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The feudal system has come to be seen as one of the most characteristic features of the Western Middle Ages, yet the study of feudal law has not always received the same attention as that given to its institutions. This law, it is true, was a subject of secondary importance in the medieval universities, but there does remain a corpus of writing sufficiently large to permit the investigation of how it related to medieval practice. In these articles, now provided with extensive additional notes, Gerard Giordanengo has undertaken such an investigation, with particular reference to southern France in the 12-14th centuries. He shows how, in Provence, legal doctrine did exert a clear influence on feudal practice, and that it was the jurists attached to princely or ecclesiastic entourages who were the key to its dissemination.;In the Dauphine, on the other hand, theory had a more limited impact, and feudal ties became not a mark of subjection, but a means of recognizing legal and social status. At the government level, finally, he argues that it was not any feudal theory, nor even any feudal structures, but rather the absolutist doctrines of Roman law and the Old Testament that shaped the political ideology - a practice, if possible - of the miedieval king.