Making Manslaughter, Susanne Pohl-Zucker offers parallel studies that trace the legal settlement of homicide in the duchy of Württemberg and the imperial city of Zurich between 1376 and 1700. Killings committed by men during disputes were frequently resolved by extrajudicial agreements during the late Middle Ages. Around 1500, customary strategies of dispute settlement were integrated and modified within contexts of increasing legal centralization and, in Württemberg, negotiated with the growing influence of the ius commune. Legal practice was characterized by indeterminacy and openness: categories and procedures proved flexible, and judicial outcomes were produced by governmental policies aimed at the re-establishment of peace as well as by the strategies and goals of all disputants involved in a homicide case.
The Laws of Late Medieval Italy Mario Ascheri examines the features of the Italian legal world and explains why it should be regarded as a foundation for the future European continental system. The deep feuds among the Empire, the Churches unified by Roman papacy and the flourishing cities gave rise to very new legal ideas with the strong cooperation of the universities, beginning with that of Bologna. The teaching of Roman law and of the new papal laws, which quickly spread all over Europe, built up a professional group of lawyers and notaries which shaped the new, 'modern', public institutions, including efficient courts (like the Inquisition). Politically divided, Italy was partly unified by the legal system, so-called (Continental) common law (ius commune), which became a pattern for all of Europe onwards.
Early modern Europe had for long time to work with it, and parts of it are still alive as a common cultural heritage behind a new European law system.