By Paolo Grossi
This booklet explores the improvement of legislation in Europe from its medieval origins to the current day, charting the transformation from legislations rooted within the Church and native neighborhood in the direction of a reputation of the centralised, secular authority of the nation.
- Shows how those alterations replicate the broader political, fiscal, and cultural advancements inside of ecu history
- Demonstrates the variety of traditions among eu states and the chances and barriers within the look for universal eu values and goals
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Extra info for A History of European Law
We shall limit ourselves to describing the degree of creativity and imagination shown by the jurists in one very important social and economic field: the law of property. Despite the clarity of Roman sources on the indivisibility of dominium (‘ownership’), the late medieval readers of Roman law were also the heirs of the early medieval practices which had shifted the emphasis away from the principle of ownership and towards its effects. Late medieval jurists were conscious of the need to come up with a formal legal justification of the present situation, and so they confidently seized upon certain Roman texts and managed to twist their message so much that they were able to build two different forms of property rights out of the same concept of dominium.
I shall reiterate here what I have already argued so far, with added nuance. The political and legal class of the Middle Ages is characterized by the following features: the impotence of the central authorities and their incapacity to impose their will, and the growing influence of other powers both by their de facto occupation of positions of strength and by formal entitlements granted from above. indd 35 1/20/2010 10:54:52 AM 36 medieval roots other powers, economics stands out: the possessor of wealth has access to the only decisive force in Middle Ages and, in a very slow process, he gradually gains the offices of judge, military commander and tax collector in his own lands.
Firstly, that the ius commune was not, as one Italian Romanist once put it, ‘an updated Roman law’, or, as some would reductively argue, the ius romanum medii aevi (the ‘medieval continuation of Roman law’). Roman law was certainly a source of authority for the ius commune, as well as an indispensable guarantor of validity, a necessary point of comparison and a linguistic, technical and conceptual model, but it would be a mischaracterization of medieval law to identify it completely with its Roman predecessor.