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Regular version of the site

Article

К проблеме символизма в средневековом праве

Вопросы правоведения. 2014. № 2(24). С. 335-349.

The article is devoted to the problem of symbolism of the medieval law. The problem of the symbolistical in law is caused by the necessity of comprehension of its nature, aims and functions. It is supposed that the main idea of such kind of research is commonality of law, morals and religion in medieval society. A special type of medieval symbolism was the number symbology. This type of symbols is the main characteristic feature of the native Welsh law – the law of Hywel Dda.

 Welsh legal tradition ascribes writing of this law to Hywel Dda, a Welsh king of the 10th century, although the content of surviving manuscripts rather corresponds to the 12-13th centuries. The Law of Hywel Dda has the original structure and peculiar logic of the legal material statement which is common for the biggest part of surviving manuscripts. The Law of Hywel Dda consists of three books: 1) The Laws of Court, 2) The Laws of Country, 3) The Jutices’ Test Book.

Constantly recurring combinations of numbers three, seven, nine and twelve is the peculiarity which distinguishes the Law of Hywel Dda from the other medieval laws. Such numbers as three and seven are considered to be numbers of fullness and perfection, they underscore completeness and irrefutability of the legal norms. Numbers nine and twelve are traditionally associated with court. Using these magic numbers could be connected with the Cistercian Order influence, or alternatively, could have even more ancient roots.  One of the most remarkable features of the Law of Hywel Dda is the «legal triads» connected with ancient Welsh literary heritage.