Honorary Doctorate – Professor Wolfgang Ernst

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Senatus Academicus of the University of Edinburgh has voted to bestow upon Professor Wolfgang Ernst, Regius Professor of Civil Law, the University of Oxford, the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa). The degree will be conferred at our graduation ceremony on Thursday 6 July 2017 at 10.30 am. Details here:
http://www.ed.ac.uk/student-administration/graduations/honorary/future-honorary-grads. For those who cannot attend in person, the ceremony will be broadcast online in real time. Details to follow later.

Professor Ernst is a leading and brilliant scholar of Roman law and legal history with a close association with the University of Edinburgh. His postgraduate studies at Yale have made him familiar with US and British scholarship, giving his academic work a breadth and quality that is beyond the often more dogmatic scholarship in Roman law and legal history found on the Continent. This undoubtedly contributed to his appointment to one of the most renowned chairs in Roman law in the world – the Regius Chair of Civil Law at Oxford.as successor to a line of such distinguished scholars as David Daube, Tony Honoré and Peter Birks. His approach to research has led him to go beyond typical doctrinal categories, and explore themes such as the legal history of money and the legal history of social choice (on one aspect of which he delivered the MacCormick Lectures in Edinburgh), in which he draws on his profound knowledge of Roman law and its Reception in the Middle Ages to illuminate important social and historical questions. Related to this is recently published book on decision-making in collegiate courts. But his work draws its strength from the fact it is grounded in disciplined textual understanding and analysis. He has thus written important studies of periculum (risk) (on which he wrote his doctoral dissertation) and other aspects of contracts, both Roman, historical and modern, which have demonstrated a finely nuanced and subtle understanding of the law and its development. His scholarship also reflects his important work on modern German law. In all of this, he has also emphasised the role of procedure as significant to our understanding of ancient and modern substantive law.

Please join us in the Centre for Legal History in congratulating him on this great honour.

Next meeting of the Edinburgh Roman law group

The next meeting will take place on Friday 7 April at 5.30 pm in the New Neil MacCormick Room [floor 9 of the David Hume Tower]. Our speaker is Professor Lorena Atzeri from the University of Milan.

Details of the talk below and a brief cv attached:

“Britain and Interpolation Criticism: Periphery or Center?”
L. Atzeri

The most recent surveys of interpolation criticism in Roman law concentrate almost exclusively on its main actors – exponents and opponents – from those European countries in which this new research method had been developed and enthusiastically applied: Germany, Italy and to a lesser extent France. Great Britain has either been left out of the story altogether or considered (e.g. by Talamanca) to have been influenced by the methodology of interpolation criticism brought by German Roman law scholars of Jewish origin (Schulz, Pringsheim, Daube) who had migrated to Britain during the Nazi régime. Both representations need revision. The subject of interpolation criticism was in fact dealt with by both Francis de Zulueta and above all by William W. Buckland, Regius Professors of Civil Law at Oxford and Cambridge respectively, not always as we might expect. This paper will discuss the development of their points of view.

We hope to see many of you there,

Legal History Event – Glasgow

From our colleagues in Glasgow, notice of the following event:

On 17 March 2017 at 5.00 pm, Lucinda Kirby of the University of Liverpool, presently holding the post of Alan Rodger Postgraduate Visiting Researcher at the University of Glasgow, will speak on:

Public doctors and the law in fourth century Egypt

The event will take place in room 207, 10 The Square, University Avenue, The University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ. All are welcome.

If you wish to attend the dinner afterwards, please reply to Prof E. Metzger as soon as possible, at ernest.metzger@glasgow.ac.uk.

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).

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.”

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.

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).

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)

Our students win prizes!

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Following the good news of Dr. Karen Baston’s nomination for a book prize, this blogger is delighted to congratulate Mr Kenneth Young and Mr Glauco Longoni. Mr Young won the Muirhead prize for the best overall performance in Civil law ordinary, while Mr Longoni won the forensic essay prize. Unfortunately, Mr Young could not attend the ceremony, so here follows two pictures of Mr Longoni accepting his prize.

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