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Medieval Law and Legal History

Medieval society inherited laws and legal customs from the Roman empire and from Barbarian societies, and during the Middle Ages some significant legal advances were made. These resources examine these aspects of medieval law.
  1. Jurists and Lawmakers (3)
  2. Canon Law (5)
  3. Barbarian Codes (6)

Court of Star Chamber
The Court of Star Chamber evolved from the medieval English king's council as a supplement to common-law courts, but though it served swift justice, it was subject to abuses.

Medieval Sumptuary Laws
The origins and history of sumptuary laws and the motives for passing them in the Middle Ages.

Anglo-American Legal Tradition
These documents from Medieval and Early Modern England from the National Archives in London have been digitized and placed online through The O'Quinn Law Library of the University of Houston Law Center.

The Comparative Foundations of Modern Law
This site for Ken Pennington's course at The Catholic University of America includes a variety of pertinent articles written by the professor, and the required reading for the course makes a decent introductory bibliography. Very helpful.

Medieval Law
This article by Lynn H. Nelson provides a very clear introduction to the development of early medieval law.

Medieval Legal History
Fairly extensive collection of primary documents concerning legal history and law through the Middle Ages, by Paul Halsall at his Medieval Sourcebook.

Agistment - A Legal Term Concerning Pasturage
To agist is, in law, to take cattle to graze, for a renumeration. An article from the 1911 Encyclopedia.

Aids - a Term of Medieval Finance
Aids were part of the service due to a lord from his men, and appear to have been based upon the principle that they ought to assist him in special emergency or need. An article from the 1911 Encyclopedia.

The Theodosian Code
The Theodosian Code is an important indicator of the continuity of Roman law from the ancient era into the Middle Ages.

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