The development of maritime law in medieval Spain: the case of Castile and the Siete Partidas

The development of maritime law in medieval Spain: the case of Castile and the Siete Partidas

Jennifer L. Green

On 23 November 1248, the Muslim defenders of Seville surrendered to the besieging army of Fernando III (r. 1217-1252) of Castile-Leon. The Castilians had found the conquest of the city particularly difficult. It had required a year of fighting to capture the fortified towns surrounding the city and cut off its supply route by land. Then, in the course of the 16-month siege that followed, Fernando found himself in need of a fleet of ships to sail up the Guadalquivir River and complete his blockade of the city. But Castile had no navy. Although it possessed a northern seacoast on the Bay of Biscay, centuries of looking southward to Muslim al-Andalus in hopes of reconquest had turned Castile’s face away from the sea. With the exception of its conquest of Almeria in 1147, completed with Genoese and Pisan naval help, this was the first time a fleet had been needed. Fernando managed to assemble 13 galleys and some smaller ships brought down from the northern ports; with this, and assistance from the Catalans and Genoese, he defeated the ships of Seville, Ceuta, and Tangier that had been keeping Sevillan supply lines open.(1)

The establishment of a Castilian navy in the second half of the thirteenth century was in large part a result of this campaign. In addition to their own fleet, the Castilians acquired Seville’s great naval arsenal. The conquerors did not let this opportunity pass; they used Seville as a southern port, and Fernando’s son Alfonso X (r. 1252-1284) built naval shipyards there.(2)

The case of Seville is instructive because it was largely as a result of the Reconquest that Castile became a naval power. Alfonso X built up the Castilian fleet hoping to carry out his father’s dream of conquering Morocco. After appointing an admiral in 1260 “because we greatly desire to carry forward the work of the crusade overseas for the service of God and the exaltation of Christianity,” Alfonso invaded the Moroccan coastal town of Sale but was repulsed.(3) This unsuccessful attempt was his only venture into the Maghreb, although Alfonso continued to hope for eventual conquests in that region. During the early 1260s, in order to improve his access to the straits of Gibraltar, Alfonso strengthened and developed the coastal settlements of Cadiz and Puerto de Santa Maria. Prior to the late thirteenth century, the straits had been controlled by the Muslims of Morocco and Granada. While individual Christian ships might slip through, there was no chance of moving large numbers of ships at will. This changed in 1293 when Alfonso’s son Sancho IV (r. 1284-1295), with the help of the Genoese, destroyed Moroccan sea power. With this victory, Castile gained easier access not only to North Africa but also to the Atlantic Ocean.(4)

Recent work by Olivia Remie Constable describes the decline of the east-west trade axis between Islamic Spain and Egypt that had dominated Mediterranean shipping since the tenth century, and the rise of a Christian-controlled north-south trade axis between northern and southern Europe in the thirteenth century. Southern Iberian ports that had traded primarily with the Islamic east became “way-stations for sea traffic between northern and southern Europe.”(5) Goods from the Near East were brought directly to Italy, southern France, and Catalonia; hence, southern Iberian ports ceased to play an important role as entry points for eastern goods into Europe. Instead, southern Iberia became a stopover for ships traveling between the Mediterranean ports of Sicily, Catalonia, and North Africa, and the Atlantic ports of England and Gascony. Previously, European north-south trade routes had run overland through France; now they went by sea through the straits of Gibraltar and around the Iberian Atlantic cost.(6)

Italian and Catalan merchants sold eastern goods and bought Spanish products such as olive oil and dried fruit on their way to Southampton or Bruges, or stopped

Jennifer L. Green is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Los in Seville on their way back. Merchants from Cantabria in northern Spain sailed down the Atlantic coast, picked up Mediterranean products such as spices or textiles in Seville, and then sailed back up to England or Flanders to unload their cargo. Traffic in southern Iberian ports was controlled largely by Italians, mainly the Genoese, while Castilian and Portuguese merchants controlled traffic in the Bay of Biscay. Castilians controlled trade between the peninsula and northern Europe. Castile’s most intensive trade was with Flanders, to which it exported wool, iron, and wine while importing textiles and luxury goods. Trade with England was also important, although rivalry in the wool export market tended to chill Anglo-Castilian relations, as did Castile’s friendship with France in times of Anglo-French conflict.(7)

