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Priests of the LawRoman Law and the Making of the Common Law's First Professionals$
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Thomas J. McSweeney

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198845454

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198845454.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

Cases and the Dialectic

Cases and the Dialectic

(p.166) 5 Cases and the Dialectic
Priests of the Law

Thomas J. McSweeney

Oxford University Press

Bracton contains more than 500 citations to cases on the plea rolls, the administrative records of the royal courts, and this chapter will demonstrate that the authors of Bracton thought of them as authoritative texts, similar to the authoritative texts of Roman and canon law they had learned from in the schools. The authors of Bracton use and treat citations to plea roll entries and citations to the authoritative texts of Roman law—Justinian’s Digest, Codex, and Institutes—in very similar ways. The authors of the treatise adopt similar citation methods for both, and speak about them in similar terms. The authors of Bracton applied to their case records the scholastic methods of harmonization and reconciliation that they had learned to apply to the authoritative texts of Roman and canon law.

Keywords:   dialectic, scholasticism, Brocardica, jurists, citation, plea rolls, intertextuality

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