Assizes of Jerusalem

  • Medieval Era
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The Assizes of Jerusalem were a set of laws – which outlined the legal procedures (based on European customs and privileges) – for Feudal Governments. They were adopted by The Kingdom of Jerusalem and other Crusader States to The East. The foundation for The Code was laid down during the 12th Century by the first King of Jerusalem -Godfrey De Bouillon. Known as “The Letters of The Sepulchre”, they laid out the details of the duties of Royal Office, trade regulations, the granting of fiefs and how law was to proceed. The documents were to be kept in The Tomb of The Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem. The original “Letters”, disappeared with Saladin's invasion of Jerusalem in 1187. Another copy (written in French), was found in Cyprus in the 13th Century. The work emphasized the jurisdiction of Feudal Kings and Nobles with The Common Courts (which were added in the French edition). It gave clearly defined laws that were understood in the Crusader “mind” of The Middle East. Consisting of 2 parts, the first defined the responsibilities and authority of Royal and Nobility in Jerusalem. The second part dealt with trade and laws that commoners (or townspeople) were expected to follow. As a result of the “French Re-write”, Cyprus would become the “Latin Law” center of Christianity. The Assizes would continue as the basis law for 300 years.