Tag Archives: Law

Reading Group: Interpreting Literature, Law, and Constitution (I)

Tuesday 6 October, 12:30-2 pm
Old Seminar Room, 71 South Street, School of History

The first CMEMLL Reading Group and the first meeting of the Institute of Legal And Constitutional Research will take place next Tuesday lunchtime (6th October). We’ll meet in the Old Seminar Room on the first floor of 71 South Street at 12.30pm for a sandwich lunch, with the Reading Group on ‘Interpreting Literature, Law, and Constitution (I)’ starting soon after 1pm and finishing in time for people to teach at 2pm.

The Reading Group will involve an introduction by John Hudson and Lorna Hutson followed by discussion on the theme of ‘Literature, Law and Constitution’.

The background reading is Chapter 1 of Christopher Warren, Literature and the Law of Nations, 1580-1680 (Oxford: OUP, 2015), available at:

http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719342.001.0001/acprof-9780198719342-chapter-1

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

Research Seminar: Dr Sara Menzinger (Università degli Studi Roma Tre)

‘Dante, the Bible and the Law: On the Trail of Uzzah in Mediaeval Legal-Theological Thought’

Monday 28 September, 5 pm
Old Seminar Room, 71 South Street, School of History

For a joint event between the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature (CMEMLL) and the St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies (SAIMS), Sara Menzinger, Substitute Professor of Legal History at Roma Tre, will lead a seminar titled ‘Dante, the Bible and the Law: On the Trail of Uzzah in Medieval Legal-Theological Thought.’


Sara Menzinger specialises in Mediaeval Legal History and she has published widely on the topic of Italian city states [e.g. Giuristi e politica nei comuni di Popolo. Siena, Perugia e Bologna, tre governi a confronto. Ius nostrum. Studi e testi pubblicati dall’Istituto di Storia del Diritto italiano, Università degli Studi di Roma, “La Sapienza”, 34 (Roma, 2006), and La Summa Trium Librorum di Rolando da Lucca (1195-1234). And with Professor Emanuele Conte, Fisco, politica, scientia iuris (Roma, 2012).She has conducted research in many Italian and international universities and research centres, among which the Istituto Italiano di Studi Storici (Naples), the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (Frankfurt) and the Deutsches Historisches Institute (Rome).

 

CMEMLL Annual Lecture: Professor Sir John Baker (University of Cambridge)

‘Magna Carta – Statute or Myth?’

Thursday 2 April, 2015, 5.15 pm
School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle

Sir John Baker, Downing Professor Emeritus of the Laws of England at St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, will give a paper entitled ‘Magna Carta – Statute or Myth?’.

2014-15 - John Baker

Abstract

Magna Carta has had an immense influence on hearts and minds, and even events, over the last eight hundred years. Yet it is not always understood that this has been achieved more by magic than by operation of positive law. Much of the text was obsolete or obsolescent five hundred years ago, and what remained was difficult even for the lawyers of those days to interpret. In any case, no remedies were provided for private subjects in case the words were not observed by the king. The lecture will address some of these legal difficulties and outline how and when they were overcome.


Professor Sir Baker’s research interests include English legal history, especially in the early-modern period; history of the legal profession and the Inns of Court; and manuscript law reports and readings.  Alongside his academic career, he is a Barrister at both the Inner Temple and Gray’s Inn, and an Honorary Bencher at the Inner Temple.

His substantial list of publications most notably includes the Oxford History of the Laws of England, Volume VI: 1483-1558 (2003) and the frequently reprinted Introduction to English Legal History (1st ed. 1971, 2nd ed. 1979, 3rd ed. 1990, and 4th ed. 2002).  However, he has also published extensively on the Inns of Court, including Readings and Moots at the Inns of Court in the Fifteenth Century (2000) and most recently The Men of Court 1440 to 1550: A Prosopography of the Inns of Court and Chancery and the Courts of Law (2012).  He has further edited numerous collections of manuscripts and reports, including The Reports of Sir John Spelman  (1977), The Reports of William Dalison, 1552-1558 (2007), and Reports from the Time of Henry VIII (2003–04).

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception in the Lawson Lecture Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English.

All welcome.

Research Seminar: Professor Rosalind Brown-Grant (University of Leeds)

‘Lessons in Law, Lessons in Chivalry: The Roman de Gérard de Nevers Illuminated by the Wavrin Master and Loyset Liédet’

Thursday 5 March, 5.15 pm
Room B216, Buchanan Building, Union Street

Rosalind Brown-Grant, Professor of Late Mediaeval French Literature at the University of Leeds, will give a paper entitled ‘Lessons in Law, Lessons in Chivalry: The Roman de Gérard de Nevers Illuminated by the Wavrin Master and Loyset Liédet.’

Abstract

Art historians specialising in works produced in the European Middle Ages have recently begun to draw our attention to the important part played by illustrated manuscripts of Roman, canon and customary law texts in the dissemination and teaching of legal precepts among scholars and law practitioners of the period. What has received far less attention from modern commentators is the way in which illumination cycles accompanying works of courtly literature also contributed to the familiarisation with the law of aristocratic lay readers who, as kings, dukes, counts and lords would have been responsible for the exercise of justice in their own lands. This paper will focus on the visualisation of the law and the respective positions of men and women in the legal processes of the day in medieval romance narratives whose plots are dominated by themes of crime and punishment. In particular, it will examine the interaction of text and image in two manuscripts of the mid-fifteenth-century Roman de Gérard de Nevers, a text belonging to the ‘wager cycle’ where judicial proceedings are placed centre-stage, which were illustrated by the artist known as the Wavrin Master and Loyset Liédet, respectively. Whilst Liédet is concerned with evoking a sense of the splendour and ceremony of the chivalric spectacles that the tale recounts, the Wavrin Master both borrows from the iconographical conventions of works of canon and customary law and devises his own means of visual expressions in order to bring out the moral, political and legal implications of the narrative for his courtly audience.


Professor Brown-Grant’s work to date has focused on four main areas: Christine de Pizan’s defence of women, late medieval French romances, historical writing at the court of Valois Burgundy, and text/image relations in medieval manuscripts. She is currently working on a monograph on French romances preserved in manuscripts illuminated by the Burgundian artist known as the “Maître de Wavrin” (fl. 1450s-60s).