Theorizing contacts in the Roman Empire

From our colleagues in Classics, the following conference announcement:

University of Edinburgh, 8-9 December 2017

We live in a multicultural world, in which every community develops in constant interaction with others. A series of theoretical models have been developed to explain these contacts, which in recent years have been utilized to understand the ancient world. In the context of the Roman empire, these theories are typically used to examine the interactions of various indigenous populations with their rulers. These kinds of studies were once grouped under the heading “Romanization”, though the increased questioning of the term’s validity has given rise to a diverse range of alternatives. These are often drawn from modern theoretical backgrounds: multiculturalism and multilingualism are two recent concepts employed in this realm.

The aim of this conference is to assess the validity and scope of a variety of some of these models, with a particular focus on multilingualism and multiculturalism. By promoting and facilitating dialogue between disciplines, we shall aim to provide effective tools for different fields’ approaches in parallel (e.g. historical and linguistic). This has already been done very successfully in a few cases (e.g. ‘code-switching’), though greater interaction remains a desideratum. It is hoped that the participants will thereby open the discussion for a ‘theory of contact’ in the Roman world.

We invite scholars from a range of fields, including epigraphists and papyrologists, philologists, legal historians, and archaeologists to consider if and how the multiculturalism and multilingualismmodels can be applied in the following areas:

· Language: onomastics; ancient bilingualism; language preservation and change.
· Law: the interaction between native and Roman law; issues of status.
· Literature: the response of Roman and Greek authors to “others”.
· Art and visual culture: interactions of Roman and indigenous styles; religious and cult imagery.

Papers that consider the role of the individual within these topics are especially welcome.

Confirmed Speakers: Andrew Wallace-Hadrill (Cambridge), Alex Mullen (Nottingham), Olivia Elder (Cambridge), Christian Djurslev (Edinburgh)

Proposals: We welcome proposals from scholars at any stage of their career. PhD students, early career and independent researchers are highly encouraged to participate.

Papers will be 25 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of discussion. For your proposals please include title, name(s) of speaker(s), affiliation(s), an abstract of 300 words, and a select bibliography. Please send to roman.contacts@ed.ac.uk.

Posters on particular case-studies or specific concepts will be accommodated in a designated poster session and prizes will be awarded to the three best entries. Proposals for posters should have the same format as that of the papers. Please, use POSTER as the “Subject” of your email.

The deadline for all proposals (papers and posters) is 28th February.

For further information please contact the organizers: Kimberley Czajkowski (k.czajkowski@ed.ac.uk) and/or Andreas Gavrielatos (a.gavrielatos@ed.ac.uk).

Posted in Ancient law, Greek law, Legal History, Papyrology, Roman Law | Leave a comment

Edinburgh Postgraduate Legal History Conference

Guest blog by Peter Candy

Alongside the legal history session chaired by Ross Macdonald at this year’s Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference (for which see here), I also had the pleasure of chairing a second session dedicated to the same discipline. The theme of the conference – ‘Law and its Boundaries’ – was reflected across the four papers which were presented.

Graeme Cunningham (Glasgow), in his paper entitled ‘Law, Rhetoric and Science: Historical Narratives in Roman Law’, demonstrated that in the development of the law surrounding bonorum possessio the praetor was heavily influenced by equitable considerations. By showing the praetor’s susceptibility to rhetorical arguments, Graeme successfully showed the value of a contextual analysis when investigating the development of Roman legal thought.

Jumping forward 1700 years, Franziska Arnold-Dwyer (Queen Mary University of London) delivered a fascinating paper entitled ‘Fraudulent Captains, Gambling Aristocrats and a Transgender Diplomat: A History of the Doctrine of Insurable Interest’. Following Graeme’s lead, Franziska also demonstrated that the doctrine cannot be fully understood without an appreciation of the social and economic context from which it arose. Of particular interest to your blogger was the exploitation of policies requiring no insurable interest on the part of the insured, which were exploited by fraudsters who overvalued cargoes, only to arrange for them to be captured or sunk on the high seas. The practice will remind the classically minded of an episode in Livy (25.3.8-14), in which the Roman state assumed the risk of shipwreck for transports sailing with supplies to Spain during the Second Punic War. Groups of tax-farmers, never missing an opportunity to make a quick buck, repeatedly defrauded the treasury by overvaluing their cargoes and then reporting them lost at sea.

