Vernacular law : writing and the reinvention of customary law in Medieval France / Ada Maria Kuskowski, University of Pennsylvania.

Kuskowski, Ada Maria, 1978- [Browse]
Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2023.
1 online resource (xviii, 412 pages) : digital, PDF file(s).


Studies in legal history [More in this series]
Summary note
Custom was fundamental to medieval legal practice. Whether in a property dispute or a trial for murder, the aggrieved and accused would go to lay court where cases were resolved according to custom. What custom meant, however, went through a radical shift in the medieval period. Between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, custom went from being a largely oral and performed practice to one that was also conceptualized in writing. Based on French lawbooks known as coutumiers, Ada Maria Kuskowski traces the repercussions this transformation - in the form of custom from unwritten to written and in the language of law from elite Latin to common vernacular - had on the cultural world of law. Vernacular Law offers a new understanding of the formation of a new field of knowledge: authors combined ideas, experience and critical thought to write lawbooks that made disparate customs into the field known as customary law.
Title from publisher's bibliographic system (viewed on 27 Oct 2022).
  • Introduction : vernacular writing and the transformation of customary law in Medieval France
  • What is custom? Concept and literary practice
  • Composing customary law as a vernacular law
  • Writing a 'iusiusiusius non scriptum' : writtenness, memory and change'
  • Uneasy jurisdictions : lay and ecclesiastical law
  • Roman law, authority and creative citation
  • Custom in lawbooks and records of legal practice
  • Dynamic text : dialectic, manuscript culture and customary law
  • Implications of circulating text : crafting a French Common Law
  • Conclusion : lasting model and professional community.
9781009217873 (ebook)
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