What is Legal History? How should this field, on the border of two academic disciplines, be approached methodologically? In this article I will argue that legal historians have too often strived to treat the past from a ‘present day’ perspective. Studying law in history as part of a broader contextual analysis will help to understand the functioning of past legal systems and their actors as part of their contemporary societies. Through the introduction of Johan Huizinga’s aesthetical or cultural approach to history, I will show how legal historians can and should make use of general historical methodological frameworks in their research.