I have difficulty believing this book has been listed this long on Amazon without gaining even the most cursory review. Nevertheless, serious students of the medieval period should seek out this book, if only to see how true academic scholarship should be performed. For those not familiar with this text, Brundage transcribed, translated, edited, and summarized a vast corpus of materials from the medieval period and presents his results here. He consulted everything from medieval penitentials (confessors' manuals) to Roman law codes, from Germanic statutes to patristic doctrine, but does so without ever simplifying his source beyond recognition. In each chapter, he covers similar ground: marriage statues; laws regarding fornication and adultery; clerical marriage and celibacy regulations; prostitution, homosexuality, and concubinage. So, for example, he might outline in brief the arguments found in Gratian's Decretum regarding the legally binding aspects of marriage, followed by his arguments opposing divorce. Brundage was always careful not to generalize, and the ideas he presents are always attributed to their sources. The footnotes are meticulous, and his research apparatus impeccable. This work is astounding. It is not the kind of text intended for a light summer's read, but the culmination of a career of research and analysis. While it should not substitute for primary source research on the part of the academic historian, it is nevertheless an essential summary of ideas and trends in law during the past. It is a remarkable achievement.