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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Western jurisprudence has long struggled (and presumably will continue to struggle) to balance the claims of the public and the private good. Strangely, perhaps, of all the principles and precedents brought to bear on the problem, there is little reference to two propositions enunciated by jurists in the 9th century: ?Those who are convicted of a public crime are to be judged in the public forum and should perform public penance in a manner prescribed in canon law?; and ?If one sins publicly, one should do penance publicly. The evolution of a compelling synthesis of religious and juridical ideas is especially noteworthy in view of the somewhat ad hoc organisation of political, judicial, and pastoral administration in the Carolingian domains. This chapter presents an overview of how the other chapters of the book are organised.

Keywords: Carolingian domains; compelling synthesis; western jurisprudence

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