Saturday, July 31, 2021

Legal engagement: The reception of Roman law and tribunals by Jews and other inhabitants of the Empire

Legal engagement
Collection de l'École française de Rome
  • Éditeur : Publications de l’École française de Rome
  • Collection : Collection de l'École française de Rome | 579
  • Lieu d’édition : Rome
  • Année d’édition : 2021
  • Publication sur OpenEdition Books : 30 juillet 2021
  • Nombre de pages : 544 p.

The Roman empire set law at the center of its very identity. A complex and robust ideology of law and justice is evident not only in the dynamics of imperial administration, but a host of cultural arenas. Citizenship named the privilege of falling under Roman jurisdiction, legal expertise was cultural capital. A faith in the emperor’s intimate concern for justice was a key component of the voluntary connection binding Romans and provincials to the state.
Even as law was a central mechanism for control and the administration of state violence, it also exerted a magnetic effect on the peoples under its control. Adopting a range of approaches, the essays explore the impact of Roman law, both in the tribunal and in the culture. Unique to this anthology is attention to legal professionals and cultural intermediaries operating at the empire’s periphery. The studies here allow one to see how law operated among a range of populations and provincials—from Gauls and Brittons to Egyptians and Jews—exploring the ways local peoples creatively navigated, and constructed, their legal realities between Roman and local mores. They draw our attention to the space between laws and legal ideas, between ethnic, especially Jewish, life and law and the structures of Roman might; cases in which shared concepts result in diverse ends; the pageantry of the legal tribunal, the imperatives and corruptions of power differentials; and the importance of reading the gaps between depiction of law and its actual workings.

This volume is unusual in bringing Jewish, and especially rabbinic, sources and perspectives together with Roman, Greek or Christian ones. This is the result of its being part of the research program “Judaism and Rome” (ERC Grant Agreement no. 614 424), dedicated to the study of the impact of the Roman empire upon ancient Judaism.

Katell Berthelot, Natalie B. Dohrmann et Capucine Nemo-Pekelman

Roman Law, provincials and barbarians

Julien Dubouloz
Accommodating former legal systems and Roman law

Cicero’s rhetorical and legal perspective in the Verrine orations

Imperial justice as drama

Ari Z. Bryen
A frenzy of sovereignty

Punishment in P.Aktenbuch

Kaius Tuori
Between the good king and the cruel tyrant

The Acta Isidori and the perception of Roman emperors among provincial litigants

Provincial negotiation with the imperial legal system

Aitor Blanco-Pérez
Appealing for the emperor’s justice

Provincial petitions and imperial responses prior to Late Antiquity

Julien Fournier
Representing the rights of a city

Ekdikoi in Roman courts

Legal pluralism under empire

Soazick Kerneis
Legal pluralism in the Western Roman Empire

Popular legal sources and legal history

Marie Roux
Judicial pluralism in the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse

Special jurisdictions and communal courts

Yair Furstenberg
Imperialism and the creation of local law

The case of rabbinic law

The impact of imperial law on rabbinic legal thinking

Catherine Hezser
Did Palestinian rabbis know Roman law?

Methodological considerations and case studies

Orit Malka et Yakir Paz
A rabbinic postliminium

The property of captives in tannaitic halakhah in light of Roman Law

Yael Wilfand
“A proselyte whose sons converted with him”

Roman laws on new citizens’ authority over their children and tannaitic rulings on converts to Judaism and their offspring

Natalie B. Dohrmann
Ad similitudinem arbitrorum

On the perils of commensurability and comparison in Roman and rabbinic law

Law and self-perception

Katell Berthelot
“Not like our Rock is their rock” (Deut 32:31)

Rabbinic perceptions of Roman courts and jurisdiction

Christine Hayes
“Barbarians” judge the law

The rabbis on the uncivil law of Rome

© Publications de l’École française de Rome, 2021

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