The Costuma d’Agen (customary laws of the
Agenais, in south-west France) compiled in Occitan at various times
in the thirteenth century and preserved in the Livre
Juratoire, or swearing copy (Agen, Archives
départementales de Lot-et-Garonne, MS 42), is here
transcribed with an English translation on facing pages. An
introduction and an index are included. Appendices provide the text
of five chapters “missing” from this manuscript, along
with several pertinent charters from Agen and a fuller description
of the Livre juratoire by Professor M. Alison Stones,
University of Pittsburgh. The manuscript contains many colored
illustrations and capitals.
The Costume emphasizes the power of the local city
council, which often seems to override that of the local count. The
laws or customs written in the book deal with many topics including
jurisdiction, citizenship and military duties, crime, property,
civil and criminal procedure, the local wine and salt trades, and
local feudal law.
F. R. P. (Ron) Akehurst (B.A. Oxford, 1962, Ph.D.
Colorado, 1967, in French; J.D., Minnesota, 1986). A professor of
French at Minnesota since 1968. He has published translations of
two other medieval French customaries.