Via brocardica : the development of brocards and the Western European legal tradition (c. 1160 - c. 1215)
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This thesis examines the historical development and the significance of a legal literary genre, brocards, from its birth in the 1160s until the stabilisation of brocardic collections around 1215. In particular, this work reconsiders the historiographical understanding of brocards through a re-evaluation of the primary sources. In this regard, a significant case study is offered by the Perpendiculum, the most influential of the earliest collections of brocards. Through a careful textual analysis of the Perpendiculum and other brocardic works, this study draws some general conclusions on the development of brocards during the twelfth century, considered as a dynamic process with precise geographical and intellectual connotations. More specifically, I argue that the historical transformation of brocards during that timeframe corresponds to a path from the Anglo-Norman world to the school of Bologna, and from a technique based on rhetoric to one based on dialectic. For this reason, the twelfth-century collections of brocards shed valuable light upon various aspects of the learned legal milieu of the time. Firstly, they show the existence of a common Western European legal culture, from the British Isles to Sicily, where legal schools seem much more closely connected that conventionally thought. Furthermore, the historical development of brocards vividly exemplifies the impact that the changes in scholastic disputation techniques had on the twelfth-century legal world. The popularity of these argumentative tools can be also connected with the deep procedural changes of the late twelfth and early thirteenth century, and with the establishment of Romano-canonical procedure. Finally, it will be argued that the transformation of brocardic collections reflects the existence of two different attitudes towards law during the twelfth century: an old ecclesiastical, instrumental use of legal norms for practical purposes and a new Bolognese systematic approach.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationalhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Embargo Date: 2027-04-08
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Restricted until 8th April 2027
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