Sachsenspiegel


Sachsenspiegel

The "Sachsenspiegel" (lit. "Saxon mirror"; Low German: "Sassenspegel", Middle Low German: "Sassen Speyghel") is the most important law book and legal code of the German Middle Ages. Written ca. 1220 as a record of existing law, it was used in parts of Germany until as late as 1900, and is important not only for its lasting effect on German law, but also as an early example of written GermanFact|It wasn't _high_ German|2008|08|30|date=August 2008 prose, being the first large legal document to be written in German, instead of Latin. A Latin edition is known to have existed, but only fragmented chapters remain.

History

The "Sachsenspiegel" was one of the first prose works in Low German (Middle Saxon) language. The original title is "Sassen Speyghel", "Sachsenspiegel" being a later German translation. It is believed to have been compiled and translated from Latin by the Saxon administrator Eike von Repgow at the behest of his liege lord Graf Hoyer von Falkenstein in the years 1220 to 1235. [Some sources give the period during which the "Sachsenspiegel" was written as 1220 to 1230, but 1220 to 1235 is given by others, such as sources at the Library of Congress ( [http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/world/rule.html] ), the European Court of Human Rights ( [http://www.echr.coe.int/NR/rdonlyres/227A68E9-89EA-46DF-A10C-1E81422C3E6E/0/2006OpeningofthejudicialyearWildhaberTugcuEnglish.pdf#search=%22Sachsenspiegel%201220%201235%22] ) and Tufts University ( [http://dca.tufts.edu/features/law/books/index.html] )] Where the original was compiled is unclear. It was thought to have been written at Burg Falkenstein, but Peter Landau, an expert in medieval canon law recently suggested that it may have been written at the monastery of Altzelle (now Altzella). [The suggestion that the "Sachsenspiegel" was written at Altzelle was made in a paper given by Professor Landau at the "Deutscher Rechtshistorikertag" 2004 and later published in an article (Landau, Peter: "Die Entstehungsgeschichte des Sachsenspiegels: Eike von Repgow, Altzelle und die anglo-normannische Kanonistik"; "Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters " 2005, Vol 61, No. 1, pp 73-101), cited at the German Wikipedia article on "Kloster Altzella" and [http://www.rechtsbuchforschung.de http://www.rechtsbuchforschung.de] .]

The "Sachsenspiegel" served as a model for law books in German (Middle High German) like the "Augsburger Sachsenspiegel", the "Deutschenspiegel", and the "Schwabenspiegel". Its influence extended into Eastern Europe, the Netherlands, and the Baltic States.

In Prussia, the "Sachsenspiegel" was used until the introduction of the "Allgemeines Landrecht für die preußischen Staaten" in 1794. In Saxony it was used until the introduction of the Saxon Civil Code in 1865. In Anhalt and Thuringia the "Sachsenspiegel" was not replaced until the introduction of the German civil code, the "Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch" in 1900. Its precedents continued to be cited as recently as 1932 by the "Reichsgericht" (Supreme Court of the Reich) (RGZ 137, 373).

The influence of the "Sachsenspiegel", or at least parallels with it, can still be found in modern German law, for instance in inheritance law and the law governing disputes between neighbors:

Branches of Law

The "Sachsenspiegel" contains two branches of law: common law and the feudal law.

Common Law

The common law ("Landrecht" in German) is the law of free people including farmers (known as "legal persons"). It contains important regulations concerning property rights, inheritances, matrimonies, the distribution of goods and the regulation of various legal disputes (e.g. between neighbors).It also regulates the criminal law and the constitution of the courts. In terms of modern legal systems it can be thought of as including criminal and civil law.

Feudal Law

The feudal law ("Lehnrecht" in German) determines the relationship between the different estates, for example the election of emperors and kings, feudal rights, etc. Though it has no modern equivalent, it can be compared to what one would call today constitutional law.

