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Humanistische Jurisprudenz, Studien zur europaischen Rechtswissenschaft unter dem Einfluss des Humanismus.

Hans Erich Troje, professor of law at Frankfurt, and author of the rightly famous book, Graeca leguntur (Cologne and Vienna, 1971), is at present probably the leading specialist in the field of Renaissance jurisprudence. The present volume is a collection of seventeen articles, reviews, and longer papers, most of them previously unpublished.

I am quite ignorant in the fields of law and legal history, and hence not really qualified to judge this book, but have agreed to review it for Renaissance Quarterly, most of whose readers are equally unfamiliar with the subject, and I hope that the book will be reviewed in greater detail in the journals that deal directly with the theory and history of law.

The book is obviously a very important contribution to its subject, and the author's mastery of the original sources and their editions, and of the vast secondary literature from the fifteenth to the present century is most impressive. Troje is generous in recognizing the merits of many of his predecessors, especially of Domenico Maffei. Yet he does not hesitate to criticize the famous Savigny because he emphasizes the medieval contribution and almost entirely neglects the merits of the Renaissance jurists, an attitude that influenced the views of many of his successors.

I may be permitted to observe that on the definition of humanism, and on the coexistence of humanism and Aristotelian scholasticism in the Renaissance, he fails to mention the contributions of Hans Baron and his critics, or to utilize an old article of mine, "Humanism and Scholasticism in the Italian Renaissance," first published in 1944-45, and reprinted several times, most accessibly and recently in Renaissance Thought (New York, 1961), 92-119, and the subsequent article by Augusto Campana ("The Origin of the Word 'Humanist,' "Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 9 [1946]: 60-73) who arrived, independently and on the basis of different texts and documents, at the same conclusion.

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Author:Kristeller, Paul Oskar
Publication:Renaissance Quarterly
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1995
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