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Roman Law In Medieval Russia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the various views which have been advanced through the years on the question of Roman law influence on early Russian law. It focuses on pre-revolutionary, Soviet and post-Soviet scholarship in Russia itself. The actual investigation could be compared to a criminal trial, where a charge is brought, the evidence is collected, and then investigated, whereupon a decision is reached. The chapter then addresses the question: which laws, in the context of this investigation, are to be considered as influencing, and as being influenced? It considers in a general way what is to be understood by influences of one legal system on another, and looks more closely at the 'evidence'. Next, the chapter is devoted to a critical examination of the arguments in favour of Roman and Byzantine legal influences on medieval Russian law, in light of the evidence. Finally it considers subsequent developments in Russian law.

Keywords: Byzantine legal influences; medieval Russian law; Roman law



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