Law and Legal Agreements 600-1250

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Date / time: 12 January - 13 January, All day

Faculty of English, Room G-R 06/07, University of Cambridge

Law and Legal Agreements 600-1250

Dates of Event:12th January 2018 – 13th January 2018

Last Booking Date for this Event:4th January 2018

Registration Link:

This conference is the final event hosted by the Voices of Law: Language, Text and Practice network. Following on from the Law and Language Colloquium in 2015 and the Law and Ritual Colloquium in 2016, the final Colloquium in the Voices of Law series, funded by The Leverhulme Trust, will be Law and Legal Agreements 600-1250. This conference aims to draw together scholars working on various geographical areas to identify points of similarity and contrast in language, text and legal practice. The making of legal agreements opens a window onto various aspects of the medieval world, from trade to marriage to the treatment of ‘outsiders’, and this conference aims to chart the development of these agreements from the period c.600 to c.1250.

SPEAKERS:Friday 12th January 2017

KEYNOTE: Thinking in Pairs: Law and Language in Medieval Wales


  • PANEL 1: Legal Agreements and Disagreements
  • Alice Taylor (Cambridge University) – Gúbretha Caratniad: Agreement and Disagreement in the Classroom
  • Keith Ruiter (University of Aberdeen) – Agreeing to Disagree: Exploring the Violent Power of Language in Early Scandinavian Disputes
  • Paul Russell (Cambridge University) – Insult, Shame and Disgrace: Legal Register in Medieval Welsh Law


  • PANEL 2: Legal Agreements and Borders
  • Jenny Benham (Cardiff University) – Exile, Arbitration and Trade: “International” Law, 700-1200
  • Alex Sigston (Cambridge University) – Aliens across the Border: Regulating the alltud in Medieval Wales
  • Lucy Hennings (Oxford University) – International Arbitration from Magna Carta to the Mise of Amiens


  • PANEL 3: Legal Agreements – Witnesses and Testimony
  • David Peterson (Universidad de Burgos) – Generic Witnesses in Spanish Charters
  • Megan Welton (University of Notre Dame) – Witnesses, Intercessors and Tenth-Century Practice in Anglo-Saxon England and Late Carolingian Francia
  • Rebecca Searby (University of York) – Constructing Jewish Testimony in the Court Coram Rege

Saturday 13th January 2018

  • PANEL 1: Law, Sin and Judgment
  • Stefan Jurasinski (State University of New York) – The Ordeal in Anglo-Saxon England: Reconsidering Felix Liebermann’s Judicia Dei
  • Lukas Bothe (Free University of Berlin)– From Debt to Sin? Wergild Liability and the Evolution of Individual Guilt in Frankish Law (c.6thC-c.9thC)
  • R. Gwynedd Parry (Swansea University) – Awdl yr Haearn Twym: A Poetic take on trial by ordeal in Medieval Wales


  • PANEL 2: Legal Agreements and Property Rights
  • Jacqueline Bemmer (University of Vienna) – Pledge-contracts entered by women? Exploring the evidence in Early Irish Law Texts c.650-750AD
  • Gianmarco De Angelis (University of Padua) – Written documents and spoken words, impostures and violence: Claiming rights and properties in Early Medieval Italy (c.800-c.1100)
  • Emma Cavell (Swansea University) – Foreign Practices and Native Agreements: Widows and their dower in Pre-Conquest Wales



There will be lunch and refreshments on both days – there is a conference fee to cover the catering costs.