Gobbitt, Lombard Laws in the Eleventh Century

Book Culture and Texts of Identity: The Lombard Laws in the Eleventh Century

Dr. Thom Gobbitt (Institut fürMittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna)

The Liber legis langobardorum is a collection of the early medieval Lombard laws supplemented with a selection of Frankish and Saxon capitularies compiled in the late- tenth or early-eleventh centuries in Pavia, Italy. The collection emphasises the Italian focus of the legal texts, but also shifts attention away from the laws and capitularies as texts of royal and imperial significance in favour of a scholarly focus on the laws as legal texts. However, the interplay of the legal texts with their origins is still addressed within the developing manuscript contexts of the laws, both in the parts of the respective prologues to different laws that are retained and in the mise-en-page of the eight surviving manuscripts. The Liber legis langobardorum manuscripts will be contrasted with the mise-en-page and manuscript contexts of other near-contemporary versions of the Lombard laws, to illustrate the specific scribal choices made in their copying and developments in the book-culture in which they were produced and used. This paper, then, will address the developing treatment of the Lombard laws and Frankish and Saxon capitularies by the scribes and readers of the manuscript, thereby exploring the extent to which they can be understood as ‘texts of identity’ across the eleventh and early-twelfth centuries.