Castilian law of the mid-thirteenth to mid-fourteenth centuries reflects the increasing importance of the sea in Castilian life during this time. While fishing had long been important along the Galician and Cantabrian coasts, the sea began to play a much larger role in Castilian history, and Castile to play a larger role in the history of the sea. In Galicia and Cantabria, many local fueros (municipal codes) of the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries reflected the increase in maritime activity; for example, the fueros of San Sebastian, Aviles, Pontevedra, and Muro established taxes on merchant cargo being loaded or unloaded in their ports, and other fueros established procedures for dividing the damages for losses from shipwrecks.(8)

Before the thirteenth century, the only written maritime law that applied to Castile as a whole was a Visigothic law ordering that disputes between seafaring traders should be resolved by special judges called telonarii, probably seafaring merchants themselves. The law, part of the seventh-century Liber ludiciorum that continued to be used throughout the Middle Ages in Spain, stipulated that traders should be judged according to their own sea laws. These sea laws were part of the customary law of the sea, generally known and adhered to by sailors throughout the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic as well when trade routes developed there. Such a code had been in existence at least since the time of the Roman Empire–possibly much earlier–and had changed little since then. It was sometimes written down, for example in the twelfth-century Laws of Oleron, commonly used by Atlantic traders, and in the Catalan Consolat de mar (Consulate of the Sea), a maritime law code first published in the fourteenth century but in use much earlier and widely followed throughout Mediterranean Europe.(9)

The first written code of maritime law produced by Castile appears in the Siete partidas, the Roman law code of Alfonso X. The first definitive redaction of the Partidas appeared no earlier than the 1270s. The Partidas emphasize the power of the crown, as reflected in the stipulation that all high maritime officials, such as admirals and navy ship captains, be appointed by the king. Alfonso had been trying to bring courts dealing with specific trades under his control since the first year of his reign, insisting in 1252 that in the Tierra de Santiago all judges of such courts be crown-appointed. Alfonso continued to allow maritime courts to judge cases in accordance with customary law, however. The 28 laws dealing with the sea in the Partidas provide only a rough outline of how naval and commercial shipping ought to operate. This may be because the Partidas were not intended to replace customary law but only to guide Alfonso’s newly restructured royal judiciary in deciding cases appealed from lower municipal courts. It is unlikely, however, that maritime cases, particularly commercial ones, often came before Alfonso’s judges; the Partidas specify that such cases should be decided by specialized local sea courts. The naval law section of the Partidas emphasizes the king’s right to control the navy, while the laws on maritime commerce are based primarily on the maritime law in Justinian’s Digest, “de Lege Rhodia de iactu”; in neither case do they provide enough guidance for deciding even simple disputes. They do, however, provide interesting information about thirteenth-century Castilian attitudes toward sea travel and about the people who sailed the seas.(10)

The naval law section is Partida II, Title 24, which consists of 10 laws of maritime warfare. Like many sections of the Partidas, Title 24 is more descriptive than injunctive. The first law mainly defines the subject. It emphasizes the exceptional danger involved in making war on the sea, whether with a large fleet of galleys, or with a small fleet of galleys, or with a small squadron of galleys or swift vessels. The Partidas describe sea travel as frightening and unpredictable compared to travel by land. A vessel could not be controlled as well as a horse or one’s own legs; wooden vessels were easily damaged and directed by the wind rather than a bridle, “so that none [who travel within them] have the power to protect themselves when they wish to; nor [can they] avoid falling from those conveyances in which they travel, nor keep out of the way, nor escape, in order to save themselves, although they may be in danger of death.”(11)

Those who engaged in marine warfare had, of course, to be skilled sailors. If they failed to act quickly and obey orders instantly, the result might be death for all aboard. For this reason, the Partidas note, the ancient Romans gave ship captains absolute authority over those on board and prescribed capital punishment for those who disobeyed orders while fighting. While not directly ordering capital punishment in such situations, the law here describes the precedent for such action in Roman law. Law 4 specifically mandates the death penalty for rebellion.(12)

