Regiam and the reign of Robert I
The reason for associating the text in the reign of Robert I is slightly more complex. First, is the clear presence of material from the 1318 legislation embedded in book I of Glanvill in a way that (as argued by A.A.M. Duncan back in 1961) makes total sense, and cannot be dismissed as an interpolation. But this only shows that the tractate probably post-dates 1318, and indeed, even this is not entirely secure, as some of the material in Regiam seems to antedate the new regulations put down in 1318. So the issue is still unresolved, and one of the things we'll be trying to do in the project is make it a bit clearer.
The case for the general association the reign of Robert I was a more symbolic one, put forward by Alan Harding in 1984. Harding associating Regiam with Robert's attempts to create legitimacy for his own shaky hold on the kingship by creating 'ancient law'. lt is arguable that this did occur in Robert's reign (the interest in truly innovative law is also represented in the 1318 legislation itself): a legal compilation known as the 'assizes of King David' was also produced and survives in an MS which probably dates to Robert's reign. But the point is here, is that although I am personally convinced that RM was a product of Robert's reign, we still need to be open-minded about the issue and be clear on how shallow are the evidential grounds on which that perception rests, and indeed the very status of the work the tractate occupied during its reign. When did 'Regiam' start to be identified as the ancient law of the kingdom of Scots? Was it by design or did it develop slowly during the century after its compilation? These are the questions our project hopes if not to answer then at least to reopen clearly.