Canon Law in Iceland and in Europe
Tuesday November 3, 2015, at 16.30
The medieval church regulated its internal affairs through canon law, which also claimed jurisdiction over many matters that today are thought of as thoroughly secular, such as sexual mores, marriages, and the law of war. The same rules were applied all over western Europe, including Iceland. The two episcopal sees in Skálholt and Hólar owned many canon law books, and I will argue that they possessed the essential works that were needed for the operation of the courts that over which each bishop presided. Other preserved sources allow us to observe at least snapshots of the practice of canon law in those courts, and I will compare that practice to how courts ran on the European continent. I will argue that the practice of Icelandic courts, insofar as we are able to reconstruct it, very well fits the European context.
The lecture will be delivered in English.
Anders Winroth is a Professor of History at Yale University. After studies in Stockholm, Anders Winroth earned his PhD at Columbia University, New York, in 1996. He is the Forst Family Professor of History at Yale University since 1998 and was a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow, 2004-2008. He is secretary of the Institute of Medieval Canon Law. His current research concerns medieval law and the history of the Vikings.