A view on Northern Iberia in the European context
There has been a good deal of discussion of conflict resolution and dispute settlement in early medieval Europe during the past generation, although national historiographies have much longer traditions of studying the history of law and its application and there is an even longer-established trans-national study of Roman law, a field which remains extremely lively.1 Recent discussion has been occupied with social conflict in many kinds of arena, but sometimes, as in this book, it has focused on the handling of disputes within a judicial process, often strongly influenced by the legal anthropology of a generation ago, with its focus on law residing ‘in the minds and practices of people in a society’.2 Some of the most influential analyses of process have focused on the eleventh century;3 and
1 Most influentially, Heinrich Brunner, Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte, 1st edn (2 vols, Leipzig, 1887-92); for England, see Frederick Pollock and Frederic William Maitland, The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I (2 vols, Cambridge, 1895). For Roman law, see, for example: Friedrich Carl von Savigny, Geschichte des römischen Rechts im Mittelalter (6 vols, Heidelberg, 1815-31), drawing on several centuries of existing scholarship; Fritz Schulz, Principles of Roman Law (Oxford, 1936); Caroline Humfress, ‘Laws’ empire: Roman universalism and legal practice’, in Paul J. du Plessis (ed.), New Frontiers: Law and Society in the Roman World (Edinburgh, 2013), pp. 73-101.