Two final papers were delivered by Ciarán Crowley and Aengus Fallon (University College Dublin). Ciarán, in ‘Censorship of Literature in Ireland lives on, though only just: Thoughts following the Censorship of Publications Bill 2013’, explored the historical origins and continuing impact of the Committee of Evil Literature. The presenter identified the missed opportunity presented by the passage of the 2013 bill, which might have led to the unification of the still-extant Censorship Board of Ireland with the Film Classification Board. Continuing on the theme of Irish legal history, Aengus Fallon discussed the influences on the drafting of key legislation in the Irish Free State between 1922-24. Again, as is evident from all the papers, context triumphed: the exigencies of the rapid creation of a functioning constitutional machinery, coupled with a scarcity of resources (Arthur Matheson, the sole parliamentary drafter at the time, was indefatigable in his task), led to a replication of the Westminster model and a spate of legislative plagiarism.

A debt of gratitude is owed to the session sponsors, the Centre for Legal History, as well as to the Centre’s director, Dr Paul du Plessis, who acted as discussant. Thanks should also be extended to the conference committee for convening the event, and finally to the presenters themselves, for providing such thought-provoking insights into their research.

Peter Candy is a doctoral candidate at Edinburgh Law School.

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Memorial service for Peter Stein

I have been asked to circulate the following information:

“You are warmly invited to attend the Memorial Service for Queens’ Life Fellow Professor Peter Stein (1926 – 2016). The memorial will be held in Great St Mary’s Church at 2pm on Saturday 11th February 2017. All College members are most welcome. If you a University member, please wear a gown. Following the memorial, a reception will be held at Gonville & Caius College.”

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Edinburgh Postgraduate Legal History Conference

Guest blog by Ross Macdonald

Your blogger had the pleasure this week of chairing one of the Legal History sessions at this year’s Edinburgh University Postgraduate Law conference. If there was a common theme linking the two papers, it was “people on the margins”. Keith Ruiter (Aberdeen University) in “Outlawry in Medieval Scandinavia” noted the liminal (both physical and social) status of outlaws pending their possible reintegration into society, the early terminology dehumanising them as “wolves” or the like. Eric Loefflad (Kent) – “A Swiss Jurist on the American Frontier” – stressed the use made in the early US Republic of Emer de Vattel whose treatise partly rested political rights on settled agriculture, thus depriving indigenous people of secure legal status.

Dr Stephen Neff (Edinburgh), the discussant, welcomed Loefflad’s contribution to the growing recent re-evaluation of Vattel as an original thinker straddling the period between earlier natural law scholars (such as Vitoria) and later positivism in a world of nation-states.  But it remains arguable at what level he was actually influential – mainly perhaps at the level of shaping Jefferson’s vision of the Republic. American expansion would happen irrespective; Vattel’s views were just convenient. The subsequent discussion drew analogies to the medieval Crusades (in particular in Spain and the Baltic) where Christian expansion was driven forward without the need for a consistent intellectual justification.

As for Ruiter’s analysis – considering contemporary terminology, derived from early medieval poetry and sagas and later legal texts, to discover how the concept of outlawry may have changed and become more precisely focused on its effect on legal status – there was much for a Scots or comparative legal historian to find familiar and challenging.  While Ruiter drew attention to regional variation within Scandinavia (too often, as he noted, not differentiated) some features appeared in the wider Scotto-Scandinavian area or beyond.  Such as the “thing” or moot hill (Ruiter stressed the role of popular assemblies in enforcing early medieval justice), and places of sanctuary.  There were tantalising points of terminology – “biltogh” (only found in Sweden, meaning obscure, but Ruiter suggested “protection”) brings to mind Dutch “borgtocht” (guarantee) and perhaps the Scots “bield”.   All in all it was perhaps fitting that this paper was given just as Aberdeen University publishes its fine memorial volume to Professor Angelo Forte (“Continuity, Change and Pragmatism in the Law”, ed. ARC Simpson et al): this was a session that he would have enjoyed greatly.

Ross Macdonald is a doctoral candidate at Edinburgh Law School.

Posted in Guest Posts, Legal History | 2 Comments

British Legal History Conference

From our colleagues at UCL:

Booking for the 2017 British Legal History Conference is now open. The theme of the conference is ‘Networks and Connections’.

