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Peter Crassus and the Legal Renaissance of the Eleventh Century (C. 1080 –1084)

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Chapter Summary

Legal sociology can contribute insight into at least four legal processes imperative for understanding the legal renaissance of the eleventh century. This chapter employs rhetorical antithesis in order to establish the contrast between the monastic ideal and Hildebrand's behaviour. Furthermore, the antithetical contrast between the monastic ideal and the monk Hildebrand serves as the deductive point of departure for the conclusion, namely the legitimate deposition of the pope. Peter Crassus' attempt to introduce a new legal source of authority for the defence of the royal power fraught with the interpretive problems often seen in pioneering intellectual efforts. Peter Crassus is the only writer who evinces more than superficial familiarity with the corpus, although the Defensio apparently failed to create even a tiny interest in Roman law for polemical purposes.

Keywords: Defensio; legal renaissance; Peter Crassus



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