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in the medieval states of the Iberian Peninsula:

(1) A corpus of general law relating to all the subjects of a kingdom. The first code of this type was the Lex Visigothorum, which came to be known in the 13th century as the Fuero Juzgo.

(2) A charter of feudal liberties granted to a particular province, class, or family.

(3) A municipal charter. This type of charter, the most common fuero, was usually granted in the name of the king and set forth the rights, privileges, and obligations of the inhabitants of an urban or rural community.

The development and proliferation of municipal fueros, which were particularly numerous from the 11th to 13th centuries, was associated with the Reconquest. As lands were won back from the Arabs, it became necessary to provide for their military defense and to develop their economies. The crown was compelled to provide incentives in order to attract settlers. In the early period of the Reconquest, municipal fueros merely fixed the location and boundaries of settlements; later, they defined the status of the settlers, made official the settlers’ exemption from corvée, and established rates of taxation. They also granted a measure of autonomy that included the right to elect a magistrate, freedom from seignorial jurisdiction, and the right to maintain a militia.

The fuero also defined the rights of the seignior over a particular community. The seignior could alter the fuero only with the approval of all the settlement’s inhabitants. Almost every city and the adjacent rural communities, hamlets, and villages had their own fueros. The cities jealously defended from encroachment by the crown the privileges granted under the fueros; alliances of cities, known as hermandades, were formed for this purpose.

Until the 14th century fueros of all types were the basic form of legislation in the states of the Iberian Peninsula. In the 14th and 15th centuries local fueros were of equal standing with royal codes of law; they were affirmed by the king, and new fueros were introduced. As the state government became centralized and royal power increased, the fueros lost much of their force. With the unification of Spain, they became nugatory.

The fueros are extremely important sources for the socioeconomic, political, and military history of medieval Spain.


References in periodicals archive ?
For example, the Introduction notes that the Constitution limits the power of the king while making reference to the Fuero Juzgo and the laws of Aragon, Navarra, and Castile.
For a brief discussion of the Fuero Juzgo, known in various forms as the Breviary of Alaric, the Lex Romana Visigothorum, or the Liber Judieiorum, and its place in Spanish law, see MIROW, LATIN AMERICAN LAW, supra note 18, at 15-16.
See, for example, Polo de Ondegardo, "Notables danos de no guardar a los indios sus fueros," 105-06, in El mundo de los incas, ed.
This can be found in many Spanish fueros, which included many laws dealing with blood vengeance.
If the clerical fueros (privileged legal rights and jurisdiction) had not presented complex legal barriers, it seems quite likely that not just a few but many clergymen might have faced royalist firing squads.
This movement aimed to maintain the foros or fueros, the privileges which had been obtained as a concession from the crown--this aspect being underlined by Oliveira Martins.
in Ordenamiento Juridico y Realidad Social de las Mujeres, Siglos XVI a XX: Actas de las IV Jornadas de Investigacion Interdisciplinaria (Madrid, 1986); and Pilar Sanchez Vicente, "El Trabajo de las Mujeres en el Medievo Hispanico: Fueros Municipales de Santiago y su Tierra," in Angela Munoz Fernandez y Cristina Segura Graino, eds, El Trabajo de las Mujeres en la Edad Media Hispana (Madrid, 1988).
In some societies, group rights, or fueros, continue to take precedence over individual rights and the rule of law.
Es, precisamente durante la segunda mitad del siglo XIII, que se observa en las ordenanzas y leyes de los fueros y de las cortes de todo el territorio peninsular, una insistencia en la regulacion de como debe darse -- evitarse mas bien -- la convivencia entre moros, judios y cristianos, estableciendose un sistema de celo y vigilancia constante con compensaciones economicas para el denunciante; con lo cual se consigue crear un regimen de convivencia social donde la delacion no solo es aplaudida, sino que es, ademas, premiada.
In the fueros of medieval Castile, one finds similar customary legislation, contemporary to the laws found in Montpellier H119.
Further occurrences can be found in, for example, Manuel Carboneres, Picaronas y alcahuetes o La mancebia de Valencia: apuntes para la historia de la prostitucion desde principios del siglo XIV hasta poco antes de la abolicion de los fueros (Valencia, 1876): township bans from 1347, 1350, 1399, and 1444, pp.
The Fuero de Cuenca (probably of the 1180s) in New Castile falls firmly within the latter group in its reflection of a number of Muslim-derived municipal officials and practices which, in the words of Professor Powers, `may well be explained by the survival of Islamic minorities who remained in larger numbers in the conquered towns of Aragon as compared to Castile' (p.