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The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

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Chapter Summary

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Corpus iuris lost much of its authority. During the course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in many parts of continental Europe Roman law had succeeded penetrating into legal practice and was gradually accepted as an additional source of law. This chapter discusses the influence of the Canon law of contract, the Castilian ley 'Paresciendo', and Natural law. It then turns to the legal practice and doctrine of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with regard to the effects of the stipulatio alteri. The Church has always taught that one has to keep one's word and that for God there is no difference between an oath and an informal promise. Because the oath brought the promise under ecclesiastical jurisdiction, laymen had often turned to the Church, requesting to enforce promises they could not enforce in a secular court.

Keywords: Canon law of contract; Castilian ley 'Paresciendo'; Corpus iuris; eighteenth century; informal promise; Natural law; oath; Roman law; seventeenth century; stipulatio alteri



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