The Prehistory of Constitutionalism: the Sources or the Archetype?

The following categories can be found in the analysis of the prehistory of constitutionalism: the early constitutionalism, the ancient constitutionalism, the medieval or canonical constitutionalism. The usage of these categories raises the question: is constitutionalism the product of the Age of Enlightenment or is it an older phenomenon? The author of the article approaches this problem from another point of view: maybe the usage of the mentioned categories is an anachronism? In this case the elements taken form different contexts are combined into a single unit typical to recent reality. This conjunction, when neither the single entirety nor the alterations of contexts are taken into consideration, distorts the understanding of the past, fits the past to the Procrustian bed straining it to the present standards. The existence of separate elements does not allow the consideration of the phenomenon as a whole. It also suits the category of constitutionalism. In author’s opinion, it is necessary to differentiate between: a) the prehistory of constitutionalism; b) the era of written constitutions as the legal acts of supreme power, the essence of which is expressed by the category of constitutionalism and which began in XVIII century
Keywords konstitucionalizmo priešistorė  the written constitution  constitutionalism  rašytinė konstitucija  the prehistory of constitutionalism  konstitucionalizmas
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