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Savigny Verlagsgesellschaft

Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Germanistische Abteilung

Ed. by Oestmann, Peter / Rückert, Joachim / Haferkamp, Hans-Peter

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Volume 132, Issue 1


Dass jemand des anderen solle sein: Unfreiheit im Sachsenspiegel

Steffen Seybold
Published Online: 2015-07-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.7767/zrgga-2015-0116

That one should be someone else’s property. Bondage in the Sachsenspiegel. It is often assumed that the Sachsenspiegel (Saxon Mirror), a private medieval compilation of Saxon law, contradicted bondage fundamentally with its revolutionary demand for freedom. This article challenges the established view by explaining that the Sachsenspiegel’s author, Eike von Repgow, merely argued against the usurpation of another person’s freedom while accepting bondage by contract. This contractual approach at least implied a mitigation of bondage. Eike tried to refute common justifications of bondage derived from biblical narratives. Because he took these narratives as true stories, he brought forward arguments of historical analysis instead of dogmatic considerations. Nowadays, bondage within the Sachsenspiegel is often equated with serfdom, while Eike described the status of a bondsman rather like that of a slave.

Keywords: Saxon Mirror; Eike of Repgow; bondage by contract; serfdom; usurpation

About the article

Published Online: 2015-07-06

Published in Print: 2015-08-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Germanistische Abteilung, Volume 132, Issue 1, Pages 479–494, ISSN (Online) 2304-4861, ISSN (Print) 0323-4045, DOI: https://doi.org/10.7767/zrgga-2015-0116.

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© 2015 by Böhlau Verlag GmbH & Co.KG.

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