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The Medieval Origins of the Legal Profession – Canonists, Civilians, and Courts - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Medieval Origins of the Legal Profession: Canonists, Civilians, and Courts

James A. Brundage


In the aftermath of sixth-century barbarian invasions, the legal profession that had grown and flourished during the Roman Empire vanished. Nonetheless, professional lawyers suddenly reappeared in Western Europe 700 years later during the 1230s, when church councils and public authorities began to impose a body of ethical obligations on those who practiced law. This book traces the history of legal practice from its genesis in ancient Rome to its rebirth in the early Middle Ages and eventual resurgence in the courts of the medieval church. By the end of the eleventh century, the book argues, r ... More

Keywords: barbarian invasions, legal profession, Roman Empire, professional lawyers, Western Europe, Christian church, church councils, canon law, legal advocacy, Roman law

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780226077598
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226077611.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James A. Brundage, author