ABSTRACT

The increasing strength of the main urban centres conquered in the twelfth century, Tortosa 1 and Lleida, 2 and their control over the surrounding areas, 3 gave their ruling elites a special status. They were able to influence the ruling sovereign, control the actions of the ordinary jurisdictional officer and, with that, participate in the development of norms 4 and the judicial system. 5 Thus, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, a full sets of legal norms arose designed to regulate the conduct of urban life. The concern for property was clear in these. In Lleida, in the case of theft, not only was compensation for the victim established but it was also envisaged that the guilty party be submitted to a graded physical punishment, according to the seriousness of the misdeed, including the amputation of limbs and, in the most extreme situation, the loss of life: “Pro furto membrum abscindintur, vel ultimum suplicium infertur”. 6 The other offences were not, at that moment, considered so serious, not even murder, for which financial punishment was applied in accordance with the social category of the victim: “pro milite interfecto emendantur LXXXa IIIIor aurei. Pro rustico vero XLII”. 7