Currently a Research Fellow in Legal History in the ERC Advance Grant funded project ‘Civil Law, Common Law, Customary Law: Consonance, Divergence and Transformation in Western Europe from the late eleventh to the thirteenth centuries’ (CLCLCL), I completed my MA and PhD on lordship and rural communities in twelfth-and thirteenth-century Italy, respectively at the University of Verona (2010) and the University of Trento (2014), working for a semester at the Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris (2012).
From September 2013 to August 2016 I have been an Early Stage Researcher at Tel Aviv University in the framework of the Marie Curie Innovative Training Network “Power and Institutions in Mediaeval Islam and Christendom.” In this project I have focused on social approaches to legal developments in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Italy and France. More specifically, I deal with modern and medieval conceptualisations of ‘custom’ and ‘customary law’, the interplay of social configurations and specific patterns of law making, such as feudal law, and contextual trajectories from social practice or specific court cases to the legal texts.
The finds of these investigations lie at the core of my latest research at the University of Verona (2016-17), where I have started working on a monograph on peasant and vernacular notions of ‘law’ and ‘custom’ in Communal Italy. The focus is on how the spread of literacy and notarial writing within the rural communities may have shaped these notions and how these notions were interpreted and dealt with by learned lawyers.
As a CLCLCL Researcher, I will conduct further analysis on the relations between the learned law on the one hand, judicial and social practice on the other one, by comparing archival and court evidence from sample areas of northern Italy (Milan, Bologna, Verona, Modena) with the multifaceted production of learned lawyers – treatises, peculiar collections of selected texts, glosses, notes, and commentaries. The main aim is to provide solid ground for comparison with my colleagues’ lines of investigation and try to see from new angles some dominant paradigms on the divide between the regions ruled by the Civil law and the ones ruled by the Common law.