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  The Sachsenspiegel or Mirror of the Saxons (1220-35) is a collection of customary laws compiled by Eike von Repgow (1180-1235). Encouraged by his overlord, Hoyer von Falkenstein , from Saxon high nobility, he produced a German version of his own (lost) Latin original. Their purpose was to textualize, and thus to stabilize what up until the 13th century had been a long oral tradition of regional jurisprudence. The Sachsenspiegel is divided into two parts, one concerned with laws regarding the management of fiefs, the Lehnrecht , and the other with more general laws, the Landrecht , or regional law.

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The public's fascination with the human drama of the courtroom did not begin with Perry Mason or Court TV. Cases involving the relationships between men and women, within or outside the bonds of marriage, have long engaged the popular imagination. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, published accounts of sensational trials provided the public with both entertainment and cautionary tales. Studies in Scarlet presents the images of over 420 separately published trial narratives from the Harvard Law School Library's extensive trial collections.

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