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Medieval Legal Scholarship

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at a medieval system of law which already existed before the study of Roman law was taken up, viz. Canon law. In a great deal of the Roman sources not much doctrine can be found and many texts have a casuistic character. The experience in Castile showed that, if Roman law was adopted into legal practice without at least some adaptations to the demands of the existing legal order, it was likely that major parts of the Corpus iuris would be considered as obsolete. And if Roman law did not want to lose its authority, whatever adaptation was accepted and whatever new doctrine was developed by the civilians, these had always to be presented as the correct interpretation of Roman law. An appreciation of this fact is fundamental to any understanding of the way the Roman stipulatio alteri was understood in medieval legal scholarship.

Keywords: Canon law; Castile; Corpus iuris; medieval legal scholarship; Roman law; stipulatio alteri



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