Before the Temple of Justice: Reading Roman Law Reading
2011 (English)In: Law and Humanities, ISSN 1752-1491, Vol. 5, no 1, 23-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article argues against the view that Roman law consciously resisted or even rejected the philosophical approach found in Greek thought and that it conceived and pursued legal scholarship in an exclusively practical and pragmatic fashion. In opposition to this view, this article maintains that the non-theoretical nature of Roman law is a fiction and part of an ideology, produced in order to disguise its ideological practices and to hide the mechanics of its workings. Not only do the classical Roman jurists (iuris consulti, iuris prudentes) discuss the nature and sources of law, they also engage in theorising law. Furthermore, in contrast to traditional commentary on Roman law, which tends to view theoretical approaches to law as not having a creative function in shaping the law, this article considers theoretical reflection a productive activity. However, theory implies not only philosophical reflection, but also an awareness and interest in the rhetorical and performative aspects of language. The article tries to show that in reading and interpreting statutes and cases, the Roman jurists are working with—but also resisting—the rhetorical and tropological dimensions of language, and that such a resistance to reading law is constitutive of legal theory. The article also suggests that this reading practice has certain affinities with cartographic practice.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Hart , 2011. Vol. 5, no 1, 23-39 p.
Law and Humanities
Law (excluding Law and Society) Humanities
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-47821OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-47821DiVA: diva2:456371
QC 201111142011-11-142011-11-142011-11-14Bibliographically approved