Approaching legal spaces: ›Rechtsräume‹ out now

September 17, 2020

Does law create spaces, or do spaces shape the law? And how can we conceptualise the transmission of a normative order into an ‘existing’ space where one or multiple legal system(s) were already in place, or indeed into a space that previously had none? The contributions in volume 323 of the Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte are the result of a colloquium dedicated to these questions. The volume is the fourth to be published in the subseries on ‘Legal Spaces’.

The studies in this richly illustrated edited volume trace the dynamic changes caused by the spatial, linguistic and cultural translation of norms and practices in Europe during the early and High Middle Ages. These processes are analysed by archaeologists and historians together. The range of topics stretches from the study of ‘ancient DNA’ in the archaeological context to the historiographical (re-)construction of identities and the examination of the relationship between topography and rule in the European early and High Middles Ages. Four contributions devoted to the archaeology and architectural history of the palaces of Aachen and Ingelheim provide new insights into the buildings’ representative programmes and into the related settlements and the natural environs that made up the palaces’ spatial context.

The research collected in this volume has benefited from the contributions of the natural sciences, for example from the palaeogenetic methods used in the case studies relating to prehistoric Europe, Byzantium and the Lombards. The interdisciplinary cooperations provide a multi-faceted picture of space, law and rule – be it in the Roman or Carolingian Empires, in the Kingdom of Burgundy or in early medieval Scandinavia.

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