Burns's "Diplomatarium" volumes represent the first systematic exploration of this massive deployment of paper in the West. They open up to readers the rich humanistic panorama of medieval life as seen from the traveling court of a conqueror king. The 500 charters collected in this book cover a kaleidoscope of topics, including public baths, castles, the renaissance of law, irrigation, mosques and monasteries, hospitals and banks, even exotic women. There are records on crossbow manufacture, riot and fire control, ship launchers, dogs of war, crime, slavery, prisons, and pardons.
This critical edition includes reconstructions of each charter in its original Latin or Romance language with a corresponding translation in English, making it invaluable for students and scholars alike.
Robert I. Burns, S. J. is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His many books include "Negotiating Cultures" and "Jews in the Notarial Culture".