Recent Publications in Roman Law connected to the University of Edinburgh

The first subject taught in law in the University of Edinburgh was Roman law, then known as was traditional as Civil Law, the term still used in the Edinburgh curriculum. The chair of Civil Law was founded in 1710 as the second chair in law, but no teaching was offered from the first chair, that of public law and the law of nature and nations until 1711. But from 1710, Roman law has been continually taught in the University.

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Water and Waterways Management in the Roman Empire

The Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford, with the support of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are holding an important interdisciplinary Conference on the management of water and waterways in the Roman Empire. With speakers form Europe and North America this conference promises to be an important event in developing our understanding of a vital topic. The conference is not open to the public, but expressions of interest are

Click here for poster:

WWM Poster

Conference on Leibnitz

Our blogger has recently been made aware of the publication of a new translation of Leibnitz’s famous treatise on the teaching of law. Details about the conference here.

A short blurb by the author of the translation below:

About the Leibniz’s The New Method of Learning and Teaching Jurisprudence

“This book, small in relation to its size, but considerable if we look at the aim which Mr. Leibniz pursues, became an extraordinary rarity. I would have done certainly useless movements to find it in bookshops, or at friends, if the case would not have dropped it in my hands in an unforeseen way” .[ M. L. de Neufville (1734), Histoire de la Vie et des Ouvrages de Mr. Leibnitz. Amsterdam chez François Changuion, 25,my transl.].
Indeed, after the first issue in Frankfurt 1667, published only with the initials of the Author , the Nova Methodus will be reprinted only in 1748 with a short preface by Christian Wolf (or Wolff, 1679–1754) . This edition will be reused twenty years later by Luis Dutens in the first critical publication of Leibniz’s works.
At the end of the XVII century, Leibniz added in late revision the so called note “D” , now printed in footnote to the critical edition of Nova Methodus by Paul Ritter [1872–1954], Willy Kabitz [1876–1942], Heinrich Schepers (eds.) of the German Academy of Science.
As for translations of Nova Methodus in modern languages , to my knowledge the only one complete is mine in Italian and here in English. I tried to give the most comprehensive framework of the juridical thought of Leibniz not only in philosophical sense, but also in juridical technical sense, which is the most important in this booklet, because the same is specifically devoted to the Right.
The other translations in modern languages contain only selected passages, pursuing different aims, so that a judgment about cannot be expressed, except that in some cases they inaccurately translate juridical terms, for they are made by philosophers not by jurists, and this is an unacceptable limit for a juridical book.

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

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

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 ( and/or Andreas Gavrielatos (

The Bloomberg tablets and Roman law

For those of us interested in the provincial application of Roman law, the discovery and recent publication of the Bloomberg tablets from Roman London provide a veritable treasure trove of new information (Roger Tomlin, Roman London’s First Voices. (MOLA 2016)). Since examples of legal practice are complex and should be weighed against existing doctrinal information, the following is but a brief survey of texts from this collection that, in my view, have implications for our understanding of the provincial application of Roman law. The texts in question are:

• WT 27: a chirograph received by a freedman from a slave;
• WT 29: a letter from a slave to a master about cattle as investment;
• WT 30: a letter about a loan that has seemingly affected someone’s financial reputation;
• WT 35: a note of a deposit (!) using the term arra of 200 denarii.
• WT 44: a written acknowledgement of a debt incurred as a consequence of a sale of goods;
• WT 45: a lex locationis for the transport of goods from St. Albans to London;
• WT 50: a receipt for rent collected by a slave in relation to two farms;
• WT 51: a praeiudicium together with the source of the jurisdictional competence (the Emperor)
• WT 55: some sort of promise (maybe a stipulation?)
• WT 57: a procuratio (with some aspects of legal representation?)
• WT 62: some sort of act that required seven witnesses (maybe a mancipatio?)
• WT 70: an account listing amounts of money lent to slaves.

Exciting work remains to be done on these tablets, most of which are only fragmentary, since they will reveal much more about the provincial application of Roman law prior to 212 AD. I hope that scholars will take up the call to look at these tablets with great care.

Roman society – AGM and conference

The following conference notification has just been posted on the classicists list via Fiona Haarer. There is some law here so it will be of interest to our readers.

