Recording customs in early modern Antwerp, a commercial metropolis

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This article questions whether early modern compilations of customary law retained their customary nature after being recorded in the Low Countries by learned jurists and within the framework of a procedure designed and controlled by a central authority. By means of a quantitative analysis of the seventeenth-century recorded customs of the commercial metropolis of Antwerp, as well as their legal origins, it will become apparent that such collections of recorded customs can no longer be typified as unadulterated customary law. Despite a considerable proportion of authentic customary elements, these »customary« compilations contained numerous articles that sprouted from non-customary legal sources like Roman law, local as well as foreign legislation, foreign compilations of customary law and the achievements of European jurisprudence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-301
Number of pages14
JournalZeitschrift des Max-Planck-Instituts für europäische Rechtsgeschichte
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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