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Siete Partidas

Siete Partidas

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06/28/2014

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First page of a 1555 version of the Siete Partidas, as annotated byGregorio López.
e e ar as
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The
 Siete Partidas
 (
Spanish pronunciation:
[ˈsjete parˈtiðas], "Seven-PartCode") or simply
 Partidas
 was aCastilian statutory code first compiledduring the reign ofAlfonso X of Castile (1252–1284), with the intent of establishing a uniform body of normative rules for the kingdom. Thecodified and compiled text was originally called the
 Libro de las Leyes
(Old Spanish:
 Livro de las legies
) (Book of Laws). It was not until the14th century that it was given its present name, referring to the number of sections into which it is divided.The Partidas had great significance inLatin America as well, where it wasfollowed for centuries, up to the 19th century. Although the codeconcentrates on legislative issues, it has also been described as a"humanist encyclopedia," as it addressesphilosophical, moral andtheological topics as well, including theGreco-Roman,Judeo-ChristianandIslamic viewpoints.
[1]
Contents
1Background1.1Writing1.2Purpose1.3Enactment2Sources3Structure and content4Editions5Influence and importance6See also7Notes8References9Bibliography9.1Primary sources9.2Secondary sources10External links
Background
Writing
According to one of the oldest versions of the
 Partidas
,it was written between June 26, 1256 and August 28,1265 by a commission of the principal Castilian jurists of the day, under the personal direction of Alfonso X.However other time periods have been proposed: 1254to 1261; 1256 to 1263; and 1251 to 1265. In any event,the majority of historians believe that it was notcompleted until 1265.The traditional view, shared by historianFranciscoMartínez Marina andphilologistAntonio Solalinde, isthattheSietePartidascodiceswerewrittenba
Siete Partidas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siete_Partidas1 of 1114-01-2014 22:58
 
Alfonso X of Castile and the
 Siete Partidas
Alfonso X and his court
e raona vew, sare y soranrancscoMartínez Marina andphilologistAntonio Solalinde, isthat the Siete Partidas codices were written by acommission of jurists (or members of thechancellery),and the involvement of Alfonso X was likely limited tosetting out the goals of the text and the subjects to be addressed, as well as personally reviewing andamending the work of the commission. The commission is thought to have been made up of: Master Jacobo,a legal scholar; Juan Alfonso, acivil law notary fromLeón; a certain Master Roldán; and Fernando Martinezde Zamora (one of the first Castilian jurists).During the 18th century it was popularly believed that the Partidas was exclusively written by Alfonso X.This position was championed byJesuit historian and writer, Andrés Marcos Burriel (Padre Burriel). Nevertheless, a significant debate has arisen concerning the authorship of works associated with Alfonso X.Other texts of the same period (1254–1256) normally attributed to Alfonso X such as
el Setenario
,
 Fuero Real 
 and the
 Espéculo
 display pronounced similarities to each other and to the
 Partidas
. Despite scholarlyefforts to determine the scope, relationships, and purpose of each of the texts, no consensus has beenreached.Theattribution debate was principally sparked by Alfonso García-Gallo’s 1951–52 article,
 El "Libro de las Leyes" de Alfonso el Sabio. Del Espéculo a las Partidas
 (The "Book of Laws" of Alfonso the Wise. Fromthe Espéculo to the Partidas). The questions raised in the article were expanded in other, later works.García-Gallo proposed that the
 Partidas
 was not the work of Alfonso X and that it was not finished duringhis reign, but rather was written in the 14th century, long after the learned kingsdeath in 1284, and that itwas a reworking of the
 Espéculo
. He based his position on the fact that the first reliable references to the
 Partidas
 in other texts date from the beginning of the 14th century, and that the source materials for the
 Partidas
 were not known in theIberian peninsula until later than the date of composition claimed for thecodex.In any case, Alfonso X continues to be nominally credited as the author of the
Siete Partidas
, or at least of the original version, whatever his role in its creation may have been, since the custom with great works of this type was to attribute them to the monarch or other ruler who commissioned them,even though it wasknown that they had no hand in the preparation (as was the case with theCode of Hammurabi, andJustinian’s
Corpus Juris Civilis
).
Purpose
Despite its lengthy treatment of philosophical issues,some have maintained that the
 Partidas
 is intended as alegislative text rather than a work of legal theory—aview explicitly supported by the prologue, whichindicates that it was created only so that it could be usedto render legal judgments.Yet, García-Gallo has contended that, the prologuenotwithstanding, the
Siete Partidas
 was rarely put into practice until over a century after it was written.Resistance to the
 Partidas
, especially among theCastilian nobility, led theCortes (legislature) to enact theOrdinances of Zamora in 1274. These laws setqualifications for judges serving on the royal tribunal and restricted the application of the
 Partidas
 to the
leitos del rey
, that is, legal cases under the exclusive jurisdiction of the king. All other matters (
 pleitosoreros
) were governed by local laws or 
 fueros
. It was not until the “late enactment” byAlfonso XI in 1378that the
 Partidas
 became widely applied. Furthermore, opposition to the
 Partidas
 can explain thedifferences among the similar texts listed above.In any case, if the
 Partidas
 was written as a legal code, its ultimate objective has been a matter of dispute.
Siete Partidas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siete_Partidas2 of 1114-01-2014 22:58
 
