Hayduk, Hanna Sofia

Rechtsidee und Bild

Zur Funktion und Ikonografie der Bilder in Rechtsbüchern vom 9. bis zum 16. Jahrhundert

17.0 x 24.0 cm, 372 p., 33 illustrations b/w, 82 illustrations color, auf 112 Tafeln, hardback
68,00 €

ISBN: 9783895007187
Table of Contents

Short Description

This volume offers the first comprehensive examination of illustrations in German legal manuscripts dating from the earliest such works (9th century) to printed books of the 16th century. A text-image analysis has systematically demonstrated the function and meaning of exemplary illustrations in legal works from different perspectives, illustrating the tension between the concrete regulative contents of legal texts, mediaeval concepts of law, and the iconography of the images themselves. Through the analysis of the images, it has been possible to detect connections between law, legal rituals, politics, authority and religion. The volume will be above all of interest for historians of art and law.


Why, in a legal codex containing laws of the City of Cracow that was written for the city council at the turn of the 16th century, does one find a cycle of miniatures depicting craftsmen? Why do some of the scenes portray detailed images of the countryside around a city? What significance do jesters have in these images? Such questions have formed a starting point for examining images in legal texts, an examination that has compared the concrete contents in the legal texts, mediaeval concepts of law, and the iconography of the images themselves. The analysis has focussed on German legal manuscripts and printed books written from the 9th through the middle of the 16th century that today are found scattered in libraries and archives primarily in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.
Specially chosen legal books have undergone text-image analyses that, in each case, have focussed on the contrast between the images and the text. Despite the heterogeneity of mediaeval legal texts as a result of their historical genesis and the wide range of subject matter found in their illustrations, this methodology has proven fruitful, as the author has been able to discover common elements in the texts and their illustrations without losing sight of the uniqueness of the individual works. Underlying concepts that can be seen in the illustrations in legal works include, among other things, the notion of the divine source of law and its status in religious dogma, law as an instrument for establishing and safeguarding social order, and law as a means for legitimizing authority and maintaining peace and justice.
This volume provides a history of illustrations in legal works of the mediaeval and early modern period, and through a detailed analysis of selected images has also provided these with a new significance. Included are a number of famous manuscripts, such as the Behem Codex of Kraków, the illustrated manuscripts of the Sachsenspiegel, or the book of law of the City of Herford. Also less well-known and as yet unpublished works have been included, such as the illustrations from the Augsburger Eidbuch, or the Wolfenbüttel manuscript of the book of law by Johannes Purgoldt. By analyzing the images, it has been possible to find connections between laws, legal rituals, politics, authority and religion. The volume will be of interest, above all, for historians of art and law.

Biographical Note

Hanna Sofia Hayduk

Studium der Kunstgeschichte, Klassischen Archäologie und Philosophie in Tübingen und Pisa. 2007 Promotion in Kunstgeschichte an der Universität Tübingen. Seit 2008 wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin und Projektkoordinatorin im DFG-Projekt „Manuskriptkulturen in Asien und Afrika“ an der Universität Hamburg. Lehrbeauftragte am Kunstgeschichtlichen Seminar der Universität Hamburg.
Forschungsschwerpunkt: mittelalterliche Buchkultur


10th century, c 900 to c 999 (36) || 9th century, c 800 to c 899 (38) || Book design (92) || Buchmalerei (39) || Fine arts: treatments & subjects (401) || Handschrift (55) || Historical states & empires: Europe (18) || Historical states, empires & regions (228) || History of art (239) || Holy Roman Empire (12) || Ikonographie (30) || Illuminierte Handschriften || Illustration (52) || Illustration & commercial art (49) || Jurisprudence & general issues (9) || Kunst (43) || Legal history (6) || Motiv || Political science & theory (22) || Politics & government (68) || Recht (7) || c 1000 CE to c 1500 (376) || c 500 CE to c 1000 CE (181)