The Byzantine imperial acts to Venice, Pisa and Genoa, 10th - 12th Centuries. A comparative legal study
|Date:||September 13, 2012|
PhD ceremony: Ms. D. Penna, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: The Byzantine imperial acts to Venice, Pisa and Genoa, 10th - 12th Centuries. A comparative legal study
Promotor(s): prof. B.H. Stolte, prof. J.H.A. Lokin
For some 1000 years, the South-Eastern part of Europe was under the sway of the Eastern Roman Empire, later also known as Byzantium. A watershed in the history of Byzantium was the legislation of the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century: under his reign, a codification of Roman law was achieved, which was to remain not only the bedrock of Byzantine law, but which was also, after its rediscovery in Italy in the 11th century, to become the foundation of the continental European legal tradition. During the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries the Byzantine Emperors issued privilege acts to the Italian city-republics of Venice, Pisa and Genoa. Daphne Penna’s doctoral thesis attempts to examine these Byzantine imperial acts from a legal perspective: What is the legal information that these acts provide? What law do they presuppose and apply? Did both parties have law in common and if so, of what does it consist? Is Roman law assumed to be binding in these acts as part of that common law, and if so, in which cases and what are the examples given?
Investigating the possible genesis of a common legal understanding in Europe already before the 11th century may contribute to an explanation of why Justinian’s law became prominent in the West. In the last chapter, common legal issues in these acts, such as grants of immovable property, issues dealing with justice, shipwreck and salvage provisions, have been subjected to a comparative analysis and in their turn compared with other Byzantine or Western sources. The study of legal acts of the medieval period at a European level may help us to answer the question whether, long before the formation of today’s Europe, it was already bound by common legal forms. This study attempts to place a small piece of the puzzle of how a common European legal heritage was formed.
|Last modified:||October 25, 2012 15:13|