BLOKHIN P.A. Two “Identical” Freiburg Charters of 1275. Short Draft


Pavel A. Blokhin

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of Foreign History & Regional Studies, Astrakhan State University,

Tatishcheva St, 20a, 414056 Astrakhan, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. In 1275, two drafts of town law of Freiburg im Breisgau were created. This article presents an analysis of one of these texts, namely the short draft. Methods and materials. The main research method is comparative historical analysis. The contents of two charters are compared, namely the 1218 Rodel draft and the short draft of 1275.

Analysis. There are 6 thematic clusters uniting the laws by branches of law: 1) privileges of citizens and rights of the Town Lord; 2) criminal procedure law; 3) civil law; 4) town administration; 5) trade law; 6) various laws. The first part of the laws from the short draft is a translation of the Rodelian laws, the second one represents reformulated Rodelian norms, while the last one contains new laws in the legislation of Freiburg.

Results. Though the document did not become an official town charter, it manifested the changes in the town law of the 13th century, compared to the previous 1218 Town Charter. In addition, the laws in the draft reflected the political struggle for power between the Town Lord of Freiburg, the City Council of 24 and the town community. The Town Lord regained his previously lost rights, in particular the legislative initiative. However, at the same time, the short draft significantly limited Lord’s arbitrariness towards the property of citizens as well as Freiburg citizens themselves. According to the short draft, the City Council of 24 strengthened and expanded its power in the town, becoming a full-fledged legislative and executive body of the town administration. The town community, on the other hand, was losing its privileges and rights, for example, it lost the opportunity to elect some of the civil servants and members of the Council of 24.

Key words: Freiburg im Breisgau, medieval town law, short draft of 1275, Rodel, town community.

Citation. Blokhin P.A. Two “Identical” Freiburg Charters of 1275. Short Draft. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 56-67. (in Russian). DOI:

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Two “Identical” Freiburg Charters of 1275. Short Draft by Blokhin P.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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