The Roman Society AGM will be held at 2pm on Saturday 4 June (Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, London)

It will be followed by a colloquium on: Families and the Law in Rome

2.30 Dr Valentina Arena: Roman Family Between Private and Public
3.15 Tea
3.45 Professor Alison Cooley: Roman Families in the Ashmolean
4.15 Dr Margaret Mountford: The Apion Family Archive
5.00 Reception

On Tuesday 7 June, 6pm (Room G22/26 Senate House) we will be hosting a joint lecture with the Friends of the British School at Athens.
Professor Tim Whitmarsh: Historians Against Rome

All welcome.

Conference notification

Readers of our blog may be interested in this conference notification. The conference, jointly organised by a number of colleagues in Münster, also features Dr. Kimberley Czajkowski, recently appointed to a lectureship in Roman history at the University of Edinburgh, as one of the organisers. This blogger is looking forward to this conference!

We are delighted to announce an international conference on “Law in the Roman Provinces” which will take place at the University of Münster next month, funded by the Thyssen Foundation. The conference gathers together experts to discuss how law, Roman or otherwise, was transmitted, used, neglected and transformed from the late Republic until the late third century CE in all regions of the empire.

All are welcome, but for reasons of space we ask those interested to register with the organisers at

Law in the Roman Provinces

June 22–24, 2016

Hörsaalgebäude des Exzellenzcluster “Religion und Politik”, Raum JO 101

Johannisstraße 4, 48143 Münster

Organisers: Kimberley Czajkowski (Münster), Benedikt Eckhardt (Bremen), Meret Strothmann (Bochum)

Day One (22/06/2016)


14.00-14.15 Welcome from the Organisers

14.15-14.45 Peter Gußen (Bochum)

Introductory remarks

The Iberian Peninsula

14.45-15.30 John Richardson (University of Edinburgh)

Roman law or Roman legal practice? A review of the evidence from the Iberian peninsula


16.00-16.45 Meret Strothmann (University of Bochum)

Roman City-Laws of Spain and their Modelling of Religious Landscape

Fragments of the West

16.45-17.30 Paul du Plessis (University of Edinburgh)

Roman Law in Roman Britain


18.00-18.45 Benedikt Eckhardt (University of Bremen)

Roman Law as Imperial Restriction, Useful Tool and Symbol of Identity: A Guided Tour through the Danubian Provinces


Day Two (23/06/2016)


9.15-10.00 Ilias Arnaoutoglou (Academy of Athens)

An Outline of Legal Norms and Practices in Roman Macedonia (167 BC – AD 212)

10.00-10.45 Lina Girdvainyte (University of Oxford)

Law and Citizenship in Roman Achaia: Continuity and Change


11.15-12.00 Ioannis Tzamtzis (University of Ioannina)

Intégration et perception de la règle de droit romaine en Crète, de la conquête de l’île à la fin du principat (67 av. J.-C. – 235 ap. J.-C.)

12.00-12.45 Athina Dimopoulou (University of Athens)

Law in Roman Lesbos


Asia Minor

14.15-15.00 Klaus Zimmermann (University of Münster)

Title TBC

15.00-15.45 Ulrich Huttner (University of Siegen)

Rechts- und Lateinkenntnisse im kaiserzeitlichen Kleinasien


North Africa

16.15-17.00 Anna Dolganov (University of Vienna)

nutricula causidicorum: The Forensic Profession in Roman Africa

17.00-17.45 Clifford Ando (University of Chicago)

The beginnings of public law in Roman North Africa


Day Three (24/06/2016)

Near East

9.00-9.45 Tiziana Chiusi (Saarland University)

Spuren des römischen Rechts in dem Archiv von Babatha

9.45-10.30 Kimberley Czajkowski (University of Münster)

On the Edges of the Empire: Law and Administration at Dura-Europos



11.00-11.45 Andrea Jördens (University of Heidelberg)

Aequum et iustum – Prinzipien römischer Provinzverwaltung

11.45-12.30 Jose Luis Alonso (University of the Basque Country)

The Constitutio Antoniniana and the Private Legal Practice in the Eastern Empire


14.00-14.45 Jakub Urbanik (University of Warsaw)

Title TBC


15.15-16.00 Anna Plisecka (University of Zurich)

Longi temporis praescriptio in der severischen Gesetzgebung

16.00-16.45 Uri Yiftach (Tel Aviv University)

Administrative Terminology in Roman Egypt: Continuity and Change


17.15-17.45 Conclusion

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