Saxon Mirror

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Saxon Mirror


(German Sachsenspiegel), a collection of medieval German law, compiled in the years 1221–25 by the lay judge (Schöffe) Eike von Repgau.

The Saxon Mirror was an unofficial record of the feudal customs of eastern Saxony. However, it also reflected the class system in all of feudal Germany and the commercial and monetary relations developing in this period. The Saxon Mirror consisted of two parts. The first—the “land law” (Land-recht)—contained separate statutes on the state structure of Germany, such as elections of the emperor and the separation of secular and ecclesiastical authority. It also contained norms on civil and criminal law, the courts, and trials. The second part—the “feudal law” (Lehnrecht)—was devoted to the relationship between lord and vassal.

The Saxon Mirror served as a model for subsequent private compilations of German law, such as the German Mirror and the Swabian Mirror. It was used in compiling collections of laws and in the judicial practice of a number of lands and cities of northern and eastern Germany—for example, in Magdeburg law and the Görlitz Law Code. The Saxon Mirror was used in Thuringia until the end of the 19th century.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.