Odd Topics, Old Methods and the Cradle of the Ius Commune: Byzantine Law and the Italian City-States



In this paper I try to demonstrate how Byzantine law, a subject odd and exotic at first sight provides a piece of the puzzle that helps us to complete the big picture, the origins of our European legal identity. I refer to some concrete examples of legal interaction between the Byzantine and the Western side of Europe in the tenth, eleventh and twelfth centuries – a period in which the ius commune began to take shape – and explain the method I used step by step, the specific challenges I confronted in the sources and the outcomes of this approach. The comparative legal study of documents of the medieval period at a European level can help us to answer the question whether, long before the making of today’s Europe, today’s European countries were already connected by common legal forms.


Byzantine lawius communeEuropean legal culturecomparative lawEuropean private law
  • Page/Article: 49-55
  • DOI: 10.18352/ulr.403
  • Published on 12 Dec 2017
  • Peer Reviewed