articles on law in medieval and early modern Poland.
'Mikuła’s book is a meticulously researched study which sheds light upon the reception of Magdeburg municipal law, or the Weichbild, in medieval Poland [...] Mikuła is a thorough researcher who is well-versed in the minute details of his texts. The wide array of manuscript sources he consulted, as well as the careful analysis of the text in each manuscript, are extraordinary. Mikuła’s project is ambitious and, fortunately, has uncovered information which might have gone unnoticed. Mikuła carefully demonstrates the evidence which led him to his conclusions, painstakingly tracing and tabulating all the evidence held within the manuscripts [...] Mikuła’s work is a meticulously researched study of a topic which has received little attention from scholars in the Anglophone world.' Justin S. Kirkland, The Medieval Review, 22.09.09, September 2022. Read the full review here.
Acknowledgements to the English Edition
Note on the English Edition
List of Tables and Illustrations

 1 The Towns and Cities of ‘Younger Europe’
 2 The Saxon-Magdeburg Law and the Municipal Law in the Kingdom of Poland in the 13th–16th Centuries
 3 The Magdeburg Weichbild in Poland: A Reassessment and a New Research Agenda
 4 Sources and Periodization of Urban Legal Studies
 5 The Evolution of the Legal Text and the Process of Adaptation of the Magdeburg Law
 6 The Trap of Legal Positivism, or the Instruments of Historical Legal Studies
 7 The Contents of This Study: An Outline
 8 In Search of Method
 9 Editor’s Note
 10 A Synopsis of the Contents of Ius municipale Magdeburgense

1 Manuscripts and Printed Texts of the Silesian-Małopolska Compilation
 1 Sources and Contents of the Weichbild
 2 Dynamics of the German Text
 3 Latin Manuscripts and Jan Łaski’s Printed Text
 4 Conclusions

2 Dynamics of the Latin Text of the Weichbild: the Sandomierz and the Cracow Versions
 1 Formal Features of the Latin Texts
 2 Divergences in the Latin Texts of the Weichbild
 3 Divergences from the German Base in the Latin Texts of the Weichbild
 4 Group I: versio Sandomiriensis
 5 Group II: Versio Cracoviensis
 6 The Wawel Variant of the Cracow Version
 7 Conclusions: The Adaptation of the Saxon-Magdeburg Law and the Evolution of the Legal Text

3 Practical Consequences of Textual Divergences: From the Cracow Ms to Jan Łaski’s Statutes
 1 The Weichbild in Jan Łaski’s Statutes
 2 The Urban Community and Its Citizens
 3 Crime and Criminal Procedure
 4 The Family and Family Property
 5 Debtor and Creditor
 6 Conclusions

4 Habent sua fata leges: Glosses, Annotations, and Additions
 1 Evidence of the Use of the Weichbild in Legal Practice
 2 Amendations and Additions
 3 Polish Equivalents of Latin Legal Terms
 4 Regulae iuris
 5 Glosses in Printed Copies of Jan Łaski’s Statutes: Persistence of the Weichbild’s Medieval Conventions
 6 Conclusions

 1 The Significance Weichbild among Other Sources of the Saxon-Magdeburg Law
 2 The Demand for Latin Texts
 3 Versions and Variants of an Archetype Compilation
 4 Cracow – Home of the Urban Law Reform
 5 Adaptation of the Saxon-Magdeburg Law in Poland
 6 Practical Consequences of the Evolution of the Weichbild
 7 Annotations by the Weichbild Users
 8 The Road to a Single, Authoritative Law Text

Appendix 1: Concordance Table of Articles

Appendix 2: Divergences in the Latin Texts of the Weichbild

Appendix 3: Agreement of the Latin Texts in Gniezno MS (Gn.) Baworowscy MS (BN 12607) and Działyńscy Codex IV (Dział. IV) with the Corresponding German Texts

Appendix 4: Weichbild’s Edition of Gniezno MS
All interested in legal history, late medieval Poland, medieval manuscripts, and the history of printing.
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