Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Medieval and Byzantine History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Medieval and Byzantine History Medieval and Byzantine History Forum - Period of History between classical antiquity and modern times, roughly the 5th through 16th Centuries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old November 26th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #1

Tlacaelel's Avatar
Academician
 
Joined: Nov 2012
From: Tenochtitlán
Posts: 56
Exclamation Byzantine Law Sources Needed


Hello all, I have been searching for a long time (months actually...) any translated text (in English or Spanish preferably) about Byzantine laws, specifically the Farmer´s and Military formerly attributed to Leo III and the work of "De Thematibus", although my search has been sterile so far, I was wondering if the Byzantinists in the forum could shed some light in my journey to understand the evolution of Byzantium through its laws.

In my country, sadly, there´s no academic interest in studying these subjects and thus, works and publications, not to say "direct sources" are virtually non existent. I have tried to buy the material online, but my search has been as sterile as the one for available online material .

If someone could help me out with any source (as the Ekloga for exampel) I would be HUGELY greatful.


PS.: is there any specific law or regulation for the themata? I have been wondering if such document existed, since the themata arguably prevented an early demise of the Empire while it functioned "correctly".
Tlacaelel is offline  
Remove Ads
Old November 26th, 2012, 07:10 PM   #2

Kirialax's Avatar
Megas Domestikos
 
Joined: Dec 2009
From: Canada
Posts: 3,532
Blog Entries: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tlacaelel View Post
Hello all, I have been searching for a long time (months actually...) any translated text (in English or Spanish preferably) about Byzantine laws, specifically the Farmer´s and Military formerly attributed to Leo III and the work of "De Thematibus", although my search has been sterile so far, I was wondering if the Byzantinists in the forum could shed some light in my journey to understand the evolution of Byzantium through its laws.

In my country, sadly, there´s no academic interest in studying these subjects and thus, works and publications, not to say "direct sources" are virtually non existent. I have tried to buy the material online, but my search has been as sterile as the one for available online material .

If someone could help me out with any source (as the Ekloga for exampel) I would be HUGELY greatful.


PS.: is there any specific law or regulation for the themata? I have been wondering if such document existed, since the themata arguably prevented an early demise of the Empire while it functioned "correctly".
The situation isn't good. You can find an Italian translation from the '60s of de Thematibus by a Pertusi is something like that. I've never managed to track it down to make a copy. Some of the Con. Por. documents are included in the new translation with de Ceremoniis, but it's very expensive and hard to get. Geanakoplos has part of the Ekloga in English translation, but I don't know where you'd get more. The Farmer's Law is in translation in an old journal article: W. Ashburner, 'The Farmer's Law', Journal of Hellenic Studies 30 (1910), pp. 68-95.

For the themata there is only a wide scattering of varied materials. The themes were never static which makes the historian's job all the harder.

Book of Ceremonies: Australian Association for Byzantine Studies

Amazon.com: Byzantium: Church, Society, and Civilization Seen through Contemporary Eyes (9780226284613): Deno John Geanakoplos: Books
Amazon.com: Byzantium: Church, Society, and Civilization Seen through Contemporary Eyes (9780226284613): Deno John Geanakoplos: Books

Kirialax is offline  
Old November 26th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #3
Citizen
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 5

Have you tried Google books? Many of the texts on there have expired copyright so are available for all to read and download.

At the very least, it could give you some sources (including ISBN) and you can order a copy to borrow from you local library's ILLO department.

Good luck
Basileos is offline  
Old November 27th, 2012, 01:37 AM   #4
Historian
 
Joined: Nov 2010
From: Hungary
Posts: 1,919

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tlacaelel View Post
Hello all, I have been searching for a long time (months actually...) any translated text (in English or Spanish preferably) about Byzantine laws, specifically the Farmer´s and Military formerly attributed to Leo III and the work of "De Thematibus", although my search has been sterile so far, I was wondering if the Byzantinists in the forum could shed some light in my journey to understand the evolution of Byzantium through its laws.

In my country, sadly, there´s no academic interest in studying these subjects and thus, works and publications, not to say "direct sources" are virtually non existent. I have tried to buy the material online, but my search has been as sterile as the one for available online material .

If someone could help me out with any source (as the Ekloga for exampel) I would be HUGELY greatful.


