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Parution : 01/2015
Editeur : Edinburgh UP
ISBN : 978-1-4744-0885-1
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Reassessing Legal Humanism and its Claims. Petere Fontes ?

Sous la direction de Paul J. du Plessis, John W. Cairns


Présentation éditeur

Essays challenging the nature and legacy of legal humanism
The traditional grand narratives of European legal history have begun to be questioned, to the extend that the nature and legacy of legal humanism now deserve closer scrutiny. Building on the groundbreaking work by Douglas Osler, who has been critical of the traditional narratives, this volume interrogates the orthodox views regarding legal humanism and its legacy. 
Fundamentally reassessing the nature and impact of legal humanism on the narratives of European legal history, this volume brings together the foremost international experts in related fields of legal and intellectual history to debate the central issues.
Legal humanism has become deeply entrenched in most modern works on European legal history from the seventeenth century onwards and has been accepted with such blind faith by many modern scholars that few have challenged it. The consequence is that scholars who have accepted the traditional view have used it to substantiate larger claims about the death of Roman law, the separation between the golden age of a pan-European medieval ius commune and the fragmented reception of Roman law into the nation states of Europe, and the relevance of ‘dogmatic’ Roman law as opposed to ‘antiquarian’ Roman law. Authors / Editors

  • Paul J. du Plessis is Senior Lecturer in Civil Law and Legal History at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses predominantly on the multifaceted and complex set of relationships between law and society in a historical context. He is the co-editor, with John W Cairns, of The Making of the Ius Commune: From Casus to Regula (Edinburgh University Press, 2010), Beyond Dogmatics: Law and Society in the Roman World (Edinburgh University Press, 2007) and Reassessing Legal Humanism and Its Claims: Petere Fontes? (Edinburgh University Press 2015). He is the editor of the critically acclaimed New Frontiers: Law and Society in the Roman World (Edinburgh University Press 2013).
    John W. Cairns is Professor of Civil Law at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include law and the Enlightenment, the history of Scots law, codification in Louisiana, and law and slavery. He has published two collections of essays in the Edinburgh Studies in Law series: Law, Lawyers, and Humanism: Selected Essays on the History of Scots Law, Volume 1 and Enlightenment, Legal Education, and Critique: Selected Essays on the History of Scots Law, Volume 2 (Edinburgh University Press, 2015). He is the co-editor, with Paul J. du Plessis, of The Creation of the Ius Commune: From Casus to Regula (Edinburgh University Press, 2010) and Beyond Dogmatics: Law and Society in the Roman World (Edinburgh University Press, 2007).




A Note on Names and Book Titles

List of Contributors

List of Abbreviations

Introduction, John W Cairns

Part I: Defining Legal Humanism

1. Antiqui et Recentiores: Alberico Gentili – Beyond Mos Italicus and Legal Humanism, Alain Wijffels

2. Humanist Philology and the Text of Justinian’s Digest, Douglas J Osler

Part II: A Break With the Past/Contemporary Critiques

3. Deconstructing Iurisdictio: The Adventures of a Legal Category in the Hands of the Humanist Jurists, Guido Rossi

4. Reassessing the Influence of Medieval Jurisprudence on Jacques Cujas’ (1522–1590) Method, Xavier Prévost

5. Redefining Ius to Restore Justice: The Centrality of Ius Gentium in Humanist Jurisprudence, Susan Longfield Karr

Part III: Legal Humanism - A Pan-European Methodology

6. Elegant Scholastic Humanism? Arias Piñel’s (1515–1563) Critical Revision of Laesio Enormis, Wim Decock

7. The Working Methods of Hugo Grotius: Which Sources Did He Use and How Did He Use Them in His Early Writings on Natural Law Theory?, Martine J van Ittersum

8. Joannes Leunclavius (1541–1594), Civilian and Byzantinist?, Bernard Stolte

9. Brissonius in Context: De formulis et solennibus populi Romani verbis, Éva Jakab

10. A Lawyer and His Sources: Nicolas Bohier and Legal Practice in Sixteenth-Century France, Jasmin Hepburn

11. Humanism and Law in Elizabethan England: The Annotations of Gabriel Harvey, David Ibbetson

Part IV: Legal Humanism and the Book Trade

12. The Thesauruses of Otto and Meerman as Publishing Enterprises: Legal Humanism in its Last Phase, 1725–1780, Ian Maclean

13. Humanist Books and Lawyers’ Libraries in Early Eighteenth-Century Scotland: Charles Areskine of Alva’s Library, Karen G Baston

Postscript, Paul J du Plessis


Edinburgh Studies in Law , 408 pages.  £60

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