"An indispensable contribution the the medieval Iberian field, and a valuable addition to medieval studies generally. . . . On almost any page, one finds a wealth of engrossing data concerning daily life, practice, and belief in thirteenth-century Castile. The level of detail is compelling, and provides a wide-ranging view of medieval life and thought that goes far beyond mere prescriptive edicts."—Olivia Remie Constable, The Medieval ReviewLas Siete Partidas, or Seven Divisions, is the major law code of thirteenth-century Spain, compiled by Alfonso X the Learned of Castile. Seven centuries later, this compendium of legal and customary information remains the foundation of modern Spanish law. In addition, its influence is notable in the law of Spain's former colonies, including Texas, California, and Louisiana. The work's extraordinary scope offers unparalleled insight into the social, intellectual, and cultural history of medieval Spain. Built on the armature of a law code, it is in effect an encyclopedia of medieval life.
Long out of print, the English translation of Las Siete Partidas—first commissioned in 1931 by the American Bar Association—returns in a superior new edition. Editor and distinguished medieval historian Robert I. Burns, S.J., provides critical historical material in a new general Introduction and extensive introductions to each Partida. Jerry Craddock of the University of California, Berkeley, provides updated bibliographical notes, and Joseph O'Callaghan of Fordham University contributes a section on law in Alfonso's time.
Las Siete Partidas is presented in five volumes, each available separately:
The Medieval Church, Volume 1: The World of Clerics and Laymen (Partida I)
Medieval Government, Volume 2: The World of Kings and Warriors (Partida II)
The Medieval World of Law, Volume 3: Lawyers and Their Work (Partida III)
Family, Commerce, and the Sea, Volume 4: The Worlds of Women and Merchants (Partidas IV and V)
Underworlds, Volume 5: The Dead, the Criminal, and the Marginalized (Partidas VI and VII)
Robert I. Burns, S.J., is a senior professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of the Institute of Medieval Mediterranean Spain in Playa del Rey, California.