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Friday, November 15, 2019

Riesenfeld Center Talk: Professor Jørn Sunde, Nov. 20 at 4 p.m.

Join us in the Riesenfeld Rare Books Center for a talk with Professor Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde of the University of Bergen, Norway. 

Professor Sunde will discuss the impact of printing on early modern Danish-Norwegian legal culture, with reference to several notable items in the Center's collections. Please see the details and abstract below for more:  

"Old Methods and New Technology: Printing and Early Modern Danish-Norwegian Legal Culture"

Wednesday, November 20, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Mondale Hall, Riesenfeld Rare Books Center, N30 (on the subplaza level)

Abstract: the technology of printing changed Danish-Norwegian law fundamentally from the late 16th to the middle of the 18th century. When printing was introduced, the Norwegian Code of 1274 existed in more than 500 copies with more than 50,000 variations. Legal certainty would hence operate within a very wide framework. With the printing of the Code, the same black letter law was to be applied everywhere in the vast realm. Legal literature and decisions also circulated in manuscript before printing. With printing lawyers everywhere gained access to the same tools for interpretation. However, the mentality of lawyers did not change equally fast. Many preferred manuscript to print for several decades, and printing did not extinguish a mentality and a legal culture among Danish-Norwegian lawyers that was based on handwritten documents.

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