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The prologue to Werboczy's Tripartitum and its sources

Rady, M; (2006) The prologue to Werboczy's Tripartitum and its sources. English Historical Review , CXXI (490) pp. 104-145. 10.1093/ehr/cej004.

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Stephen Werbczy's collection of Hungarian customary law was presented to the Hungarian diet in 1514 and printed three years later in Vienna. The three main parts of the Tripartitum are largely devoted to a discussion of substantive and procedural law. They are prefaced by a 5000-word Prologue in which the author treats upon theoretical matters pertaining to the law, justice and the relationship between statute and custom. In the course of the Prologue, Werbczy introduces a range of categories and distinctions many of which are either contradictory or are rapidly abandoned as analytical tools. This ?theoretical slippage? may be partly explained by the derivative quality of a large part of the text, for no less than 40% of the Prologue may be demonstrated as borrowed. The principal text upon which Werbczy may be shown to have relied is the Summa Legum of Raymundus Parthenopeus, published in Cracow in 1506. Other portions are taken from Gratian, the Digest and Institutes, St Thomas Aquinas, and Italian civilian texts of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, most notably those of Accursius and Bartolus. It is unlikely, however, that the author had before him complete editions of these texts. He relied most probably instead upon compendia of extracts and, at one point, upon contemporary sermon literature. In the complete text of the article, the Prologue is reproduced as a column on the left-hand side of the page. Its textual antecedents are given in two columns to the right.

Type: Article
Title: The prologue to Werboczy's Tripartitum and its sources
DOI: 10.1093/ehr/cej004
Additional information: Imported via OAI, 7:29:01 25th Nov 2006; Imported via OAI, 7:29:01 1st Jun 2007
Keywords: Werboczy, Hungary, Law
UCL classification: UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences
UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2246
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