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Lotharian Legend
(853 words)

The Lotharian Legend is an early modern theory that explained the validity of Roman law (Ius commune) in Germany. It claimed that, in 1137, Emperor Lothair III of Supplinburg had decreed by law that Roman law was applicable in the Holy Roman Empire.

The Lotharian Legend emerged against the background of questions by late medieval and early modern jurists as to why Justinian’s Corpus Iuris Civilis, the great sixth-century codification of ancient (late antique) Roman law created in the eastern Roman Empire was still regarded as valid law in large parts of Europ…

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Oestmann, Peter, “Lotharian Legend”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 02 April 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_023487>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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