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Legal History: Continental Legal History
Professor Charles Donahue
Harvard Law School: 2165
Meeting Time: M, W 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM, T 10:15 AM – 11:45 PM
Offered concurrently, but with a separate section, in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
A survey of the main outlines of Continental European legal history from
the fall of the Roman Empire to the
codifications of the 19th century. The course will focus on the main
expressions of European legal culture over this long period of time: the
“barbarian law codes” (6th–10th centuries), the revival of the academic study
of Roman and canon law (11th–13th centuries), the customary law (13th–16th
centuries), the schools of academic law (14th–17th centuries: the
“commentators,” the “humanists,” the “natural law school”), and the process
of codification (France and Germany, 18th and 19th centuries). In each period
an effort is made to relate the types of law produced to the social,
political, and religious history of the period. No background in continental
legal history will be presumed. All readings will be in English.
Van Caenegem, An Historical Introduction to Private Law (1992), and multilithed materials.
Note: Expected to be omitted in 2018–19.
Copyright © 2011–2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Copyright © 2011–2017 Charles Donahue, Jr.