Regulation of legal relations in The Kingdom Of Jerusalem in the Middle Ages

  • D.Ye. Zabzaliuk
Keywords: Kingdom of Jerusalem, legal relations, legal custom, legal code, legal act, legal system, the Middle Ages, the Crusades, Assisi, canons.


This article is devoted to the problems of regulation of legal relations in the Kingdom of the Crusaders in Jerusalem in the period 1099 – 1187 years. The peculiarities of legal relations in the largest and most politically, economically and socially stable crusader state, in which the state system was formed as a result of the synthesis of Western European, Byzantine and Muslim state and legal traditions, establishing feudal orders, largely similar to those which existed in their homeland.
The activity of the royal curia, which consisted of large feudal lords and which was both a feudal court and a military-political council, is analyzed. It is stated that all political, socio-economic and legal provisions were recorded in the «Assisi of Jerusalem» - the court code, which defined and regulated the feudal customs of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The article describes in detail the rights and responsibilities of feudal lords, their vassals and other segments of the population, as well as emphasizes the regulation of feudal relations in the territories conquered by the Crusaders because of the First Crusade. It was in Assisi that the fundamental and basic provisions were enshrined, on which the system of European continental law was further formed and developed.
The article points out that the «Jerusalem Assisi» was a kind of code of customary law, which operated in the Crusader states: the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Kingdom of Cyprus, Tripoli, the Principality of Antioch, the County of Edessa and others. It is stated that, despite the fact that the «Jerusalem Assisi» does not cover all areas of social relations governed by law, they found their legal embodiment all those aspects that were most relevant to the feudal society of that time, which allows us to state the existence in Latin East fairly developed legal system.