25 Nov 16

There are more than two hundred surviving manuscripts of Frankish capitularies—royal laws divided into chapters. Though they were produced by kings and courts, they were mostly copied by local authorities who decided to use them for their own purposes. Jennifer Davis’s lecture, the title of which is eponymous with her most recent book, Per capitularios nostros: Law and its Uses in the Frankish Kingdoms, examines how these laws were used in different ways over time, revealing changes in Frankish politics, society, and culture. Her focus on manuscript evidence—many of them located in Berlin—allows her to look at both what kings intended and how Frankish law was used.