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.
  • ©2023
xviii, 412 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.


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"-- Provided by publisher.
Based on author's thesis (doctoral - Cornell University, 2013) issued under title: Writing custom : juristic imagination and the composition of customary law in thirteenth-century France.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references (pags 363-401) and index.
  • 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.
  • 9781009217897
  • 1009217895 ((hardback))
  • 9781009217880 ((paperback))
  • 1009217887 ((paperback))
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