Sandwiched between The Ten Commandments
and the Declaration Of Independence
is in some ways the most important document in legal/political history. The Magna Carta Libertatum
was sealed by King John at Runnymede on June 15, 1215.
The Magna Carta
represents the first successful attempt by a king's subjects to limit his power by constitutional means. Before that the usual way was by assassination, the classic example of which was that of Julius Caesar, who was stabbed to death in the Senate on March 15, 44BC.
There is a lot to the history of the Magna Carta
, preceding and proceeding, but at the moment the most important thing on the minds of historians is the 800th anniversary in 2015, because this will see the four surviving copies
of this document brought together for 3 days only.
The exhibition will be held at the British Library, which already houses two of the four.
More information including videos about the Magna Carta
and other important historical documents can be found on the Library's website