PS.: is there any specific law or regulation for the themata? I have been wondering if such document existed, since the themata arguably prevented an early demise of the Empire while it functioned "correctly".
You would have more luck in German or some Slavic language as most major Byzantine law books were translated to Church Slavonic also, but here are some recommended works from my Roman law schoolbook, it also includes some English

C. E. Zachariae von Lungenthal: Geschichte des griechisch-römischen Rechts, Berlin 1892
E. H. Freshfield: A manual of Roman law, the Ecloga published by the emperors Leo III and Constantine V of Isauria at Constantinople A.D. 726, Cambridge 1926
E. H. Freshfield: A revised manual of Roman law : founded upon the Ecloga of Leo III and Constantine V, of Isauria, Ecloga privata aucta 1927
E. H. Freshfield: A Manual of Eastern Roman Law. The Procheiros Nomos, Cambridge 1928
E. H. Freshfield: A manual of later Roman law: the Ecloga ad Procheiron mutata founded upon the Ecloga of Leo III and Constantine V of Isauria, and on the Procheiros nomos of Basil I, of Macedonia, including the Rhodian maritime law edited in 1166 A.D., Cambridge 1927
A. Bergen: Studi sui Basilici. IV: La legislazione di Giustiniano ed i Basilici, Iura 5 (1954)
H. J. Scheltema: Über die Natur der Basiliken, TR 23 (1955)
A. G. Chloros: The Hexabiblos, AJ (Cape Town) 1958
L. Burgmann: Ecloga. Das Gesetzbuch Leons III. und Konstantinos' V., Frankfurt a. M. 1983
A. Schminck: Studien zu mittelbyzantinischen Rechtsbüchern, Frankfurt a. M. 1986
J. Triantaphyllopoulos: Le droit romain dans le monde grec, JJP 21 (1991)
A. E. Laiou- D. Simon (ed.): Law and Society in Byzantium: 9th and 12th Centuries, Washington D.C. 1994

Last edited by Tulun; November 27th, 2012 at 01:46 AM.
Tulun is offline  
Old November 27th, 2012, 03:35 PM   #5
Academician
 
Joined: Apr 2011
From: Oregon, USA
Posts: 60

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulun View Post
E. H. Freshfield: A manual of Roman law, the Ecloga published by the emperors Leo III and Constantine V of Isauria at Constantinople A.D. 726, Cambridge 1926
E. H. Freshfield: A revised manual of Roman law : founded upon the Ecloga of Leo III and Constantine V, of Isauria, Ecloga privata aucta 1927
E. H. Freshfield: A Manual of Eastern Roman Law. The Procheiros Nomos, Cambridge 1928
E. H. Freshfield: A manual of later Roman law: the Ecloga ad Procheiron mutata founded upon the Ecloga of Leo III and Constantine V of Isauria, and on the Procheiros nomos of Basil I, of Macedonia, including the Rhodian maritime law edited in 1166 A.D., Cambridge 1927
A. E. Laiou- D. Simon (ed.): Law and Society in Byzantium: 9th and 12th Centuries, Washington D.C. 1994
These are the ones that came to mind immediately for me as well, in English. Since they are mostly long out of print, you will likely have to obtain them through a good library, probably of the academic sort. (Even as a graduate student, I've had to have my library get them through inter-library loans.)

The other major resource to check would be the Dumbarton Oaks Papers. Many of their individual journal articles can be ordered individually, and some of the older articles (once you locate them through a Google search) can be found in PDF or other electronic form. A good resource for obtaining electronic versions of journal articles, as well as finding obscure academic papers of all sorts, is JSTOR. Many academic institutions have accounts with JSTOR for students and faculty; if you are not affiliated with one, you can also order on an individual account. Typically articles are on the order of US$10 or so each. It can add up quickly, but if you're looking for something truly obscure, it may be the only realistic source outside of a major research library.

Good luck!
Joshuaspoppa is offline  
Old November 27th, 2012, 05:35 PM   #6
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,612

Unfortunately, as others have pointed out, original sources for Byzantine law are almost impossible to come by in English. Your best bet for sources is modern Greek or, barring that, German. Since my Byzantine Greek is better than my modern Greek or German (which isn't saying much), I always just stuck with the originals, though I understand how tedious it can be working through an entire book in Byzantine Greek...even for people who speak Greek. I remember trying to find a translation of the Novels of Leo the Wise once, I finally found out that there was a 19th century French translation, but never could track it down...I finally just resigned myself to working through the Greek. Even such staples as the Syntagma of Balsamon, Zonaras and Aristenos are impossible to come by, though I gather there is a current English translation project for that particular work.

