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Vol 23 No 2 Feb/March 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of The UK Supreme Court Yearbook Volume 8: 2016-2017 Legal Year

The UK Supreme Court Yearbook Volume 8: 2016-2017 Legal Year

Edited by: Daniel Clarry
Price: £120.00

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Legitimacy and Law in the Roman World: Tabulae in Roman Belief and Practice

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Elizabeth A. MeyerUniversity of Virginia

ISBN13: 9780521497015
ISBN: 0521497019
Published: December 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £77.00

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Greeks wrote mostly on papyrus, but the Romans wrote solemn religious, public, and legal documents on wooden tablets often coated with wax. This book investigates the historical significance of this resonant form of writing; its power to order the human realm and cosmos and to make documents efficacious; its role in court; the uneven spread - an aspect of Romanization - of this Roman form outside Italy, as provincials made different guesses as to what would please their Roman overlords; and its influence on the evolution of Roman law. An historical epoch of Roman legal transactions without writing is revealed as a juristic myth of origins. Roman legal documents on tablets are the ancestors of today's dispositive legal documents - the document as the act itself. In a world where knowledge of the Roman law was scarce - and enforcers scarcer - the Roman law drew its authority from a wider world of belief.

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Roman Law and Greek Law
Part I. The World of Belief:
1. The use and value of Greek legal documents
2. Roman perceptions of Roman tablets: aspects and associations
3. The Roman tablet: style and language
4. Recitation from tablets
5. Tablets and efficacy
Part II. The Evolution of Practice:
6. Roman tablets in Italy (AD 15-79)
7. Roman tablets and related forms in the Roman provinces (30 BC-AD 260)
8. Tablets and other documents in court to AD 400
9. Documents, jurists, the Emperor, and the law