Extant copies

"Four (of the original seven) illuminated manuscripts copies are still extant. They are named after their present locations: Heidelberg, Oldenburg, Dresden, and Wolfenbüttel, and date from about 1300 to 1370.

Proverbs

Some German proverbs date from the Sachsenspiegel:

*"Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst" (First come, first served, literally: "Who comes first, grinds first"), which is a rule for the order for grinding corn by a miller.
*"Wo der Esel sich wälzt, da muss er Haare lassen.", lit: "Where the donkey rolls, there he sheds." This is a rule for the jurisdiction of courts.

See also

*Germanic tribal laws

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sachsenspiegel — (Sächsisches Land u. Lehnrecht), die älteste u. wichtigste Aufzeichnung des in Deutschland, bes. in Sachsen, noch vor jedem Bekanntwerden des Römischen Rechtes geltenden Gewohnheitsrechtes. Über die Entstehung des S s gibt eine in vielen… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Sachsenspiegel — (»Spiegel der Sachsen«), das älteste der deutschen Rechtsbücher des Mittelalters (s. Deutsches Recht), eine private Aufzeichnung, entstanden zwischen 1198 und 1235. Der S. enthält in zwei Teilen eine Darstellung des sächsischen Land und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sachsenspiegel — Sachsenspiegel, deutsch mittelalterliches Rechtsbuch, wahrscheinlich von einem Schöffen aus dem Anhaltischen, Eike (Eyke) von Repgow (Repkow, Rebkow), vor 1235 verfaßt, fand im 13. Jahrh. in ganz Deutschland und darüber hinaus Verbreitung,… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Sachsenspiegel — Sachsenspiegel, das älteste deutsche Rechtsbuch über Land u. Lehenrecht, laut Vorrede verfaßt von Eike von Repkow, der in Urkunden als Landgerichtsschöffe vorkommt u. im ersten Drittel des 13. Jahrh. lebte. Er schöpfte aus seinen Erfahrungen,… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Sachsenspiegel — Die Wahl des Königs. Oben: die drei geistlichen Fürsten bei der Wahl, sie zeigen auf den König. Mitte: der Pfalzgraf bei Rhein überreicht als Truchsess eine goldene Schüssel, dahinter der Herzog von Sachsen mit dem Marschallsstab und der Markgraf …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sachsenspiegel — Sạch|sen|spie|gel 〈[ ks ] m. 5; unz.〉 berühmtes Rechtsbuch des MA, um 1220 von dem sächs. Ritter Eike von Repkow verfasst * * * I Sạchsenspiegel,   das bedeutendste, gemeinsam mit dem Mühlhäuser Reichsrechtsbuch älteste Rechtsbuch des deutschen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Sachsenspiegel — *1. Den Sassenspêgel wîsen. (Pommern.) Den Hintern weisen, den Rücken kehren. *2. Ik warr dî den Sassenspêgel noaschloân (auch: ûtlegen, rewendêren). (Pommern.) Ich werde dir den Sachsenspiegel nachschlagen (auslegen, revidiren). »Von denen, die… …   Deutsches Sprichwörter-Lexikon

  • Sachsenspiegel — ▪ Saxon law German“Saxon Mirror”       the most important of the medieval compilations of Saxon customary law. Collected in the early 13th century by Eike von Repgow (also spelled Repkow, Repchow, or Repgau), a knight and a judge, it was written… …   Universalium

  • Sachsenspiegel — ›Ik warr dî den Sassenspêgel noaschloân (ûtlegen, revendêren)‹, ich werde dir den Sachsenspiegel nachschlagen, auch vollschlagen, wobei ›Sassenspêgel‹ euphemistisch für ›Hintern‹ steht, wie auch in den weiteren derben niederdeutschen Redensarten …   Das Wörterbuch der Idiome

  • Sachsenspiegel — Sạch|sen|spie|gel, der; s (eine Rechtssammlung des deutschen Mittelalters) …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung


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