Princeton did, somewhat recently, put up this website, which contains a database of Byzantine sources translated into modern languages:

Modern Language Translations of Byzantine Sources

So I'd start there, but a quick glance will show that English and Spanish are not the predominate languages. I may have found something there that could be close to what you're looking for though (in German):

Ecloga, das Gesetzbuch Leons III und Konstantinos' V | Modern Language Translations of Byzantine Sources

Even if it doesn't have everything you're looking for, the bibliography could be useful.

As for secondary sources, in addition to those mentioned and other works by Laiou, I'd note the Journal of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies...it will have many articles unrelated to law, but some relevant ones, I think it's available for purchase by article online. If you read German 'Geschichte des griechisch-römischen Rechts' by K.E. Zachariae von Lingenthal is a good secondary source available as a free e-book online through Google books. Also of use are the various volumes of 'Fontes Minores'.

I really wish the study of Byzantine law was easier than it is for English speakers, there are a hundred details I'd love to delve into, I spent a semester diving into Marriage law and ultimately just scratched the surface. Unfortunately, it's just too much work for a casual hobby, at least for someone with only mediocre Greek language skills; maybe once Google builds their Star Trek style Universal Translator I'll give it another shot.
constantine is offline  
Old November 28th, 2012, 03:01 AM   #7
Historian
 
Joined: Nov 2010
From: Hungary
Posts: 1,919

you can also check this book out

http://digitool.dc.bmms.ro:1801/view...e&usePid2=true

it is in romanian about the Byzantine and Romanian law but you may find something useful in its bibliographies as it lists the modern translations and literature on the laws (as of 1937).

Last edited by Tulun; November 28th, 2012 at 03:14 AM.
Tulun is offline  
Old November 28th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #8

Tlacaelel's Avatar
Academician
 
Joined: Nov 2012
From: Tenochtitlán
Posts: 56
Smile


I am truly grateful for the several responses above, I have some particular problems that thankfully none of you seem to have, which are, from the impossibility of getting anything from Google Books (not available in my country) to a deficient system of libraries.

/end of whining


Anyway, I have checked some provided sources, and some are quite useful for what I am looking, something for which I am also happy (and thus thankful).

About Dumbarton Oaks, I am thinking about the possibility of studying some time there, but only Fortuna knows about that. I also found some interesting websites like archive.org or Internet History Sourcebooks

I have heard that the Ecloga can be found in Arabic, but if I hardly can read phonetically some modern Greek it is quite fancy the idea of reading it in Arab .

Anyway, I shall give JSTOR a shot, quite an interesting option as far as I read about it.

PS.: it amuses me to see that the Western Europeans who dedicate more time stuyding Byzantine related topics (or at least sporadically) are Germans. Anyone knows why?
Tlacaelel is offline  
Old November 28th, 2012, 01:05 PM   #9
Historian
 
Joined: Nov 2010
From: Hungary
Posts: 1,919

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tlacaelel View Post
PS.: it amuses me to see that the Western Europeans who dedicate more time stuyding Byzantine related topics (or at least sporadically) are Germans. Anyone knows why?
Its not only the Byzantine studies, since the reformation until WW 1 and 2 they were the intellectual center of Europe with many excellent universities with long tradition so in several historical subjects (and even in topics like middle east or central asian history) you will find the best 19th-20th century works in German. Also their jurists had particular interest in Roman law as it was still living and used there until the 18-19th century and they gave the best modern scholars on Roman law and the modern civil law.

Last edited by Tulun; November 28th, 2012 at 01:11 PM.
Tulun is offline  
Old November 28th, 2012, 01:24 PM   #10

Kirialax's Avatar
Megas Domestikos
 
Joined: Dec 2009
From: Canada
Posts: 3,532
Blog Entries: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tlacaelel View Post

PS.: it amuses me to see that the Western Europeans who dedicate more time stuyding Byzantine related topics (or at least sporadically) are Germans. Anyone knows why?
While the Germans may be more interested in topics on law and administration, it seems to me that the French actually produce more work in general. I find enormous quantities of material in French. I suspect that this interest probably stems from the tradition of German scholarship in the classics, which is excellent, but there will always be a few whose interests deviate from that set paradigm.
Kirialax is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > Medieval and Byzantine History

Tags
sources law byzantium


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help needed ljw0187 History Help 1 May 12th, 2011 11:25 AM
Help Needed buju Asian History 0 March 12th, 2011 03:53 AM
A little help needed Andalous History Help 1 June 13th, 2010 09:18 AM
HELP NEEDED!!!!!! Damastian Father Illyrian History Help 6 December 7th, 2009 09:43 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.