The Legal Heritage of Europe (6 ECTS)
- Prof. dr F. Brandsma, Dr D. Penna
- Block 3
Roman law has played a significant part in the genesis of a common European legal culture.
In the sixth century of our era it was codified by the emperor Justinian, but it was not until its ‘rediscovery’ in the 11th century and the foundation of the medieval universities that it became the basis of a tradition of a ‘ius commune’, a tradition uninterrupted since then, not even by the national codifications of the 19th century.
It is a story of how societies different from the one in which Roman law had originated managed to adapt the Roman legal heritage to their own needs and circumstances and to select what apparently was of lasting value.
This English taught course examines that process and concentrates on what European countries have in common rather than on what separates them.
Attention is paid to factors which have contributed to this tradition: Which is the Europe we are speaking about? What did this Roman law look like? What role did canon law play? Which were the competitors of Roman law? The development is followed in seven weeks during which texts are discussed in class illustrating the argument.
Students are supposed to have a basic understanding of European political history.
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