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(p.1) Introduction
The Medieval Origins of the Legal Profession
University of Chicago Press

This book explores the rebirth of legal professions in Europe in the High Middle Ages. A comprehensive account of the appearance of a legal profession within the medieval ius commune tradition should in principle deal with developments across the whole width and breadth of Western Christendom. Medieval ecclesiastical court records and other documents of practice, such as bishops' registers, survive from England in relative abundance, and they have also been more fully surveyed and published than is commonly true elsewhere. As a result, English evidence features prominently in the book, which also focuses on practices at the papal curia and presents some published evidence from northern Italy, the French kingdom and the Midi, and to a lesser extent from Aragon, Catalonia, Germany, and eastern Europe. In addition, the book discusses narrative accounts in which practicing medieval lawyers described some of their professional activities.

Keywords:   legal profession, Europe, Middle Ages, Christendom, court records, England, papal curia, Italy, Germany, lawyers

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