No enquiry into the making of the modern European state can ignore the part played by law. This comprehensive scholarly volume examines in detail how states availed themselves of juridicial techniques in order to mould their institutions, to take control over their territory, and to exercisepower over their subjects. The contributors are leading scholars in the field, who explore the administration of justice and the promulgation of legislation across Europe over a period of several centuries, in order to uncover the role of the law in the birth and development of the European state. The Origins of the Modern State in Europe series arises from an important international research programme sponsored by the European Science foundation. the aim of the series, which comprises seven volumes, is to bring together specialists from different countries, who reinterpret from acomparative European perspective different aspects of the formation of the state over the long period from the beginning of the thirteenth to the end of the eighteenth century. One of the main achievments of the research programme has been to overcome the long-established historiographical tendencyto regard states mainly from the viewpoint of their twentieth-century borders.