Laws of the Barbarians – customary laws of Germanic tribes during the Middle Ages

leges barbarorum:
[Latin “laws of the barbarians”]

1. (1833) Hist. The customary laws of medieval European law; especially, the customary laws of Germanic tribes during the Middle Ages.  *  These include the lex romana Visigothorum, the lex Burgundionum, and the lex Salica. — aka folk laws; Laws of the Barbarians; barbarian laws. See SALIC LAW. [1]

     Excerpt from W.J.V. Windeyer’s Lectures on Legal History (2d ed. 1949):

     “Many of the conquering Germanic tribes sought to state their own tribal customs in writing. Several of these so-called codes or leges barbarorum were published from time to time shortly after the fall of the Western Empire in the middle of the fifth century until about the time of Charlemagne, 800.  The most famous is a Frankish one, the Lex Salica, which probably dates from the second half of the fifth century. [2]

Salic Law – principal compilation of early Germanic law developed by Salian Franks.

Law of the Visigoths – early 6th century code of Roman law applied to Hispano-Roman and Gallo-Roman peoples ruled by the Germanic Visigoths.

Law of the Burgundians – the law of the (Germanic) Burgundians, first published about AD. 495.


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4


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