Laws 2 through 6 describe the various officers and sailors–the admiral of the fleet, the “boatswain” (comitre) or captain of the vessel, the pilots or navigators (naucheros), and the sailors (marineros) who sail the ship and fight. Each fleet or squadron had an admiral who, like knights on land, came from distinguished lineage. Ideally, he also shared the attributes of a good knight: skill in war, valor, generosity with booty, and ability to keep the loyalty of his men. Before a man was created an admiral, he kept a night-long church vigil just as if he were about to be knighted. The following morning he was officially invested with authority as an admiral by the king, who presented him with a ring “as a sign of the honor, which [the king] does him” and a sword to represent the authority with which the king invested him.(13)

Each ship possessed a captain who had power to command and to judge on his own ship. Those judged, however, could appeal to the admiral and after that to the king if he were nearby. Captains were under the authority of the admiral, although he was prohibited from inflicting corporal punishment or confiscating immovable property without the king’s permission, since captains were invested with their office by the king or his representatives. Any sailor might apply to the king to become a captain; the king or his representative would form a committee of 12 knowledgeable men to determine the applicant’s suitability. Captains received the death penalty for mutiny, as did anyone in the fleet who refused to follow orders.

Ship’s pilots were required to be familiar with weather patterns, currents, the geography of islands and harbors, the location of fresh water, and “all else pertaining to things maritime.” They were expected to show intelligence, loyalty, and bravery, and to advise kings, admirals, and captains. Pilots had their own investiture ceremony; the new pilot was conducted to his ship and given a small sword and a rudder. A pilot could receive the death penalty not only for mutiny but also if his ship was lost or those on board injured through his fault or treachery.(14)

Sailors and marines were under the ship’s officers. Proeles and alieres were fighting sailors, the former stationed at the front of the ship ready to strike the first blow in a fight, and the latter stationed near them on the sides of the ship, ready to assist. Some sailors were primarily skilled seamen who handled the mast, hoisted and dropped anchor, and performed other associated duties, while others guarded and managed the ship’s provisions. Marines were crossbowmen and other armed men whose duties consisted purely of fighting. Disobedience was to be punished in proportion to the offense, with the death penalty possible for the worst offenses. The law stresses the importance of obedience among ships’ crews but is vague with regard to specific practice. The law does not list any specific offenses, for example, nor does it provide a scale of punishments.

Laws 7 through 9 describe the vessels themselves. The largest were called naves (ships). Of smaller size were the carraca (carrack), nao (vessel), galea (galley), leno (likely a felucca), pinaca (pinnace), and caravela (caravel). Vessels that could be propelled by oars as well as by the wind were called galeas if large, or galeotas (galliots), tardantes, or suetyas if small. Just as the laws concerning ship’s officers treated them as knights, Law 8 uses the rhetoric of land warfare to compare ships to horses, copying the descriptions of the ancient Romans. Oars are compared to legs and feet, sails to spurs, the ship’s helm to the horse’s bridle, and the anchor to hobbles. (15)

Law 9 describes the cargo of a naval vessel. The ideal vessel was well furnished with armor and weapons: coats of mail, pourpoints (padded doublets), cuirasses (body armor), shields, helmets, knives, daggers, spades, axes, clubs, and lances (some with iron hooks to attack enemies who tried to board the ship). The vessel would also be provided with chains, “wheeled crossbows two feet high,” stirrups, darts, stones, arrows, jars of lime to blind the enemy and jars of soap to make them slip, and liquid pitch for burning enemy ships.(16) Provisions included vizcocho, a light bread cooked twice to resist spoilage; salted meat; vegetables; cheese; and garlic and onions, which were thought to ward off sickness caused by bad air and water. Vinegar and as much water as possible were stored on board. The law discouraged cider and wine, saying the Romans forbade soldiers to drink alcohol in wartime; if used, alcoholic drinks were to be well watered down. Mismanagement of provisions, if it resulted in loss of the ship, was punishable by death for the ship’s commanders.(17)

Title 24 concludes by reemphasizing the dangers of war by sea. Those who fight on land face only the danger of the enemy, but marine warfare carries the risk of shipwreck and drowning as well. Soldiers on land may withdraw to a castle; on the sea it is harder to escape. The danger of starvation is greater at sea, and there is not sufficient space on a ship for all on board to sleep comfortably at the same time. Because of these dangers and discomforts, those who fight at sea must be especially honored, and must receive their wages plus a share of booty won.

