Spaces of the law in premodern Europe

Katie Barclay, Amy Milka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article introduces a special issue on 'spaces of the law' in premodern history, with a view to considering areas of engagement and dialogue between law, culture and society. Approaching 'space' as a product of interactions between material, social, cultural and, more recently, emotional elements, it considers broadly the places, environments and discourses inhabited by the law. This issue of the journal seeks to discuss legal arenas (courtrooms, prisons, law schools), but also to situate the law in extra-legal 'spaces', including the media, the public and social spaces, such as the family or the city. How was the law understood and practised in these spaces; how did it exert pressure on them, and vice versa? How were these spaces (material, imagined or symbolic) involved in constructing ideas about the law? This introduction highlights how examining the construction of these spaces can be a way of explaining the law's power, but also its openness to dialogue, interpretation and change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)vii-xvii
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • architecture
  • early modern
  • law
  • literature
  • space
  • urban


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