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Parution : 03/2020
Editeur : Edinburgh UP
ISBN : 978-1-4744-4396-8
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Roman Law before the Twelve Tables

An Interdisciplinary Approach

Sous la direction de Sinclair W. Bell, Paul J. du Plessis

Présentation de l'éditeur

Bringing together a team of international experts from different subject areas – including law, history, archaeology and anthropology – this book re-evaluates the traditional narratives surrounding the origins of Roman law before the enactment of the Twelve Tables. Much is now known about the archaic period, relevant evidence from later periods continues to emerge and new methodologies bring the promise of interpretive inroads. This book explores whether, in light of recent developments in these fields, the earliest history of Roman law should be reconsidered.

Drawing upon the critical axioms of contemporary sociological and anthropological theory, the contributors yield new insights and offer new perspectives on Rome’s early legal history. In doing so, they seek to revise our understanding of Roman legal history as well as to enrich our appreciation of its culture as a whole.


Jeremy Armstrong, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Sinclair W. Bell, Northern Illinois University, USA.

Luigi Capogrossi Colognesi, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy.

James Clackson, University of Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge, UK.

Paul J. du Plessis, University of Edinburgh.

Rossella Laurendi, University of Genoa, Italy.

Adriano Maggiani, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy.

Matthew C. Naglak, University of Michigan, USA.

Carlos Felipe Amunátegui Perelló, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

Alain Pottage, London School of Economics, UK.

Marco Rocco, University of Padua, Italy.

Christopher Smith, University of St Andrews, UK.

Nicola Terrenato, University of Michigan, USA.

P. Gregory Warden, Franklin University Switzerland.



Introduction: The Dawn of Roman Law
Paul J. du Plessis and Sinclair W. Bell

Part I: The Materiality of Roman Law: New Archaeological Discoveries

1. Roman Law in its Italic Context
James Clackson

2. Central Italian Elite Groups as Aristocratic Houses in the Ninth to Sixth Centuries B.C.E.
Matthew Naglak and Nicola Terrenato

3. Authority and Display in Sixth-Century Etruria: The Vicchio Stele
P. Gregory Warden and Adriano Maggiani

Part II: Constructing Early Roman Law: Sources and Methods

4. The Twelve Tables and the Leges regiae: A Problem of Validity
Carlos Amunátegui Perelló

5. The Leges regiae in Livy: Narratological and Stylistic Strategies
Marco Rocco

6. The Leges regiae through Tradition, Historicity and Invention: A Comparison of Historico-Literary and Jurisprudential Sources
Rossella Laurendi

7. The Laws of the Kings – A View from a Distance
Christopher Smith

8. Beyond the Pomerium: Expansion and Legislative Authority in Archaic Rome
Jeremy Armstrong

Part III: Roman Law in Historiography and Theory

9. Niebuhr and Bachofen: New Forms of Evidence on Roman History
Luigi Capogrossi Colognesi

10. Finding Melanesia in Ancient Rome: Mauss’s Anthropology of nexum
Alain Pottage

216 pages.  £85.00

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