Diplomatics, whether or not I want ’em
So I found some cool stuff on Google books today. Unfortunately, it’s all 19th C German legal scholarship, which means I have no idea how useful it really is. On the one hand, it offers very clear interpretations of some of the stuff I’ve wondered about for a long time. On the other, I have no idea if it’s correct or not (in terms of what we now understand). But there was a nice explanation of per manum clauses (once I figured out what some of the German words were), and now I just have to figure out if these were things that the early diplomatics people would have looked at.
Speaking of which, did you know that Breßlau worked with Heinrich von Trotschke for a while? I think this in part reaffirms my belief that we really can’t trust ANY early German diplomatics scholarship entirely — there’s just always the lingering spectre of circular nationalistic reasoning. For example, there’s the understanding of “national” law codes as being real exemplars of the values of particular people that obviously may be partially true, but is also now understood within the context of Carolingian
meddling policy, I think? Or am I imagining that?
But really, what I meant to say was this:
how separable are praecarium and usufruct? That is, I understand how one could grant the latter without the former, and that sort of makes sense. I understand how one could grant the former without the latter, but it seems to me to be pointless. More importantly, I wonder how easy it was to keep such things straight among all the players.