oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Why Roman law? Danish arguments for the study of Roman law

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



Roman law as such never had any force in Denmark. However, this does not mean that one has not reflected on the importance of Roman law. The theme of this small contribution is centred on arguments in Denmark which have justified the study of Roman law in a Danish context.

On a stone set in the gateway of the town of Rendsborg on the river Ejder you could read "Eidora Romani terminus imperii". The river was at the same time the border of the Holy Roman Empire and the borderline between national law and Roman law. This fact did not preclude Roman law from having played an important role in the development of Danish law and especially Danish legal science. In his magisterial work, , Francesco Calasso used the phrase "Corpus juris numquam receptum instar legis sed loco artis juris", taken from the German knight Besold and framed in the sixteenth century. The concepts of and are useful also to analyse the situation in Denmark. However, in the Nordic Middle Ages it was especially canon law that was important.

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