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The first methodical collection of French royal statutes: the Tractatus ordinationum regiarum by Étienne Aufréri (end of the 15th century – beginning of the 16th century)

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Little is known about the history of the first collections of French royal statutory law which appeared towards the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century. Étienne Aufréri's Tractatus ordinationum regiarum, one of the first collections to appear in print (1513–1514) and the first methodical collection of the kind, sheds some light on those early developments. The history of the collection (viz. its authorship, date and successive versions), its structure and its character (as a distinctive type of legal work, with its specific subject-matter and drafting technique) show that it was a learned undertaking at a time when the Toulouse Parlement (i.e. the supreme regional court of justice) was establishing its own particular tradition of records and when the royal procedural system was asserting its predominance.

Affiliations: 1: Professeur d'histoire du droit à l'École nationale des chartes (EA 3624), 19 rue de la Sorbonne, F-75005 Paris, France ;, Email:


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