The Partidas leave a great many questions unanswered. For example, the code does not specify how the spoils of war are to be divided, nor does it mention wage scales. It offers no guidance concerning the privateering expeditions medieval naval ships often conducted against their enemies. It also does not say who is to provide arms and equipment for those serving in the navy. Customary law, as specified in the Catalan Consolat de mar, for example, answered these questions in detail.

The other 18 laws all deal with commercial shipping. Partida III, Title 18, provides exemplars of various legal documents, including one for the charter of a ship. In it, a ship captain charters his ship to a merchant, promising to convey the merchant and his property, as enumerated in the document, between two specified points. The captain promises to equip and man the vessel fully, and may also promise to stop at certain ports during the voyage and to pick up certain other merchants or merchandise. The merchant promises to have his cargo loaded on the ship at a certain place and time, and to pay the captain a certain sum within eight days of the voyage’s end (in this example, 200 silver marks for a voyage from Seville to La Rochelle). Each party promises to abide by the terms of the contract under penalty of 100 silver marks for every violation, and they agree that each may institute legal proceedings against the other if the contract is breached.(18)

Partida V, Title 8, concerns wages and rents, and contains three laws pertaining to chartered ships. The first, Law 13, concerns damage of merchandise stemming from negligence on the part of the vessel’s owner. If the owner moves the vessel before the arrival of the ship captain, the owner must reimburse merchants for any damage that occurs. The same rule applies if the owner of the vessel acts contrary to the captain’s advice and the vessel is damaged, or if the owner substitutes another, inferior vessel for the one originally specified without the chartering merchants’ knowledge. The second, Law 26, addresses the responsibility of innkeepers for property left in their charge; specifically, they are obliged to reimburse the owners if the property is lost due to their negligence. This law also applies to owners of river–or seafaring vessels for property left in their charge by passengers. Third and last, Law 27 requires innkeepers and sailors to protect pilgrims and to supply them with lodging or passage.

Title 9 of Partida V is devoted exclusively to laws governing maritime commerce. The introduction explains that this title is concerned with chartered ships and the obligations of merchants, sailors, and sea captains. The first law describes the offices and general duties of the sailors and how the ship should be provisioned. The ship’s officers in the merchant marine were called naucheros (pilots) and maestros (captains). The law here does not describe their exact duties, although some idea may be formed from the descriptions in Partida II, Title 24, discussed above. Also on board were a crew of experienced sailors as well as an escriuano (clerk) who was to record all the merchandise loaded onto and taken off the ship. Provisions and supplies are described in a general way: every ship should have sails, masts, ropes, yards, anchors, oars, and “all the other things pertaining to ships.” The captain and crew were required to furnish the ship with biscuits and all other necessary foods and fresh water, and weapons to protect themselves from enemies.

The second law begins with a decree that agreements made between merchants and the captains or owners of ships must be honored, and then describes the authority of the captain and owner. Whereas naval law in the Partidas mentions only captain and admiral as wielders of authority on board ship, maritime law introduces another power, the ship’s owner. The owner’s authority was commensurate with, and in some instances greater than, that of the captain. Both had the power to arrest wrongdoers on the high seas and to turn them over to a judge when the ship arrived in port. They also had authority to administer corporal punishment to their servants and sailors, but could not administer capital punishment or condemn anyone to loss of limb or property.(19)

Laws 3 through 13 address the kinds of damages that may be sustained by shipowners and merchants, and how to apportion them. Inclement weather or pursuit by enemies sometimes forced cargo to be jettisoned in order to lighten the ship. In such cases, the Partidas order the damage to be shared by everyone in proportion to the value of the property each had on board. Everyone was required to share the cost of a mast if it had to be cut down in a storm to save the ship, but if the mast was lost accidentally (e.g., from being broken by the wind), the merchants owed nothing. If a ship was wrecked through no fault of the merchants on board, they were not required to reimburse the ship’s owner for its loss. However, if the ship was wrecked because the merchants directed the owner to run it aground in a storm, hoping to save their merchandise, they shared with the owner the resulting cost of damage or loss of the ship in proportion to how much each one saved from the wreck. If no property was saved, they owed the owner nothing.(20)

