ERC-project REDHIS – position for a post-doctoral researcher: “A study of Roman legal writings in Late Antiquity: manuscripts and papyri”.

From our friends in Pavia:

Deadline for application: November 27th, 2017

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.

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

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: the 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 27 November 2017. Applicants are advised to make sure that their applications comply with Italian regulations as laid out in the official “bando” of this post, which can be found in Italian and English at

In case you have any questions or require the assistance of any kind with the formalities, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Matthijs Wibier (

Further informal enquiries may be directed to Prof. Dario Mantovani (

Doctoral and post-doctoral positions in Legal History

We have received the following notice from our friends in Helsinki:

We are excited to begin work with the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence that will continue to work of the “Revisiting the Foundations of European Legal Culture 1934-1964” project (found The CoE will begin its activities on January 1st, 2018, but we will begin recruitment for researcher positions already now. In the first phase, we are hiring 3-4 postdocs for a period of four years each and three doctoral candidates also for a four year period. For the postdocs, the main rule is that one should not have more than five years of research activity behind her or him. The doctoral student positions will be opened next month.

What we would like to ask you is to distribute the job ad to your networks and especially to people who would be suitable candidates. For more information about the CoE and its different subprojects, check out our fledgeling website at

Each of the subprojects (Law and the uses of the past, Discovering the limits of reason and Migration and the narrative of Europe) has a different focus, but they are tied thematically. Legal historians, lawyers, intellectual historians, philosophers, anthropologists, political scientists and the like are strongly encouraged to apply! The ads are here:

Thank you very much for your help! We look forward to having you as our guest in one or more of our events.

With all the best,

Kaius Tuori, Reetta Toivanen and Pamela Slotte
Directors, CoE for Law, Identity and the European Narratives

PhD candidates sought

The Centre for Legal History in the University of Edinburgh has considerable experience in successfully supervising students for the degree of Ph.D. Supervision can be offered in Roman law, Roman and Canon law in the middle ages and early modern period, the history of Scots law, law and the Enlightenment, and slavery and law in the eighteenth century. Recent theses successfully examined include topics as diverse as legal transplants in Francophone Canada, sixteenth-century French legal practice, and moveable succession in the ius commune and Scots law.
Anyone interested should consider contacting Dr Paul du Plessis, Director of the Centre. Help can be given in finding funding to support the studies of appropriate candidates.

Stair Society Bursary, 2017-2018

For the academic year 2017–18, the Stair Society, Scotland’s leading legal history society, will offer one or more one-year bursaries of £1,000 to postgraduate students who are enrolled in a Masters or PhD programme and who are preparing a thesis in Scottish legal history, broadly construed. At the time of application eligible postgraduates will be registered at a UK or Irish university. The bursary may be used for subsistence costs, research trips, or to attend conferences.

Applications should be made by 31 March 2017 to the Secretary of the Stair Society, Dr Karen Baston, by email attachment to:

These should include: a) a letter of application setting out the current stage of completion of the thesis, with an appended outline; b) a CV; c) details of any other funding which the candidate is receiving towards their studies; and d) two academic references. Applications should be submitted as a single PDF file.

Candidates will be notified by 30 April of the outcome of their applications, which will be assessed by a panel nominated by the Society’s Council.

The successful applicant will also receive a year’s complimentary membership of the Stair Society, which includes free access to the Society’s publications via HeinOnline and complimentary copies of the Society’s publications issued during the year. Further information about membership is on the membership page of the Society’s website, at A successful candidate will be required to present a 400-word report to the Council on their year’s progress, covering the use made of the bursary, within two months of the end of the academic year. Successful candidates will also be required to acknowledge the support of the Stair Society in their thesis and in any relevant publication.


Postdoctoral researcher in Legal History – Tilburg Law School

The Department of Public Law, Jurisprudence and Legal History at Tilburg Law School is seeking a full-time postdoctoral researcher (30 months) who will be one of the main researchers in the project ‘Analyzing Coherence in Law Through Legal Scholarship’ (CLLS), funded by the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant 2016). The project will start in January 2017 and will be finished in 2021.

The project will focus on analyzing legal scholarship of the early modern period (c1500 – c1800), concerning the theme of collateral rights (securities) and bankruptcy. The postdoctoral researcher will cooperate with the leader of the project, Dr. Dave De ruysscher, in establishing a methodology for tracing and assessing coherence in writings of legal authors.

