Medieval Public Justice
The grand narrative of the evolution of criminal justice is dismantled in this work, originally published in Italian and widely cited as a groundbreaking study of legal procedure. Vallerani contends that accusatio and inquisitio were formed simultaneously to address different needs: to seek and construct different "truths"—the truth of the fact that occurred outside the courtroom as revealed by the probing of the judge, and the truth that emerges inside the triadic model of the courtroom as a result of negotiations between the disputing parties under the guidance of the judge.
Vallerani's rich approach to his sources includes statistical analysis of the court records, revealing the functioning of the courts in terms of the incidence of torture, the proportions of trials initiated by accusatio and inquisitio, and the percentage of trials suspended at different stages of litigation. Furthermore, he sets legal procedures within the context of a society and political world immersed in violence and conflict and shows how the supplica, or petition for pardon, played a major role in the transformation from communal to signorial government in the early fourteenth century.
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"An important contribution to the debate on medieval public justice."—Societa et storia
"Sarah Rubin Blanshei has done a great service in service in making this work accessible to a wider audience."—Renaissance Quarterly
"A very valuable and stimulating book, deserving of a wide readership...The book is characterized by its breadth of approach and by the wide range of sources...The result is a book that succeeds admirably in combining technical legal history with the history of disputes and of local politics. Such virtues make the book required reading for legal historians... Professor Rubin Blanshei is to be heartily congratulated in bringing this fine book to a wider readership."—Catholic Historical Review
"Eloquently translated into English for the first time by Sarah Rubin Blanshei, who offers an insightful foreword to the work, Medieval Public Justice is a compelling account of the complexities of medieval legal systems particularly in Italy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Medieval Public Justice offers a wealth of historical, literary, and judicial information Vallerani's analysis is engaging and interesting."—Mediaevistik
"Medieval Public Justice is a very valuable and stimulating book, deserving of a wide readership a book that succeeds admirably in combining technical legal history with the history of disputes and of local politics required reading for legal historians."—Catholic Historical Review
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