Professor Mario Talamanca

Readers of the blog will be saddened to hear of the sudden death on 11 June of Professor Mario Talamanca of the University of Rome (La Sapienza).

Professor Talamanca was one of the leading scholars of Roman law in the last fifty years. A prolific author, Talamanca was a charismatic man of very considerable charm. He was a regular at the annual Roman law conference of the Société internationale 'Fernand de Visscher' pour les Droits de l'Antiquité  (SIHDA). In 2001 a Festschrift was published in his honour: Iuris vincula: (studi in onore di Mario Talamanca).  For some recent photographs of Professor Talamanca, see

100 Years of Women in Law: An Edinburgh Centenary

In 1909 Eveline MacLaren and Josephine Gordon Stuart became Scotland's first female law graduates: both were awarded an LLB from the Faculty of Law at Edinburgh. This academic year, to mark the centenary, the Edinburgh Law School is celebrating the achievements of its distinguished women graduates. This started on 2 June with an excellent lecture by Professor Hector L. MacQueen on the first two graduates in their historic context. For further details, see


Legal History Doctoral Scholarship

The Edinburgh Law School is pleased to announce that it proposes to elect an Allan Menzies Scholar to study for the degree of PhD starting in September 2009. This is a scholarship for three years covering fees (at home/EU level) with a stipend for maintenance comparable to those offered by the AHRC and the ESRC.

The holder of the scholarship will be expected to research and write a thesis on a topic reflecting the history and growth of Scots property law in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The School is particularly interested in theses that reflect the relationship of property law to intellectual, economic, and social changes arising out of Enlightenment and industrialisation.

Candidates should have a degree in law (not necessarily from Scotland) or in another relevant discipline.

Application Procedure
The deadline for applications for the Allan Menzies Scholarship is 30 June 2009. Applicants must satisfy the School's usual criteria for admission and must apply for admission as a PhD student in the normal way. In parallel to that application, applicants should send a separate email to to indicate that they wish to be considered for this award.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Professor John W. Cairns (Chair of Legal History) or Professor Kenneth Reid (Chair of Property Law).


Colloquium on Justice in the Graeco-Roman World


Proposals for individual papers (30 minutes) are sought on the subject of Justice in the Greco-Roman World for a three-day colloquium at the University of Western Ontario, March 5th —March 7th 2010. Specific topics could include: human or divine justice in Greek or Roman epic; the rules, procedures, and institutions of Greek or Roman law; the influence of social norms and political and cultural traditions on law; the function of law in ancient society; punishment in theory and practice; prevalent  attitudes towards capital and corporal punishment; criminal procedure and criminal liability. We  encourage submissions from the various fields which comprise the study of the ancient world (art, literature, history, religion, inscriptions, philosophy, epigraphy etc.) and solicit papers treating Greek and Roman cultures across a broad range of theoretical perspectives.

Please send a ONE-PAGE abstract electronically to Prof. Kelly Olson at, or mail to:

Professor Kelly Olson
    Department of Classical Studies
    Univ. of Western Ontario
    London, Ontario, Canada
    N6A 3K7

Abstract submission date: MAY 25th, 2009

Important new Book on the History of Scots Law

Reflecting the recent work on the history of Scots law, it is important to note the publication of Civil Justice in Renaissance Scotland: The Origins of a Central Court, by A. Mark Godfrey. Since the earlier work of Hannay, the foundations of the College of Justice have deserevd a proper re-assessment in the light of the new research. Godfrey's excellent new book does that. Though published by Brill at an eye-watering € 152.00 / US$ 243.00, it deserves to be widely read. It has implications far beyond the history of Scots law. Taken with John Finlay's Men of Law in Pre-Reformation Scotland, published by Tuckwell in 2000, we now have a real understanding of this era and these events.

Scots Legal History on a Harvard Library Blog

It is interesting to note that on Friday, August 15, 2008, Mary Person of the Rare Books Dept at the Harvard Law Library posted an entry on the Blog Et Seq. drawn from the Harvard Library's collection of Scottish material about the case of Stewart Nicholson V Stewart Nicolson, a divorce case where a witness was a slave, known as Latchemo. Illustrations in the Blog entry show that the information was drawn from the Session Papers  relating to the advocation of the case from the Commissaries of Edinburgh to the Court of Session. The case is reported (on other issues) at (1770) Mor 16770 and is referred to in L Leneman, Alienated Affections: The Scottish Experience of Divorce and Separation, 1684–1830 (1998) 174–9. It is discussed in context by me in “Slavery and the Roman Law of Evidence in Eighteenth-Century Scotland”, in Andrew Burrows and Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, eds., Mapping the Law: Essays in Memory of Peter Birks, Oxford, University Press, 2006, pp. 599-618.


David Daube: 100 years

A Meeting was held at King’s College, University of Aberdeen on 27-28 February 2009 to mark the centenary of the birth of David Daube (8 Feb. 1909- 24 Feb. 1999).

Daube's first chair was at Aberdeen and he and his family retained a considerable affection for the city and the University, which now contains his library and papers. The conference covered all aspects of Daube's life and scholarship, with many moving accounts from his family and students. This wonderful event was organised by Professor Emeritus David Carey Miller along with members of Daube's family. There was an illuminating exhibition of papers and books at the University's Department of Special Collections, and at the conference Dinner a slide-show of photographs. Two of Daube's sons and one of his grandsons spoke at the dinner.

The programme was as follows:

Opening address: Vice Principal Christopher Gane

Chair: Reuven Yaron
William Gordon – An undergraduate’s view
Hector MacQueen – David Daube and T B Smith
John Cairns – David Daube’s Roman Law at Aberdeen
Comment – Geoffrey MacCormack

Chair Alan Watson
Bernard Jackson  – Law, Narrative and Theology: Daube on the Prodigal Son
Calum Carmichael – Daube on Jacob’s Red, Red Dish (Genesis 25), and the Riddle of the Red Heifer (Numbers 19)
Robert Segal – Daube on causation in the Bible

Chair Alan Rodger
Joachim Schaper – Daube on Deuteronomy and Recent Work on Biblical Law
William Horbury – Daube and the Cambridge New Testament Seminar
Comment – Larry Hurtado

Chair: Boudewijn Sirks
Ernest Metzger – The Person behind the Text
David Ibbetson – Daube at Cambridge and Roman law Scholarship

Alan Rodger – Professor Buckland and Daube: a
Cambridge Friendship
Tiziana Chiusi – David Daube at the Leopold-Wenger
Comment – David Johnston

Chair: Kathleen Vanden Heuvel
Gero Dolezalek – Daube’s Books
Nancy Scheper-Hughes – The Tyranny of the Gift: 'Tipping' and Sacrifice in Living Donor Transplants

Chair Fergus Millar
Alan Watson – David Daube: a Personal Reminiscence
Reuven Yaron – Doktorvater, Doktorsohn
Concluding comments: Calum Carmichael; Alan Rodger

Closing remarks – Jonathan Daube

See further:

Important Symposium: Law of Nations in the Early Modern Atlantic World

 The currently popular and useful idea of the Atlantic World – associated with David Armitage, among others – founds what looks to be an important short conference in Chicago. "Symposium on Comparative Early Modern Legal History 2009 Conference": "The Law of Nations and the Early Modern Atlantic World". This takes place on Friday 3 April 2009 at the Newberry Library, Chicago. It is organised by: Eliga Gould (University of New Hampshire) and Richard J.  Ross (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Further details may be found at


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