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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

At the beginning of the twelfth century a university emerged at Bologna where the study of Roman law was taken up. The first generations of scholars, the glossators, interpreted the Corpus iuris civilis in its medieval shape (subdivided into five volumes) and produced various types of scholarly works: glosses, lecturae, summae, etc. Learned jurists of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the commentators, continued the exegetical work of their predecessors. They no longer wrote glosses, but continuous commentaries. Moreover, they produced consilia, advisory opinions given in view of specific court cases. By this time the study of Roman law had spread over major parts of southern Europe. With the dissemination of canon law and the foundation of universities, the knowledge of Roman law could also spread to more northern regions, penetrate into legal practice, and lay the foundation of a common legal culture on the continent: the ius commune.

Keywords: Middle Ages, Roman law, Corpus iuris civilis, glossators, commentators, ius commune, learned law

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