In Egypt of late antiquity, the institutional church and its representatives undeniably constituted a major social force. Documentary material preserved on papyri and ostraca (e.g. in the 6th-century archive of Dioskoros of Aphrodito or the early 7th-century dossier of bishop Abraham of Hermonthis) shows members of the clergy participating in legal transactions, mediation, issuing of guarantees, as well as acting as instruments of social control. More interestingly, however, documentary sources reveal also circumstances in which it was the clergy who were exposed to scrutiny of lay agents and made reliant on social actors from beyond the ecclesiastical institution. The paper will attempt to trace the complexities of the networks of control and assistance existing between clerical and lay agents, using documents produced by and for the interested parties in the course of everyday activities.
‘Boundary’ ranges in meaning from the literal (physical) to the abstract. In medieval Poland, one kind of abstract boundary was the law: expressed as a distinction between ‘Polish’ and ‘German law’. This paper explores that ‘boundary’ based on selected judicial cases heard in the ducal/royal courts, and the urban court of Kraków. The cases capture a range of similarities, analogies, and differences in the process and procedure used in those two types of court. Rather than locations of two sharply different legal systems, ‘Polish’ and ‘German-law’ courts were, or became, parts of an overarching legal culture, cutting across the ‘boundary’ of ethnic classification.
The so-called ‘London Collection of laws’ (Leges Anglorum Londoniis collectae) is a compilation of legal and historical texts made in early 13th-century London. The studies of various scholars demonstrated its importance for the history of political and legal ideas in medieval England and, especially, its influence on some clauses of Magna Carta. However, the collection remains unprinted in its totality and virtually unstudied in its original, as far as we have it, manuscript context. The analysis of corrections and additions in the early 13th-century copy of the first part of the collection demonstrates its dynamic character and continuing integration of new material. The collections presents a unique blend of pseudo-historical tradition, ultimately derived from Geoffrey of Monmouth and enriched by the author’s own inventions, with actual political ideas and economic interests of 13th-century London elites.