Digital Library De Indiarum Iure

Research Project

The legal history of early modern Hispanic America has been the subject of systematic research since the beginning of the twentieth century, usually under the designation 'Derecho indiano'. The fundamental sources of this legal history are texts that stem from Europe or the Americas, and even sometimes from the Asian territories of the Iberian empires. They derive from Castilian and other Iberian traditions, and testify to the culture of the ius commune as well as to local law. Ecclesiastical law and moral theology played a special role in the Iberian expansion, which drew its legitimacy from its missionary character. The legal sources from which royal and ecclesiastical authorities drew were diverse.

The digital collection De Indiarum Iure gathers together texts of particular importance for the legal historical tradition of Ibero-America. Most of them have been procured for research projects at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory (formerly Max Planck Institute for European Legal History), and the collection is expected to continue growing in the future. The goal of the digital library, however, is not to build up an exhaustive inventory. Rather, it is a question of providing access to high-quality working texts, complete with metadata and persistent addresses in the context of project work in general. Thus, they remain citable and directly retrievable. The title of the collection refers to the most important work on the law of the New World: De Indiarum Iure, by Juan de Solórzano y Pereira.

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