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legal history•introduction • kjell å modéer Per Nilsén. He defended his thesis in legal history on Swedish constitutionalism during the Enlightenment in 2002. Nilsén spent time at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (MPIeR) when preparing to publish his thesis as a monograph.33 Indeed, since it was founded in Frankfurt in 1964 the MPIeR has proved a fabulous institution for current research in legal history, and a constant source of inspiration and high-level academic interchange with colleagues of three generations.34 Stolleis’s chief contributions to European legal history is his four-volumes work on the history of public law in Germany, a standard work now translated into English, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese.35 A grant from the Humanities and Social Sciences Donation of Riksbankens jubileumsfond (the Riksbanken Tercentenary Foundation) enabled him to spend the spring of 1995 in Lund, during which time he wrote most of the third volume. He has been very supportive of Nordic legal historians, notably as director of theMPIeRfor almost two decades (1991–2009). We were proud when he accepted an honorary degree from Lund in 1999. The new Europe ushered in by the fall of the Berlin Wall brought new challenges for the legal sciences and new possibilities for legal history. The creation of the European Union prompted a fresh interest in comparative law and comparative legal history. As director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law (MPIPRIV) in Hamburg, Reinhard Zimmermann pioneered this important field of late modern legal research.He spent a period at the University of Cape Town and published extensively not only on Roman law, but also on mixed legal systems, and German law émigrés in the UKin the Second World War.36 This new direction in comparative legal history has been of great 33 Per Nilsén, ‘Att stoppa munnen till på bespottare’: Den akademiska undervisningen i svensk statsrätt under frihetstiden(Rättshistoriskt bibliotek, 59; Lund: Juridiska fakulteten, 2001). 34 Heinz Mohnhaupt must be mentioned here. The Olin Foundation arranged a symposium in Lund in his honour and a Festschrift, Kjell Å. Modéer (ed.), Europäische Rechtsgeschichte und europäische Integration: Festskrift till HeinzMohnhaupt (Rättshistoriska skrifter, 4; Stockholm: Institutet för rättshistorisk forskning, 2002). 35 Michael Stolleis, Geschichte des öffentlichen Rechts in Deutschland, 4 vols (Munich: Beck, 1988– 2012). 36 Reinhard Zimmermann, The Law of Obligations: Roman Foundations of the Civilian Tradition 32