07 March 2018

BOOK: Heikki PIHLAJAMÄKI, Albrecht CORDES, Serge DACHY and Dave DE RUYSSCHER, eds., Understanding the Sources of Early Modern and Modern Commercial Law - Courts, Statutes, Contracts, and Legal Scholarship [Legal History Library, 25; Studies in the History of Private Law, 14 eds. Matthew MIRROW, Dirk HEIRBAUT & C.H. VAN RHEE] (Leiden: Brill | Nijhoff, 2018). ISBN 978-90-04-36045-7, € 154.00

(Source: Brill|Nijhoff)

Brill has just published the e-book of “Understanding the Sources of Early Modern and Modern Commercial Law” in its Studies in the History of Private Law series. The hardback is due to be published later this month.


The contributions of Understanding the Sources of Early Modern and Modern Commercial Law: Courts, Statutes, Contracts, and Legal Scholarship show the wealth of sources which historians of commercial law use to approach their subject. Depending on the subject, historical research on mercantile law must be ready to open up to different approaches and sources in a truly imaginative and interdisciplinary way. This, more than many other branches of law, has always been largely non-state law. Normative, ‘official’, sources are important in commercial law as well, but other sources are often needed to complement them. The articles of the volume present an excellent assemblage of those sources. Anja Amend-Traut, Albrecht Cordes, Serge Dauchy, Dave De ruysscher, Olivier Descamps, Ricardo Galliano Court, Eberhard Isenmann, Mia Korpiola, Peter Oestmann, Heikki Pihlajamäki, Edouard Richard, Margrit Schulte Beerbühl, Guido Rossi, Bram Van Hofstraeten, Boudewijn Sirks, Alain Wijffels, and Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz.


List of Illustrations 
Notes on Contributors 
Introduction   Heikki Pihlajamäki, Albrecht Cordes, Serge Dauchy and Dave De ruysscher 
2 Mercantile Conflict Resolution in Practice: Connecting Legal and Diplomatic Sources from Danzig c. 1460–1580   Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz
3 Justitia in Commerciis: Public Governance and Commercial Litigation before the Great Council of Mechlin in the Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century   Alain Wijffels 
4 Honore et utile: The Approaches and Practice of Sixteenth-century Genoese Merchant Custom   Ricardo Galliano Court 
The Abandonment to the Insurers in Sixteenth-century Insurance Practice: Comparative Remarks and (A Few) Methodological Notes   Guido Rossi 
Historiographical Opportunities of Notarized Partnership Agreements Recorded in the Early Modern Low Countries  Bram Van Hofstraeten 
How Normative were Merchant Guidebooks? Of Customs, Practices, and … Good Advice (Antwerp, Sixteenth Century)  Dave De ruysscher 
Sources of Commercial Law in the Dutch Republic and Kingdom   Boudewijn Sirks 
The Files and Exhibits of the Imperial Chamber Court and Aulic Council as Sources of Commercial Law   Anja Amend-Traut 
10 Legal, Moral-Theological, and Genuinely Economic Opinions on Questions of Trade and Economy in Fifteenth- and Early Sixteenth-century Germany   Eberhard Isenmann 
11 The Birth of Commercial Law in Early Modern Sweden: Sources and Historiography  Heikki Pihlajamäki 
12 Svea Court of Appeal Records as a Source of Commercial Law: The Founding Year of 1614   Mia Korpiola 
13 Tracing the Speculation Bubble of 1799 in Newspapers, Court Records, and Other Sources   Margrit Schulte Beerbühl 
14 The Rise of Usages in French Commercial Law and Jurisprudence (Seventeenth-Nineteenth Centuries): Some Examples   Edouard Richard 
15 On the Origins of the French Commercial Code: Vicissitudes of the Gorneau Draft   Olivier Descamps 
16 Court Records as Sources for the History of Commercial Law: The Oberappellationsgericht Lübeck as a Commercial Court (1820–1879)  Peter Oestmann 
Index of Names 
Index of Places 
Index of Subjects


All interested in the history of commercial law, legal history, economic history, and history of the early modern period.

For more information, please visit the publisher’s website

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