Law and authority in the Early Middle Ages

Law-authority481FAULKNER Thomas
Law and authority in the Early Middle Ages : the Frankish leges in the Carolingian PeriodCambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2016, XIV-300 p.
Collection Cambridge studies in medieval life and thought fourth series ; 104
ISBN 1-10-708491-1

HMA 437

Résumé éditeur :

The barbarian law codes, compiled between the sixth and eighth centuries, were copied remarkably frequently in the Carolingian ninth century. They provide crucial evidence for early medieval society, including the settlement of disputes, the nature of political authority, literacy, and the construction of ethnic identities. Yet it has proved extremely difficult to establish why the codes were copied in the ninth century, how they were read, and how their rich evidence should be used. Thomas Faulkner tackles these questions more systematically than ever before, proposing new understandings of the relationship between the making of law and royal power, and the reading of law and the maintenance of ethnic identities. Faulkner suggests major reinterpretations of central texts, including the Carolingian law codes, the capitularies adding to the laws, and Carolingian revisions of earlier barbarian and Roman laws. He also provides detailed analysis of legal manuscripts, especially those associated with the leges-scriptorium.

Thomas Faulkner was awarded his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2010. Since then he has continued his research independently. He has given papers in Cambridge, Heidelberg, Auxerre, Copenhagen and the Institute of Historical Research in London. He has lectured on late antique and early medieval law at the University of Cambridge, and has published his first article, ‘The Carolingian kings and the leges barbarorum’ (Historical Research 86, 2013). Forthcoming publications include an edition of ordeal manuals found in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts for the Early English Laws project, and contributions to the Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity, on legal texts, practices and concepts.

Axe de recherches :

  • Axe 4 : Innovations

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