The Bibliotheca legum aims at providing an overview of the textual production of secular law texts in the Frankish empire. Hubert Mordek´s Bibliotheca capitularium regum Francorum manuscripta (Munich 1995), which has been established as an indespensable research tool, builds the example for our resource. Mordek collected all codices that contain capitularies (royal decrees) of the Frankish kings. His descriptions follow a fixed formula: Mordek gives a short codicological and paleographical classification, describes the content (focused on the capitularies and relevant texts) including rubrics, incipits, explicits, and states the relevant literature. He did not intend to provide a complete description of the manuscripts.
In the context of the project „Überlieferungsgeschichtliche Studien zum fränkischen Rechtsbuch der Karolingerzeit“ (2007-2010, funded by the German Research Community – DFG) it was planned to add the 23 manuscripts or fragments of the Lex Salica not mentioned in Mordek´s study. In summer 2012 the idea emerged to expand the catalogue by including all manuscripts that contain secular law texts copied in the Carolingian era and to create a Bibliotheca legum as a counterpart to Mordek´s Bibliotheca capitularium. Focus is on the legal knowledge prevalent in the Carolingian empire. Therefore not only the codifications that were valid in the Francia are included, but also all secular law texts that were copied in the Frankish realm. An overview of all texts included with short introductions and the relevant literature can he found here.
The working process is two-tiered: Firstly, an overview of all respective manuscripts containing secular law texts is to be created. Varying age determinations as well as localizations shall be recorded completely. The projects puts a focus on the spatio-temporal changes concerning the production of legal knowledge, not on manuscripts as textual witnesses like in the compilation of Gero Dolezalek.
The second step is to create comprehensive descriptions of certain manuscripts/groups of manuscripts.