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'Flemish law' in Central Germany

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In the general context of 12th- and 13th-century migrations in Europe, several communities from the Low Countries settled in central Germany, in territories now divided between the Länder Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Many of these settlements were concentrated in the region between Berlin and Wittenberg, still known today as the Fläming (from Flamen, German for Flemings, but also a generic name for populations from the Low Countries); the settlements also include areas around Burg and Magdeburg, a few localities around Leipzig and Naumburg, and the Goldene Aue, near the Kyffhäuser Hills. The law in those Flemish-Dutch settlements can to some extent be traced back through local customs and place-names, as well as through references in charters granting a distinctive legal status to the colonists. Characteristic features of the legal migration are the equal division of property after death and the terms Schulze and Schultheiß, which may in some cases go back to Netherlandish origins and influences.

Affiliations: 1: Professor für Bürgerliches Recht, Europäische und Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte, Juristische Fakultät, Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Universitätsring 4, D-06108 Halle, Germany;, Email:


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