COTR's research into the form of the treatise
- The 'dynamic' edition: Key Concepts
- Understanding 'dynamic' text
- Using the dynamic edition
The Declaration of Arbroath
- Methodology for the new edition of the Declaration of Arbroath
- The manuscripts of the Declaration
- Translating the Declaration of Arbroath
A model of a dynamic edition of Regiam maiestatem
- Historical Introduction
- Description of the manuscripts
- Translating Regiam
- 'Dynamic' Symbols: An Aide-Memoire
- How to Cite
The project begun their work on Regiam facing three main problems/unknowns:
- (1) Doubts over the original status of Regiam, and how we should understand the work of the original compiler
- (2) Doubts over the original purpose of Regiam, beyond a generalised perception that it somehow supported the needs of Robert's new kingship
- (3) Doubts over how far any previous edition represented either any real manuscript tradition of Regiam, and whether concentrating on the earliest known versions of Regiam would yield a substantially different text to that edited by either Skene or Thomson.
Thanks to the work of John Reuben Davies and Alice Taylor, we now are concluding that:
- (1) Regiam was originally an unfinished piece of work, but its earliest known version shows that it was not divided into a finished and unfinished part, but certain sections of it (e.g. in book 1) were more finished and certain sections were less finished (e.g. book 3). However, common editorial techniques can be identified throughout (see Taylor 2021 and Davies with Taylor, 2021).
- (2) Had it been finished, Regiam may well have been a jurisdictional tractate on procedure in royal courts which also contained a political theory about the Scottish king's maiestas, a concept well known from late 13th- and 14th-century political thought, which denoted full jurisdictional autonomy of the ruler in his or her realm (see Taylor 2021). Regiam also contained more citations to Roman and canon law which had previously gone unnoticed or unacknowledged by any previous editor (see Davies 2019, and Davies forthcoming).
- (3) The earliest known version (Version 1) of Regiam was instantiated by two manuscripts (C, NLS MS 21246) and F (BL Additional MS 18111). Although it is clear that an MS of (roughly) the same date as C, which we have called CH contains an early version 2 text, the fact that both C and F preserve a four-book structure and preserve the fewest chapters demonstrates that they constitute the earliest known version of Regiam we know to have circulated. This is a different text to that presented either by Thomson or by Skene. As a result, a new edition of Regiam maiestatem based on the earliest manuscripts is a desideratum.
Alice Taylor's chapter outlining the form and function of the earliest known version of Regiam maiestatem will be published in J.G.H. Hudson, W. Eaves, S. White, I. Ivarsen (eds), Common Law, Civil Law and Colonial Law: Essays in Comparative Legal History (Cambridge, 2021).
You can see Alice presenting an early version of her paper on the form and function of Regiam maiestatem here (https://vimeo.com/407118589), and read John's blog post on the previously unidentified citations to Roman and canon law within the treatise here.