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(1,038 words)

Author(s): Löhnig, Martin
1. DefinitionA mortgage is a lien (Pledge, law of) on a piece of real property. It serves as security for debts, especially for credit, and makes the property liable for the secured debt, so that the creditor has a claim on the property if the debtor defaults. There were two different types of mortgage in the early modern period: the hypothec (see 2. below), in use throughout the period, and the land charge (see 3. below), which came into use toward the end of the period.Martin Löhnig2. Hypothec 2.1. Significance of the hypothecMortgages were already in use throughout Europe in the M…
Date: 2020-04-06

Incapacity, legal

(727 words)

Author(s): Löhnig, Martin
1. Basic definitionIn Germany, legal incapacity ( Entmündigung) was a public legal act that completely or partially deprived a person of his or her legal capacity or prevented one from coming into his or her majority; it was abolished in Germany in 1992. In the early modern period, legal incapacity was very important in legal practice, but it was no longer viewed, as it had been during the Middle Ages, as restricted to the operations of intra-family law, but rather as a right to protection which, under the influence of natural law, was seen as the duty of the state.Martin Löhnig2. Reasons for…
Date: 2019-10-14

Contract for work/labor

(791 words)

Author(s): Löhnig, Martin
1. DefinitionIn a contract for work/labor (Latin,  locatio conductio operis) in the early modern period, one contracting party (Contract [private law]) (the employee, contractor) undertook to perform a specific work for the other contracting party (the employer, commissioner). The contract for work/labor differed from a service contract, which stipulated only a specific, ongoing activity on the part of the employee. The work that the contractor owed the commissioner of the work could be material or immat…
Date: 2019-10-14

Maritime commercial law

(852 words)

Author(s): Löhnig, Martin
1. Legal scopeThroughout the early modern period, maritime commercial law was the branch of private law that regulated shipping by sea. It covered the legal relations of those involved in deep sea navigation: (1) the ship owner or shipping company as proprietor of the ship; (2) the skipper or captain of the ship as the highest authority on board and the proprietor’s representative; (3) the crew, which stood under the captain’s authority; and (4) finally the merchants shipping their wares. Seafarers’ articles of agreement ( Heuervertrag) were concluded between the proprietor …
Date: 2019-10-14

Bill of exchange

(2,135 words)

Author(s): Denzel, Markus A. | Löhnig, Martin
1. Economics 1.1. Basics The bill of exchange (Italian lettera di cambio, French letter de change, German Wechsel), “one of the most important achievements in the history of economics” [4], was developed in Italy on the basis of ancient precursors during the Commercial Revolution (12th–14th centuries). In its classic form, dating from the 14th century, it represented an order for payment, in which the maker (drawer) of the bill instructed the drawee (acceptor) to clear a debt elsewhere for a beneficiary or bearer in his pl…
Date: 2019-10-14


(3,292 words)

Author(s): Löhnig, Martin | Sanz Lafuente, Gloria | Troßbach, Werner
1. Legal aspects 1.1. DefinitionA lease (German Pacht) today is understood to be the contractual transfer of an object or right in exchange for money (cf. Interest [banking]), whereupon the recipient may use or – in contrast to rent and loans for use (commodatum) – enjoy the fruits of the object for a certain time. In contrast to a renter, the lessee is broadly responsible for the maintenance of the object of the lease. Leases based on loan contract, which could in theory be canceled at any time and la…
Date: 2019-10-14