Henry James Sumner Maine Quotes

The inquiries of the jurist are in truth prosecuted much as inquiry in physic and physiology was prosecuted before observation had taken the place of assumption.






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Henry James Sumner Maine
Henry James Sumner Maine
  • Born: August 15, 1822
  • Died: February 3, 1888
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Historian

Sir Henry James Sumner Maine, KCSI, was a British Whig comparative jurist and historian. He is famous for the thesis outlined in his book Ancient Law that law and society developed "from status to contract." According to the thesis, in the ancient world individuals were tightly bound by status to traditional groups, while in the modern one, in which individuals are viewed as autonomous agents, they are free to make contracts and form associations with whomever they choose. Because of this thesis, Maine can be seen as one of the forefathers of modern legal anthropology, legal history and sociology of law.

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