19 June 2019, Wednesday, 7:12
We are in the same boat

Verbal Law: Pre-Statutes Life In GDL

The Third Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania turns 430 years this year.

The 4th Conference of the Center for Belarusian Studies was held in the Warsaw University on the eve. The scientific event was dedicated to the Third Statute of the GDL, as it turns 430 years exactly this year, Radio Racyja reports.

Ph.D. in history Uladzimir Kananovich was one of the speakers. The historian specializes in the so-called verbal law, and proves – before the Statutes, and even later there was a group of educated people in Belarus, who knew laws by heart and passed them through centuries:

–In old time, the law existed mostly in the verbal form. It existed in people’s memory. And like this, it was passed from generation to generation for centuries. Those were the people with excellent mnemonic skills, who could keep in mind a great scope of information. Mostly, those were clergymen, connected with a cult. In the beginning – socrerers, fortune-tellers. Then Christian priests, bishops.

This tradition of the verbal law existed in the whole Europe – from Spain to Hungary or Iceland. Quite often, the Medieval or even later law texts were written with a rhythm, to make it easier to memorize them. Besides, a certain rhythm has been noticed even in the GDL Statute.