[PAST EVENT] After Runnymede: Revising, Reissuing, and Reinterpreting Magna Carta in the Middle Ages

March 18, 2016
10am - 5pm
Law School, Room 120
613 S Henry St
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Magna Carta was issued in 1215. Within three months of its issuance, Magna Carta was dead letter. King John had repudiated it with the pope's blessing and was at war with his barons. The charter of liberties issued at Runnymede in 1215 only became significant to the development of individual liberties in the Anglo-American common law because it was reissued or confirmed no less than six times between 1215 and 1300 (1216, 1217, 1225, 1265, 1297, and 1300). Scholars have devoted book-length studies to the failed peace treaty of 1215 and on the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century revivals of the charter, but have largely ignored the reissues and revisions of the thirteenth century, the period when the charter took the shape it would have when in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The reissues are what transformed the charter of Runnymede into the document we know as Magna Carta, a foundational text of our political and constitutional tradition. The text changed physically between 1215 and 1300; during the first three reissues the text underwent major revisions and a second charter, called the Charter of the Forest, was added to it. This symposium will bring together some of the top scholars of medieval law from the U.K. and North America. Papers will examine topics such as the political processes involved in reissuing the charter, reactions to the charter in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the contemporary importance of the Forest Charter.

Ann Marie Cortez [[e|amcortez]]