Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

John of Ibelin (aka John of Jaffa)
Le Livre des Assises


John of Ibelin, a powerful magnate and accomplished lawyer in the Latin East, wrote the Livre des Assises in Old French sometime around 1264. The Livre describes the laws and procedures of the high court of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem and Cyprus as John remembers it. At about 160,000 words, the Livre is the largest of the vernacular legal writings from the Latin East and it quickly became popular in Cyprus, where local redactors expanded and edited the text well into the fourteenth century. In 1369 the text was formally adopted as the official law of the kingdom of Cyprus.
Representative MSS

Original version: 
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale ms Fr. 19025
Oxford Bodlian MS Seldon 3457 Paris Bibliothèque Nationale fr. 19026
Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Fr. App. 20

Official law version:
Vatican Ctiy, Biblioteca Apostolica, Vat. lat. 4789. 

John of Ibelin, Le Livre des Assises. Edited by Peter Edbury. Leiden: Brill, 2003.

Secondary Literature 
Peter Edbury, "The Livre des Assises by John of Jaffa the development and transmission of the text," in The Crusades and Their Sources: Essays Presented to Bernard Hamilton. Edited by John France and William G. Zajac. Aldershot: Ashgate (1998), 169-179. 

Peter W. Edbury, John of Ibelin and the Kingdom of Jerusalem (Boydell: Woodbridge, 1997) [A prequel’ to Edbury's edition.]

Peter Edbury and Jaroslav Folda, "Two Thirteenth-Century Manuscripts of Crusader Legal Texts from Saint-john d'Acre," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 57 (1994), 243-54.


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