Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Princeps legibus solutus
(1,624 words)

1. Concept and origins

The formula princeps legibus solutus (Latin “The prince is not bound by the laws”) is a paroemia, an axiom taken from Roman law, that acquired increasing importance in juristic discourse concerning the powers of princes, particularly the right to legislate (Legislation), from the high Middle Ages onwards.

Like many other legal proverbs of this type, the formula princeps legibus solutus moved far away from…

Cite this page
Simon, Thomas, “Princeps legibus solutus”, 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 30 May 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025872>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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