A History of European Law by Paolo Grossi

By Paolo Grossi

This booklet explores the improvement of legislations in Europe from its medieval origins to the current day, charting the transformation from legislation rooted within the Church and native neighborhood in the direction of a acceptance of the centralised, secular authority of the nation.

  • Shows how those adjustments replicate the broader political, fiscal, and cultural advancements inside of eu history
  • Demonstrates the range of traditions among ecu states and the chances and boundaries within the look for universal eu values and goals

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A new historical personage arises: the professional merchant who resides in a city and relies on the whole of Europe as his trading space. The merchant himself is, of course, an indication of increased trust between people and peoples; he signals an openness to ever wider socio-economic horizons. So much for the socio-economic aspects of the new historical context. What of culture? The early Middle Ages possessed plenty of schools and centres of great learning which carried out profound investigations of a theological or philosophical nature.

We should remember in particular the work of one French prelate: Ivo, Bishop of Chartres. At the end of the eleventh century – during the period known as the Gregorian era after the dominant personality of the time, the centralizing pope Gregory VII – Ivo succeeded in systematizing completely the canon law, producing a careful, unstrained interpretation of all its idiosyncrasies. Ivo catalogued the many discrepancies and contradictions (discordantiae) that had accumulated over the centuries. In an important move for canon law’s pastoral ambitions, Ivo resolved the problem by identifying two separate and dichotomous levels of meaning in Christian legal texts.

The result was a widespread abandonment of lands, a rapid decline in agriculture and an increasing, albeit futile, flight to the cities. At the root of these structural problems is the fact that mere survival became difficult for the average person, which in turn dealt a destabilizing blow to the collective consciousness. We are not dealing here with a sudden and wrenching shift, as a hasty account of the situation might lead one to believe. The old beast begins to look a little tired and inside it a few cancerous cells are born which it harbours and nourishes.

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