”Der ehrbare Hanse-Städte see-recht”: diversity and unity in Hanseatic maritime law

Edda Frankot

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


On 23 May 1614, Hanseatic representatives meeting in Lübeck approved the text of a sea law, the last in a long line of maritime regulations and ordinances enacted by the Hanse. This chapter presents the written collections of sea law available in the Hanseatic towns and legal practice. This evidence is compared to findings from other parts of North(west)ern Europe and then suggested that there was no communality in the regulation of maritime trade throughout this region in the Middle Ages, despite the internationality of its subject matter. The Hanseatic experience in this matter followed wider European developments. In its 350-year history, the development of a Hanseatic sea law went, in theory, from diversity in the use of a myriad of local regulations and customary laws, to unity in the enactment of a common maritime law. In practice, the Hanseatic towns remained united in the diversity of their sea law.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Hanse in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
EditorsJustyna Wubs-Mrozewicz , Stuart Jenks
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789004241930
ISBN (Print)978-9004212527
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


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