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Reassessing Legal Humanism and its ClaimsPetere Fontes?$
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Paul J. du Plessis and John W. Cairns

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408851

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408851.001.0001

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Humanist Books and Lawyers’ Libraries in Early Eighteenth-Century Scotland: Charles Areskine of Alva’s Library

Humanist Books and Lawyers’ Libraries in Early Eighteenth-Century Scotland: Charles Areskine of Alva’s Library

Chapter:
(p.348) 13 Humanist Books and Lawyers’ Libraries in Early Eighteenth-Century Scotland: Charles Areskine of Alva’s Library
Source:
Reassessing Legal Humanism and its Claims
Author(s):

Karen G Baston

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408851.003.0014

Charles Areskine of Alva, a Scottish advocate of the first half of the eighteenth century, combined his professional activities with an academic interest in the sources of law. The books he collected for his private library show his interest in legal humanism but they are not limited to this tradition of legal scholarship. Areskine read and used his books in legal practice: any of his books, including those by classical authors and early modern humanists, had the potential to provide sources for legal arguments in the Scottish Court of Session. Areskine’s books offer a challenge to traditional interpretations of legal history since they reveal the continuing use of legal texts beyond set parameters of presumed stages in legal development. However, Scottish lawyers collected not just the books they needed to create legal arguments but also the texts they needed to engage with the sociable culture of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Keywords:   Charles Areskine of Alva (1680-1763), Bibliotheca juris civilis Romani, book collecting, book trade, historiography, humanism, legal practice, legal textbooks, Scottish education, Scottish Enlightenment

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