Skip to content

Assizes of Antioch

The Assizes of Antioch (Assises d’Antioche) is a collection of laws compiled during the reign of Prince Bohemond IV, who ruled the principality of Antioch from 1201 until 1233. The Assises d’Antioche,which can be dated to the years before 1219, contains seventeen chapters of matters relating to the High Court, and twenty-one chapters relating to matters of the Cour des Bourgeois, which addressed the rights of non-noble inhabitants of the Latin East. The bulk of the work considers topics such as dowry and inheritance rights, testamentary practices, financial transactions, and the sale of property. Although the Assises d’Antioche was originally composed in French, the text was translated into Armenian by Sempad, a constable of the King of Cilician Armenia, sometime in the mid-thirteenth century. The Armenian translation of the French original is the only version surviving today, and was presumably made to serve the population of native Latin Christians in Cilician Armenia, whose numbers grew significantly during the thirteenth century after the Armenian Church aligned with Rome in 1198.

Representative MSS
Kurdian, H. Assizes of Antioch: The Armenian Translations and Manuscripts (S.I., 1960).

Alishan, L. M., ed. Assises d’Antioche. Venice: Imprimerie arménienne médaillée, 1876. [facing page text: Amernian/Modern French translation].

Secondary Literature
Nader, Marwan.Burgesses and Burgess law in the Latin Kingdoms of Jerusalem and Cyprus, 1099-1325. Burlington: Ashgate, 2006, 64-66.