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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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The Invention of Law in the West

ISBN13: 9780674047334
Published: January 2012
Publisher: Belknap Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Hardback
Price: £44.95

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Law is a specific form of social regulation that is distinct from religion, ethics, and even politics, and is endowed with a strong and autonomous rationality.

The invention of law, a crucial aspect of Western history, took place in ancient Rome. Aldo Schiavone, a world-renowned classicist, reconstructs this process with clear-eyed passion, following its track and structure over the centuries, setting out from the earliest origins and moving up to the threshold of Late Antiquity.

The consolidation of the Roman Empire reinforced this foundational movement. The Empire, after all, was marked by an unprecedented accumulation of power capable of creating the conditions for transforming an archaic predisposition to ritual into an unrivaled science and technology for the control of human relations.

Schiavone offers us a closely reasoned interpretative essay, set against the vast backdrop of a thousand years of Roman history. He returns us to the primal origins of Western juridical machinery and the discourse that was constructed around it - formalism, the pretense of neutrality, the relationship with political power. This is a landmark work of scholarship whose influence will be felt by classicists, historians, and legal scholars for years to come.

Legal History, General Interest
Part One. The Tradition and the History
1. Roman Law and the Modern West
2. History Rediscovered
3. The Jurists in Rome

Part Two. The Birth of a Technique
4. Origins
5. Kings, Priests, Wise Men
6. Rituals and Prescriptions
7. The Model of Statutory Law
8. The Logos of the Republic

Part Three. Science, Forms, Dominion
I. Preservation and Change in the Age of Conquest
9. Ius civile and the Praetors: The Idea of Fairness
10. Orality and Writing
II. The Building of Legal Science: from Quintus Mucius to Servius and Cicero
11. The Quest for Order
12. The New Paradigm: Abstraction and Formalism
13. An Aristocratic Theology
14. A Separate Reason: Entities, Rules, Cases
15. Politics and Destiny
16. Legitimacy and Power: The Doctrine of Natural Law

Part Four. In the Heart of the Empire
I. The Compromise and the Alliance: From Labeo to Gaius and Pomponius
17. Hermeneutics and the Politics of Law
18. The Definition of Characteristics
19. Jurists and Emperors
II. The Government: Ulpian
20. The Great Systematization
21. The Custodians of Law
22. Equality Ancient and Modern

General Index
Index of Sources