aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

It's the law

I've been reading a book called The Lombard Laws. The Lombards were one of the last Germanic nations to take over a major piece of the Western Roman Empire -- in their case, Italy. The hassles of ruling over a Germanic people and the Romans in which they found themselves, moved several of their kings to issue law codes. The Lombard Laws is a translation into English of all these laws, with historical commentary.

One of the later laws of King Liutprand (issued AD 733) is titled, "Concerning the woman, bathing in a river, whose clothes are stolen." This law was written following an actual instance of the behavior described. How often it happened afterwards is anybody's guess, but it is certainly less silly than some of the laws passed in our day. So far as I know, no Lombard king or duke ever promulgated a law establishing Lombard (or Roman) History Month or a Ducal Bird. And while I'm sure there were some big spenders back in the eighth Century, none of the kings could use their fisc to raise the kingdom's debt ceiling and magic up more money without some prospect of repayment.

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