Lex scripta: The Manuscript as Witness to the History of Law

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    Manuscripts in the Hampton L. Carson Collection in the Free Library of Philadelphia
    (2010-04-09) Kennedy, Kathleen E.
    The Hampton L. Carson Collection of Anglo-American Common Law comprises one of the largest collections of English common law manuscripts in North America. The statute collections in the Carson Collection provide samples illustrating a range of topics of central importance to the study of English legal history, bibliography, and medieval English culture. LC 14 20.5 and LC 14.21 date to around 1300, and are among the earliest statute collections, copied as the nature of statutes as law was still developing. LC 14 09. 5 dates to the later fifteenth century, as legal manuscripts were beginning to compete with print. MS 14 09 5's illuminations have been used to identify a group of manuscript artists who seem to have specialized in legal manuscripts. In "Manuscripts in the Hampton L. Carson Collection" I will introduce these manuscripts and others as I assess the usefulness of the collection for scholarly research.
  • Publication
    Henry Charles Lea: Jurisprudence and Civilization
    (2010-04-09) Peters, Edward
    During the same nineteenth century when the modern study of legal history got underway in Europe, from Savigny to the Codex Iuris Canonici of 1917, Henry Charles Lea (1825-1909), an ocean away and without a serious library in sight, undertook the study of several aspects of ecclesiastical and legal history that brought him into contact with canon law at virtually every turn. This talk will deal with Lea's encounter with canon law - in and out of historical study proper - in the young and library-thin America of the 1850s and 60s. That is, I will focus on Lea's early work - Superstition and Force (1866), An Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy (1867), Studies in Church History (1869), and the beginning of his work on the various inquisitions. In the preface to the second edition of Superstition and Force (1870) Lea remarked that "The history of jurisprudence is the history of civilization." For Lea, that jurisprudence included canon law.
  • Publication
    Readers in the Margins: Pictorializing the Study of Roman Law
    (2010-04-09) L'Engle, Susan
    The shortened version of the paper presented here will address the various types of marks--graphic and pictorial--made by readers in the margins of twelfth- and early thirteenth-century manuscripts of Roman law. The graffiti and their multiple functions will be discussed in the context of the early teaching and study of law, particularly in Bologna. A scholarly version of this paper will appear in the Festschrift for Richard and Mary Rouse, edited by Christopher Baswell, Sandra Hindman, and Consuelo Dutschke, published by Brepols, and slated to come out in 2010.
  • Publication
    Early Islamic Legal Manuscripts: What we know; what we may yet discover
    (2010-04-09) Brockopp, Jonathon
    Forty years ago, Fuat Sezgin completed what is still our only survey of early Islamic legal manuscripts (in the first volume of his Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums). Since that time, Joseph Schacht drew the attention of the scholarly community to important collections of manuscripts in Fez, Kairouan, and Tunis, and Miklos Muranyi has published a series of articles and books probing the riches of these collections. But much more work remains to be done. The Kairouan collection is of particular importance. Virtually uncatalogued, this collection contains some of the oldest legal manuscripts in Arabic, including fragments datable to the early ninth century CE. In this paper, I will review the accomplishments of scholars thus far and suggest some of the ways that further study of these manuscripts can increase our understanding of the development, practice, and study of early Islamic law.
  • Publication
    Digitized Manuscripts and Open Licensing
    (2010-04-09) Cayless, Hugh
    This report examines the issue of copyright law in digitizing manuscripts and making images available online. Specifically, it looks at the possible solutions provided by Creative Commons.
  • Publication
    Charters Encoding Initiative Overview
    (2010-04-09) Vogeler, Georg
    The Charters Encoding Initiative considers the possibilities of a standard to encode medieval and early modern charters with XML. It represents a working group to notify our intention to work continuously together, to spread our proposals in the scientific community and to integrate them into existing standards especially the guidelines of the TEI. See also http://www.cei.lmu.de/.
  • Publication
    Panel Report: Legal Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age
    (2010-04-09) Stinson, Timothy
    Following the model established by the previous year’s Symposium, the 2nd Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age concluded with a panel discussion. The overarching topic of the panel was open access and the digitization of medieval legal documents. The panel comprised a group of scholars with diverse specializations, including medieval legal history, medieval charters, information science, papyrology, and epigraphy.
  • Publication
    Mutating Monsters: Approaches to “Living Texts” of the Carolingian Era
    (2010-04-09) Firey, Abigail
    Scholars of pre-modern legal history face interesting problems with the interpretation of their materials because the ideal of fixed written laws is compromised by the variability in handwritten transcription of the texts. The variability may lead to inadvertently peculiar readings of the law in specific instances, or may have resulted from deliberate manipulation of the texts to adapt them to particular interests or circumstances. While such textual evolution occurs in many professional fields (medicine, music, liturgy, etc.), it raises especially interesting questions in the field of legal studies because of the implications for the authority of the text and the threshold of “forgery.” This paper investigates new methods for assessing the relationship between “standard” versions of legal texts and the degree and frequency of alteration in manuscript witnesses, using the Carolingian Canon Law project as one possible model for using a digital environment to study the histories of “living texts”, that is, texts that potentially mutate in each manuscript representation.