If cargo was jettisoned during a storm and later the ship was wrecked, the owners of any property salvaged from the wreck were required to share their recovered property with the owners of the jettisoned goods. If any of the jettisoned property was recovered, however, its owners were not required to assist those who lost their property later when the ship was wrecked since losses sustained in the shipwreck were accidental.(21) In a departure from custom law that granted possession of salvaged property to those who found it, or to those who owned the land where it washed up, the Partidas specify that salvaged property was to be returned to its owners, or their heirs; it did not become the property of those who found it unless it had belonged to enemies of the crown.(22)

The loss of merchandise placed in boats to lighten ships at the entrance of a port was to be shared by all merchants transporting property on the ship. If the ship were wrecked after property had been removed from the ship to lighten it, those whose property had been removed were not required to share their saved property with those whose property was lost with the ship. Loss in the shipwreck was accidental, whereas a loss incurred while lightening the ship was considered a voluntary sacrifice for the good of all.(23)

Ship captains were required to pay merchants for damages caused by the captain’s negligence, for example: 1) setting sail during the stormy season (11 November through 10 March) contrary to the wishes of the property owners; 2) sailing near a dangerous place without informing the merchants; and 3) committing the ship to the care of incompetent or inexperienced men (“que non fuessen sabidores”).(24) Any ship captain who deliberately wrecked his ship to obtain goods on board was subject to the death penalty, with recompense to be paid out of his personal property. Similarly, fishermen who burned fires at night near the shore in order to lure ships into dangerous places where they might be wrecked and their cargo stolen, were to be severely punished. The guilty parties were to pay four times the value of whatever they stole, provided legal action was brought against them within a year; after that they could still be forced to pay an amount equal to what they took. If they had stolen nothing, they were to pay the value of what was lost and damaged in the wreck. They might also be sentenced to corporal punishment.(25)

Damages sustained from corsairs were to be apportioned in the following manner: If the corsairs seized a vessel and then released it upon payment by the ship’s occupants, the occupants shared the loss in proportion to the value of their property. Those who had no cargo were still required to pay something because they were considered to have gained by escaping alive. If the corsairs only took property from the vessel, however, those who lost nothing were not required to help make up the losses of others.(26) If a party of merchants recovered property lost to corsairs by other merchants, the Partidas require it to be returned to its original owners if they had been transporting it to a Christian country, because such commerce was of benefit to their home country as well as to themselves. If, on the other hand, the original owners had been transporting the merchandise “to the land of the enemy, with whom we have no truce,” those who recovered it from the corsairs might keep it all. Christian captives were always to go free. Property that had been seized from vessels sailing for pleasure might also be kept by those who recovered it, because “those who go to sea in time of war, and not for reasons of commerce, or of profit, or to make war against the enemy . . . should suffer, because [their brush with corsairs] occurred because of their own fault.”(27)

Law 14, the final law of Title 9, specifies how legal disputes arising among merchants were to be settled; they were to be submitted to judges usually appointed “in ports and in other places on the shore of the sea” to decide maritime cases. The judges were to decide their cases as quickly as possible to avoid delays that might cause the parties involved to lose property or miss a voyage. In maritime cases the ship’s log was to be considered authoritative. Nowhere in the Partidas is it explained how these maritime courts functioned or how the judges were chosen.(28)

Title 9 covers most areas of customary law, but in less detail. Customary law differs from the Partidas in dividing damages for lost cargo. On this subject, customary law is much more complex, as demonstrated in, for example, the Consolat de mar. Law 14 reveals particularly well the generality of Title 9’s treatment of maritime law. Essentially, this law is a restatement of the Visigothic law of the Liber Iudiciorum and, like the Visigothic law, allows maritime cases to be tried in special courts. Unlike the Liber Iudiciorum, however, the Partidas omit the provision that the law of the maritime courts is to be the maritime customary law. It seems clear that the customary law of the sea was to prevail but that the Partidas were to be referred to as well. A 1251 royal privilege allowing Seville to establish its own maritime courts provides an example of what the courts mentioned in Partidas Law 14 may have been like. As in the Liber Iudiciorum, maritime cases were be judged in their own customary law courts; but unlike the Visigothic code, the 1251 privilege required judges to be appointed by the king. Martinez Gijon writes that in practice, the king must often have allowed the leading citizens of the city to choose maritime judges. It is known that certain guilds gained royal permission to choose their own; Fernando IV so authorized the fishermen of Seville in an edict of 2 March 1310.(29)