 .In any case, if the
 Partidas
 was written as a legal code, its ultimate objective has been a matter of dispute.Alfonso X, in what was called the
 fecho del imperio
 ("affair of the empire"), had aggressively pursued thecrown of theHoly Roman Empire. His purpose for creating the Siete Partidas may have been to create auniversally valid legal text for the entire Empire. In support of this argument, Aquilino Iglesias claimed in1996 that the
 Partidas
 contained no references to Castilian territorial organization.Others, among them García-Gallo, argued by way of rebuttal that even though sometimes the role of theemperor appears higher than that of the monarchy, in other places the role of the monarchy appears higher than that of the emperor, and that furthermore the text was written in Spanish, rather than in Latin. (But anedition printed in Madrid in 1843, and available in facsimile from Google Books, appears to show that theSpanish is a translation of a Latin original)What is certain is that the
 Partidas
, including the prologue, makes no reference whatsoever to any intentionto acquire the imperial crown. Moreover, some authors, such as Juan Escudero (a disciple of García-Gallo),have found references in the text to Castile’s specific territorial organization, for example,
villas
.Therefore, it is generally believed that with the creation of the
 Partidas
, Alfonso X was trying to unify thekingdom’s legal system, not by using the ’local’ approach of his fatherFerdinand III (that is, by granting thesame
 fuero
 to various regions), but rather through a general code that applied to the entire country.In this regard it has been argued that Alfonso X was moved by nascent national prideand a desire toestablish Castilian as the common language of his kingdom when he commissioned and supported the work of the Castilian jurists and scholars in writing the "Siete Partidas".
Enactment
It is not known whether the
Siete Partidas
 was enacted by Alfonso X. Some authors believe so, and assertthat the overthrow of the learned king by his sonSancho IV would have suspended its applicability. In asimilar vein, Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos claimed in 1797 that the descendants of Sancho IV suppressedthe document of enactment because the provisions of the
 Partidas
 raised doubts about their rights to thecrown, since the
 Partidas
 established the right of representation in the succession to the throne.Without taking away from the preceding argument, the
 Partidas
 undoubtedly acquired legal force under Alfonso XI, upon being incorporated in the
orden de prelación
 by the first law of article 28 of the
Ordenamiento de Alcalá
 of 1348. This fact is considered by those authors who do not believe that the
 Partidas
 was enacted by Alfonso X as a "late enactment".
Sources
The
Siete Partidas
 can be characterised as a text ofcivil law orius commune (based on JustinianRomanlaw,canon law, andfeudal laws), alongside influences fromIslamic law.
[1]
Its sources were diverse. Among the most important were the
Corpus Iuris Civilis
 of Justinian; the works of the Romanglossators and commentators, for exampleFranciscus Accursius andAzzus; canon law texts liketheDecrees ofGregory IX and the work of SaintRaimundo de Peñafort; the Islamic legal treatise
Villiyet 
written inIslamic Spain;
[1]
 and some Castilian
 fueros
 and customs.Older sources include philosophical works byAristotle andSeneca; theBible and texts by theChurchFathers; works byIsidore of Seville andThomas Aquinas; the
 Libri Feudorum
 (compilation ofLombardicfeudal law); the
 Roles D´Olerons
 (a collection of writings oncommercial law); the
 Doctrinal de los juicios
(Trial Manual) and the
 Flores de Derecho
 (
 Flowers of law
) by Maestro Jacobo, who also worked on the
 Partidas
; and the
 Margarita de los pleytos
 by Fernando Martínez de Zamora.
Structure and content
Siete Partidas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siete_Partidas3 of 1114-01-2014 22:58

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