The Customary Atlas of Ancien Régime France

Victor Gay, Paula Gobbi, and Marc Goni


Customary law governed most European societies during the Middle Ages and early modern period. To better understand the roots of legal customs and their implications for long-run development, we introduce an atlas of customary regions of Ancien Régime France. We also describe the historical origins of French customs, their role as a source of law, and their legal content. We then offer some insights into the research possibilities opened by this database.


Customary law; Custom; Institution; Legal origin; Ancien Régime; France;

JEL codes

  • K00: General
  • N43: Europe: Pre-1913
  • P48: Political Economy • Legal Institutions • Property Rights • Natural Resources • Energy • Environment • Regional Studies

Published in

Explorations in Economic History, n. 101588, 2024, forthcoming