Leges Henrici Primi - Publishing History

Publishing History

The first complete printed edition of the Leges was in 1644, as an appendix to a new edition of the Arcaionomia prepared by Abraham Wheelock. The actual text of the Leges was edited by Twysden. Prior to this, two other scholars, William Lambarde and Spelman, had intended to produce printed editions of the Leges, but were unable to follow through on the project. A portion of the Leges had earlier appeared in Edward Coke's Institutes of the Laws of England in 1628. Another edition appeared in 1721, with Wilkins' publication of the Leges Anglo-Saxonicae, which built on the work of William Somner between 1645 and 1652. In 1776, David Hoüard reprinted Wilkins' text of the Leges in the Traites sur les coutumes anglo-normandes, and in 1789 another reproduction of Wilkins' text appeared in Paulus Canciani's Barbarorum Legs Antiquae.

What is considered the first scholarly discussion of the Leges appeared in 1827 by George Philips, who did not reproduce the entire text in his Englische Reichsund Rechtsgeschichte, but did provide a couple of extracts along with a discussion of the sources of the work and a description of the work. In 1840, the Record Commission published an edition of the text that had been edited by Richard Price and Benjamin Thorpe. The next major production of the Leges was Felix Liebermann who produced three volumes of Gesetze der Angelsachsen between 1903 and 1916, with the Leges being one of the legal treatises being reproduced in the Gesetze. A modern translation, with the original Latin text on pages facing the translation, was published in 1972 by the Clarendon Press and edited by L. J. Downer, and includes updated commentary and manuscript information.

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