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Rethinking The Leges Henrici Primi

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Chapter Summary

The usefulness of the Leges Henrici Primi ( LHP) has never been doubted; it has consistently been viewed as the most important and wide-ranging legal tract of its time. It has also been suggested that the LHP was archaizing, and not wholly in tune with contemporary law. Modern readings of the LHP depend, of course, on the work of Felix Liebermann, and of his modern reviser, L. J. Downer, who made available scholarly editions of the LHP. There are some 94 chapter headings in the LHP. The principle that the rubrics do not correspond to the contents can also be seen if segments of the LHP larger than an individual chapter are examined. The Leges Anglorum was, with Quadripartitus, the most significant of Liebermann's discoveries. This was a tract compiled about 1200 in London which set out the legislation attributed to each king in succession.

Keywords: Felix Liebermann; Leges Anglorum ; Leges Henrici Primi ( LHP); Quadripartitus; rubrics



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