The conference is to be held at UCL from the 5-8 July. Full details of the conference and the draft programme can be found at the conference webpage: http://www.laws.ucl.ac.uk/event/british-legal-history-conference/. The conference dinner will be held in the Jeremy Bentham Room at UCL on Friday 7 July.

There is a booking link at the bottom of the conference webpage. Please note that places at the conference dinner are limited and available on a first come, first served basis, so early booking is advised.

When booking, please ignore the ‘Selden Society Lecture/Reception’ option. This year the BLHC will incorporate the annual Selden Society lecture as the first plenary lecture of the conference. This lecture and the following reception are covered within the standard conference registration fee and there is no need to register for the Selden Society Lecture/Reception separately if you register for the conference.

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Alan Rodger Postgraduate Visiting Researcher, University of Glasgow

This blog is delighted to note that the University of Glasgow School of Law invites applications from PhD students in Roman law/legal history for the post of Alan Rodger Postgraduate Visiting Researcher, to be held during the 2017/18 academic year. The selected candidate will spend a term in Glasgow and receive a £2,000 award for support. The deadline for applications is 10 February 2017. Full details are available from its website: http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/law/research/themes/legalhistoryatglasgow/alanrodgerendowment/visitingresearcher/

As Lord Rodger of Earlsferry Alan had a distinguished career in the Supreme Court, after having  held the offices of Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice General of Scotland. he had had a distinguished career at the bar and had served as Lord Advocate. A Glasgow graduate, Alan had studied for his doctorate under David Daube in Oxford. While a young advocate, he tutored in Civil (Roman) Law in this University.

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PhD Funding English Legal History – Milsom Studentship

This Blog is delighted to post the following notice, and delighted to note the scholarship is aimed after Toby Milsom, an innovative and interesting scholar.

Selden Society: Milsom Studentship in English Legal History 2017

The Selden Society, founded in 1887 by F.W. Maitland and others to encourage the study and advance the knowledge of the history of English law, offers a Milsom Studentship (named in honour of the late Professor S.F.C. Milsom, sometime Literary Director and President of the Society) for a person commencing research in English legal history leading to the degree of PhD (or equivalent) at a university in the United Kingdom in September/October 2017.

The studentship will be tenable for a maximum of three years, subject to an annual review of progress. The annual value of the studentship will be a sum equivalent to the current total of the home/EU fees and recommended minimum maintenance allowance at the university at which the student is registered for the PhD degree, to a total maximum of £21,500 (account will be taken of funding available from other sources).

Application forms may be obtained from the Secretary of the Society, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, selden-society@qmul.ac.uk.

The deadline for receipt of applications and references is 1 March 2017.

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Doctoral Positions in Legal History: Max-Planck Institute, Frankfurt

The Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt is a world leader in researching the history of law in Europe and beyond. Its two research departments with more than 60 scholars, the unrivaled collections of its specialized library and its numerous national and international co-operations make it the central research hub for a global scientific community investigating the past, present and future of legal regimes.

The Institute belongs to the Max Planck Society, Germany’s most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its researchers, putting it on a par with the most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The mission of the Max Planck Society is to conduct fundamental (i.e., non-applied) research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences and the humanities at the highest possible level. Its 83 Institutes are scattered across Germany and beyond, and they focus on research fields that are particularly innovative and require unusually extensive resources.

The Institute is now looking to recruit up to two Doctoral Students from 1 July 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter for the following research fields in the Department I of Professor Stefan Vogenauer: (1) Legal Transfer in the Common Law World; (2) Legal History of the European Union.

See further: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AWF350/2-phd-studentships/

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Workshop Announcement (Princeton) – The Family in the Premodern World

Call for Papers \ Family in the Premodern World: A Comparative Approach

A Workshop at Princeton University, April 7-8, 2017

Organized by Lee Mordechai and Sara McDougall

“The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society…”

The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 16.3

The family is perhaps the most basic, common and important social institution across the world in recorded history. The single word in English, however, is used in a surprising number of ways to describe how to organize an individual and those close to them by birth, marriage or co-residence within a more-or-less coherent group. Indeed families, just as other cultural institutions, have long been defined by cultural norms and practices.

