Born June 21, 1840, in Wels; died Aug. 11, 1915, in Kissingen. German historian; specialist on the history of government and law of the early Middle Ages. Professor at the University of Berlin (1873); member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences (1884).
Brunner was a great expert on sources (especially of the Barbarian laws). In his research he developed many of the ideas of the founders of the communal theory, such as G. Maurer. He believed that in the early Middle Ages the whole system of legal relations among the majority of the Germanic tribes was determined by the predominance of free peasants, who lived in mark communities and who only gradually lost their personal freedom and land. According to Brunner, the victory of the landed estates over the free mark community led to changes in the content and forms of the ancient Germanic customary law and to a radical reorganization of the whole political system.
WORKSDeutsche Rechtsgeschichte, 2nd ed., vols. 1-2. Leipzig-Munich, 1906-28.
A. I. DANILOV