Scholarship on the Siete partidas has traditionally emphasized Alfonso’s desire to lay the foundation eventually to make Roman law the law of his land, or at least the law used by the royal judiciary to reconcile conflicting fueros. Most scholarship on maritime law in the Partidas has taken Roman law as its starting point and argued for or against its influence on the maritime sections, especially with regard to Partida V, Title 9. Arias Bonet has shown that the Digest was the main influence on the laws laid out in this title. Earlier, Jesus Evaristo Casariego argued that the Partidas reveal the influence of the twelfth-century French compilation of maritime customary law, the Laws of Oleron. Bonet, however, argues persuasively against this thesis.(30)

Yet, although the influence of Roman law on both the naval and commercial maritime regulations in the Partidas is clear (e.g., the frequent references to the “laws of the ancients” in Partida II, Title 24), the customary law influence is also strong, and might even be said to be stronger. This is true even if the Laws of Oleron had no direct influence. The influence of the customary law of the sea is evident not in what the Partidas say, but in what they do not say. The vagueness of many of the laws (e.g., the lack of details explaining exactly how ships were to be run, trade was to be carried out, or disputes were to be resolved) reveals the extent to which customary law was tacitly accepted by the Partidas in maritime matters. Up to the mid-thirteenth century, the royal court of Castile had little maritime legal experience and probably was not prepared to compile an extensive maritime law code similar to the codes of Catalonia or Oleron. Royal judges would have had to supplement Alfonso’s Partidas with a more detailed code, written or unwritten. Alfonso therefore implicitly continued the authority of custom law by the absence of Roman law regulations sufficient to govern all maritime operations.

The development of maritime law in the West was unusual in Western legal history in that it had always been international in nature and traditionally had been transmitted by custom; even Roman law claimed to come directly from the ancient (and possibly mythical) Rhodian sea law. Alfonso did not challenge this tradition; indeed, it would have been difficult for him to do so as other seafaring powers generally followed the customary law, and Castilian ships would inevitably trade with those powers, call at their ports, and perhaps settle disputes in their courts. Use of the same customary law in Castile made it easier for merchants from other lands to function in Castilian ports, and hence acceptance of international law benefited Castile’s international trade.(31)

(1) The kingdom of Castile-Leon will henceforth be referred to as Castile; the terms “Spain” and “Iberia” are used to indicate the peninsula as a whole. All translations are the author’s unless otherwise noted. Regarding the conquest of Seville, see Joseph H. O’Callaghan, A History of Medieval Spain (Ithaca, 1975), 352 53; Archibald R. Lewis and Timothy J. Runyan, European Naval and Maritime History, 3001500 (Bloomington, 1985), 120; and Julio Gonzalez, Reinado y diplomas de Fernando 111, vol. I (Cordoba, 1980), 9-11, 363-94. Florentino Castro Guisasola, ed., El cantar de la conquista de Almeria por Alfonso VII (Almeria, 1992),89.

(2) Lewis and Runyan, European Naval and Maritime History, 120; O’Callaghan, History of Medieval Spain, 457.

(3) O’Callaghan, History of Medieval Spain, 364.

(4) Joseph H. O’Callaghan, The Learned King: The Reign of Alfonso X of Castile (Philadelphia, 1993), 163-80; Robert S. Lopez, The Commercial Revolution of the Middle Ages, 950-1350 (Cambridge, 1976), 112.

(5) Olivia Remie Constable, Trade and Traders in Muslim Spain: The Commercial Realignment of the Iberian Peninsula 500-1500 (Cambridge, 1994), 240.

(6) Ibid., 240-45. (7) Ibid., 245, 249-50; Jaime Vicens Vives, An Economic History of Spain, trans. Frances M. Lopez-Morillas (Princeton, 1969), 263-75; and Wendy R. Childs, Anglo-Castilian Trade in the Later Middle Ages (Manchester, 1978), 14-27.