While the modern definition of the family is becoming ever more fluid and ‘new’ types of families appear in greater frequency, even a superficial survey of historical human cultures shows that there is no such thing as a ‘natural’ form of family, and that the concept has been constantly changing throughout history. The family could be an inclusive or exclusive institution within a society, while its size would vary between a handful to a few dozen individuals; the interpersonal ties between family members could withstand enormous social pressures or disintegrate almost immediately. A culture might impinge on the relationships within families or ignore them completely. We believe that a comparative approach would be the best way to emphasize these contrasts and the connection between them and the basic norms that govern a given society.

We invite papers that emphasize the themes of family and society and investigate the historical premodern family (up to the sixteenth century in Europe, but later suggestions for other areas would be welcome). Geographical areas and chronological periods are open and we aim for a wide comparative perspective of the workshop as a whole.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

· A case study of a specific family or group of families within a society
· Structures of kinship and the forms of ties they create within a kin group
· Strategies of inclusion/exclusion within a family or between families
· A chronological approach to family development in a certain society
· Connections between family values and broader cultural dispositions
· Conflicts within or between families and acceptable ways to resolve them
· Marriage, divorce and family planning as family-construction strategies
· Social values, norms or taboos related to families within a given society
· Alternative or deviant family models

The workshop will take place on April 7-8, 2017 at Princeton University. Travel and accommodation funding is available for presenters from beyond the NJ/NY area. After the workshop, participants will be invited to submit their revised papers for publication in a special journal issue that will showcase the variety of premodern families and serve as a stepping stone for further comparative research on families in such societies in history. Please send abstracts of up to 500 words to premodernfamily2017@gmail.com before 15 January 2017. For queries, please email Lee Mordechai (lmordech@princeton.edu) and Sara McDougall (smcdougall@jjay.cuny.edu).

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Post-doctoral position in Legal History

The research project REDHIS (“Rediscovering the Hidden Structure. A New Appreciation of Juristic Texts and Patterns of Thought in Late Antiquity”) is opening a position for a post-doctoral researcher. The appointment will be for two years. There will be a possibility for renewal for a third year.

REDHIS is an interdisciplinary research project hosted by the Università di Pavia (Italy) and funded by an ERC-advanced grant (Principal Investigator: Prof. Dario Mantovani; Senior Staff: Prof. Luigi Pellecchi). The project studies the continued existence of a high-level legal culture in Late Antiquity, as shown among other things by the copying and continued use of the writings of the classical jurists. A comprehensive understanding of legal culture includes therefore the study of the transmission of these texts and the reception of their contents. To learn more about the REDHIS Project, visit our website at http://redhis.unipv.it/
Research project REDHIS: Rediscovering the hidden …
redhis.unipv.it
The aim of Redhis is a new appreciation of Roman legal culture in Late Antiquity. The project focuses on the elements which display the persistence of an high-level …

In line with the goals of the project, the appointee will be asked to contribute several well-researched chapters, written in English, to an extensive collaborative volume on the circulation, use, and reception of Roman juristic writings in Late Antiquity. Depending on her/his precise qualifications, the appointee may also be asked to contribute to the project’s annotated corpus of juristic papyri.

In pursuing her/his research, the appointed applicant will be supervised by the Principal Investigator. She/he will collaborate with other staff and post-doctoral researchers in an interdisciplinary working group. Place of work: University of Pavia, Pavia (Italy).

Preference will be given to applicants who hold a PhD awarded by a University from outside Italy, with a doctoral dissertation in one of the following scholarly areas: Classical Philology, Palaeography, Papyrology, Ancient History, Latin, and/or Roman law. The doctoral dissertation has to show that the applicant is competent in and comfortable with applying a philological approach to the study of Roman legal texts, in Latin and Greek, in order to contribute fruitfully to the research objectives of REDHIS. We are looking for someone with experience in writing in (and translating into) English.

The closing date for applications is 9 January 2017 at 12:00 noon (CET). Applicants are advised to make sure that their applications comply with Italian regulations as laid out in the official “bando” of this post (especially art. 4), which can be found in Italian and English at http://www-5.unipv.it/alboufficiale/files/001864443-UNPVCLE-f7737827-a4a1-4f32-a4ea-67dade9a82c6-000.pdf.

In case you have any questions or require assistance of any kind with the formalities, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Matthijs Wibier (mh.wibier@unipv.it).

Further informal enquiries may be directed to Prof. Dario Mantovani (dario.mantovani@unipv.it)

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