Find out more and apply here

Aberdeen PhD Opportunity: Emergence of a Vernacular Legal Culture

A Translatio Studii within Late-Medieval Scottish Legal Literature? The Emergence of a Vernacular Legal Culture

Project Description

The medieval Scottish legal text, Regiam Majestatem, has been described as an enigma. It presents itself as an account of the laws used in the courts of King David I (r.1124-1153), and yet it was probably written in the first few decades of the fourteenth century. It claims to be a Scottish text, and yet it is substantially based upon an English treatise known as Glanvill. The decision of the presumably Scottish compiler of Regiam to base his work on an English text is even more puzzling in the context of the early fourteenth century, a period in which Scotland and England were almost constantly at war. Furthermore, its authorship is uncertain, and historians debate exactly why it was written. The original text itself was obscured through its transmission in a relatively uncritical manuscript tradition. No critical edition of the text exists, and those who wish to engage with Regiam are faced with the daunting task of studying the many surviving manuscript versions of the texts.

All of these problems surrounding Regiam are currently being debated by historians. Yet one particular aspect of the history of the text of Regiam has not been studied in great detail as of yet. In the mid- fifteenth century – and perhaps as a result of a parliamentary commission of 1469 – the Latin text of Regiam was translated into Scots. The translation is extremely curious. It is not word for word – in fact, its relationship with the original is in places quite loose; a cursory glance at the prologue of the Latin original, and the Scots translation, makes this quite clear.

The difference that the translator created between the Latin original of Regiam Majestatem and the vernacular text may tell us something about his purposes in writing. In turn, this may reveal something significant concerning the emergence of vernacular Scottish legal culture during the fifteenth century. In her book, Rhetoric, Hermeneutics and Translation in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1991), Rita Copeland draws attention to the hermeneutical practices that were used by medieval commentators seeking to interpret and transmit particular texts from the past into their own world. These hermeneutical practices – such as amplificatio and abbreviatio, the attribution of an intentio auctoris to a text by means of an accessio ad auctorem, and allegoresis – were frequently used by medieval commentators to create difference between the texts they produced and the originals. While in principle the commentators, and subsequently translators, claimed to serve the original texts, they worked “in effect to contest and supplant that text” (Copeland, 1991, p.94). To some extent, their aim in so doing was to rework the text “for changing conditions of understanding” (Copeland, 1991, p.64). This serves to explain something of how medieval critical practices worked through the disciplines of grammatical exegesis and rhetoric.

Is it possible to locate the loose translation of Regiam within such critical practices? If so, what does this tell us (if anything) about the development of vernacular Scottish legal culture, which is evinced in the statutory tradition from the late-1390s onwards? Can considering these questions shed light on why more and more Scottish clerks began to record legal disputes in the vernacular during the fifteenth century (for example in the Aberdeen Burgh Records)? In order to answer those questions, the candidate will need to study the translation of Regiam in light of surviving early manuscripts of the Latin original. He or she would also need to consider the translation of Regiam within the broader context of the development of Scottish vernacular culture.

A candidate who tackles these questions properly will develop a pre-existing expertise in Latin, Scots and palaeography to a very high standard. Such skills would enable the candidate to go on to work on manuscript culture and textual transmission and criticism of ideas in the medieval period out-with the field of Scottish legal history.

PLEASE NOTE: We require a research proposal to be included in your application, for more details:

If you are interested in this topic then please apply online. It is not necessary to email unless you have a specific question.

Funding Notes

This project is funded by a University of Aberdeen Elphinstone Scholarship. An Elphinstone Scholarship covers the cost of tuition fees, whether Home, EU or Overseas. This scholarship will not cover living expenses.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit. The successful candidate must be able to read Latin and Scots. He or she must also be prepared to undertake extensive archival research that will call for significant paleographical skills.

(With thanks to Ross Macdonald for alerting the ELH Blog to this opportunity.)