(8) Jose Martinez Gijon, “La jurisdiccion maritime en Castilla durante la Baja Edad Media,” Historia 8 (1969): 315-16.

(9) Martinez Gijon, “La jurisdiccion maritime” 309; Thomas J. Schoenbaum and A.N. Yiannopoulos, “Admiralty and Maritime Law: Cases and Materials (Charlottesville, 1984), 1-9. Laws of Oleron: an English translation may be found in Peters’ Admiralty, vol. 1 (Philadelphia, 1807), Appendix, ii-lxiii; a shorter, British version of the laws, in French and English, can be found in 1 Black Book of the Admiralty, in Rerum britannicarum medii aevi scriptores, vol. 55, ed. Travers Twiss (London, 1871), 88-173. A Castilian version, Fuero de Layron, is preserved in Biblioteca Nacional n. 716, fol. 91; a photocopy and transcription have been published in Jesus Evaristo Casariego, Historia del derecho y de las instituciones maritimas del mundo hipanico, Biblioteca Moderna de Ciencias Historicas, Seccion 2: Estudios Maritimos (Madrid, 1947), 261-75. Consolat de mar Antonio de Capmany, ed. and trans., Libro de Consulado del Mar (Barcelona, 1965) [reprint of 1791 edition]; and Stanley S. Jados, Consulate of the Sea and Related Documents (Tuscaloosa, 1975).

(10) Theodore Mommsen, ed. The Digest of Justinian (Philadelphia, 1985), 14.2.; Codigo de las Siete Partidas, Los Codigos Espanoles, Concordades y Anotados (Madrid: 1848), and Gregario Lopez, ed., Las Siete Partidas, 3 vols. (Salamanca: 1555) [facsimile Madrid: 1974]; Jerry R. Craddock, “The Legislative Works of Alfonso el Sabio,” in Emperor of Culture: Alfonso X the Learned of Castile and His Thirteenth-Century Renaissance, ed. Robert I. Burns, S.J. (Philadelphia, 1990), 190; O’Callaghan, Learned King, 37, 42-45; Antonio Lopez Ferreiro, Fueros municipales de Santiago y su sierra (Madrid, 1975) [1895], 375; Partida V, Title 9, Law 14 (regarding use of local sea courts); Juan Antonio Arias Bonet, “Derecho maritimo en las Partidas:,” Studi in onore di Edoardo Volterra, vol. 3 (Milan, 1971), 105-121; previously published in Revista de Derecho Mercantil, 41 (1966): 91-108.

(11) Partida II, Title 24, Law 1.

(12) Partida II, Title 24, Law 4.

(13) Partida II, Title 24, Law 2.

(14) Partida II, Title 24, Law 5.

(15) Partida II, Title 24, Laws 7-9.

(16) Samuel Parsons Scott, trans., Las Siete Partidas (Chicago, New York, Washington, 1931), 467.

(17) Partida II, Title 24, Law 9.

(18) Partida III, Title 18, Law 7.

(19) Partida V, Title 9, Law 2.

(20) Partida V, Title 9, Laws 3-5.

(21) Partida V, Title 9, Law 6.

(22) Partida V, Title 9, Law 7.

(23) Partida V, Title 9, Law 8.

(24) Partida V, Title 9, Law 9.

(25) Partida V, Title 9, Laws 10 and 11.

(26) Partida V, Title 9, Law 12.

(27) Partida V, Title 9, Law 13.

(28) The English translation contains an error here; it substitutes “courts” for “ports” (puertos).

(29) Martinez Gijon, “La jurisdiction maritima,” 310-11. The 1251 document has been published by Gonzalez, Reinado y diplomas de Fernando III, vol. 3, 408-412; the 1310 document is in Antonio Benavides, Memorias de D. Fernando IV de Castilla, vol. 2 (Madrid, 1860), 746-49. (30) Regarding the purpose of the Siete partidas, see Robert I. Burns, “Stupor Mundi: Alfonso X of Castile, the Learned,” in Burns, Emperor of Culture, 6; and O’Callaghan, Learned King, 31-37. Casariego, Historia, 123-41; Arias Bonet, Derecho maritimo.

(31) Regarding the Rhodian sea law, see Schoenbaum et al., Admiralty and Maritime Law, 3.

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