Lanfranc (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Lanfranc served as archbishop of Canterbury under William the Conquerer. He reformed the English church, established strong church-state relations, and introduced components of Roman and CANON LAW to England. Under William's reign, he laid the foundation for what succeeding theorists would build into England's secular common-law court system. Early U.S. law derived some elements from this system.
Lanfranc was born in about 1005 in Pavia, Italy. He studied law in Pavia and became a respected scholar, principally because of his studies in ROMAN LAW, which was a subject of growing interest in Italy at the time.
Lanfranc established a school at Avranches, Normandy, and taught for three years, until about 1042. After being attacked and almost killed by a highway robber, he went into seclusion at Saint Stephens Abbey at Bec, a newly established monastery. After three years of total seclusion, he returned to teaching, this time at the monastery. He taught there for eighteen years, earning high respect throughout Europe as an instructor of theology. The school became one of the most famous in Europe under his leadership. The future pope Alexander II was among his students.
When William the Conquerer decided to marry Matilda of Flanders, Lanfranc declared that the union would be a violation of canon law. Because of...
(The entire section is 685 words.)
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