Assistant Professor in Legal History (Zurich)

The Faculty of Law at the University of Zurich is seeking an

Assistant Professor in Legal History (duration of three years, not tenure track)

The assistant professorship is designed to further qualify the holder in the discipline of legal history. Upon completion of the position, a habilitation or equivalent achievement should be submitted. Requirements for the position of assistant professor include a doctorate with outstanding results and, if possible, an academic background in the history of Private law and/or contemporary legal history. In addition, the candidate’s current research project should have a strong focus on legal history. A focus on the early modern period and/or contemporary legal history is of advantage. Scholarly experience in a doctrinal legal discipline is also of advantage, but not a strict requirement. Applicants who do not speak German as a native language must be willing to familiarize themselves with the German language.

The University of Zurich aims to increase the percentage of women working in teaching and research and therefore specifically encourages qualified women to apply.

Application materials (cv, list of publications and presentations, teaching portfolio) must be sent by regular mail to the University of Zurich, Faculty of Law, Dean’s Office, Rämistrasse 74/2, CH-8001 Zurich by 9 March 2016. Submission of publications and research papers may be requested at a later stage.

For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Andreas Thier (

Details are available at

2015-16 Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

The Legal History and Rare Books Section (LHRB) of the American Association of Law Libraries, in cooperation with Gale Cengage Learning, announces the annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The competition is named in honour of Morris L. Cohen, late Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School. Professor Cohen’s scholarly work was in the fields of legal research, rare books, and historical bibliography.

The purpose of the competition is to encourage scholarship in the areas of legal history, rare law books, and legal archives, and to acquaint students with the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and law librarianship. Essays may be on any topic related to legal history, rare law books, or legal archives. The competition is open to students currently enrolled in accredited graduate programmes in library science, law, history, and related fields. Both full- and part-time students are eligible. Membership in AALL is not required.

The winner will receive a $500.00 prize from Gale Cengage Learning and up to $1,000 for expenses associated with attendance at the AALL Annual Meeting. The winner and runner-up will have the opportunity to publish their essays in LH&RB’s online scholarly journal Unbound: An Annual Review of Legal History and Rare Books.

The entry form and instructions are available at the LH&RB website:

Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., 18 April 2016 (EST).

Call for Papers: British Crime Historians Symposium 5

7-8 October 2016
University of Edinburgh

The British Crime Historians Symposium meets every two years as a forum for discussion, debate and the presentation of research for all aspects of the history of crime, law, justice, policing, punishment and social regulation.

Previous events (organised by the British Crime Historians Network) have taken place in Leeds, Sheffield, Milton Keynes (Open University) and Liverpool.

Our initial starting point, as in former years, is the British Isles and its former colonies. However we particularly encourage approaches that open up and develop comparative and transnational frameworks across period and place.

This year’s conference particularly welcomes proposals that engage with the following:

• Interdisciplinary perspectives
• Comparative, international and transnational histories
• The relationship between past and present

Confirmed Keynotes Speakers are: Professor David Garland (New York University) and Dr Julia Laite (Birkbeck, University of London)

We welcome proposals for individual papers as well as panels, which should be emailed as an attached Word document to by 31 March 2016.

Each speaker whose proposal for a paper is accepted will be asked to speak for 20 minutes (to allow further time for questions and discussion). A panel should consist of three papers which together address an over-­‐arching theme or topic. We welcome proposals from scholars at all stages of their career including postgraduate students, and we encourage panel organisers to reflect this in any panel proposals.

For each individual paper proposed please include: title of paper; name, institutional affiliation (if any) and email address of speaker; abstract of 250 words.

Proposals for panels should also include: name, institutional affiliation (if any) and email address of the panel organiser; title of panel; summary of aims of panel (150 words); name of panel chair if known (if not included in the proposal a chair will be allocated by the conference committee); and full details of all papers and speakers (as for individual papers above).

The Conference Committee is: Chloe Kennedy (School of Law, University of Edinburgh); Louise Jackson, David Silkenat and Rian Sutton (School of History Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh).

Any queries should be addressed to:



Alan Rodger Postgraduate Visiting Researcher

The University of Glasgow School of Law invites applications from PhD students in Roman law/legal history for the post of Postgraduate Visiting Researcher, to be held during the 2016/17 academic year. The selected candidate will spend a term in Glasgow and receive a £2,000 award for support. The deadline for applications is 15 January 2016. Full details are available at

The post was established in memory of Lord Rodger of Earlsferry (1944-2011), Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and scholar of Roman law and legal history.

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