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Law and Power in the Making of the Roman Commonwealth


  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107420465

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About the Authors
  • With a broad chronological sweep, this book provides an historical account of Roman law and legal institutions which explains how they were created and modified in relation to political developments and changes in power relations. It underlines the constant tension between two central aspects of Roman politics: the aristocratic nature of the system of government, and the drive for increased popular participation in decision-making and the exercise of power. The traditional balance of power underwent a radical transformation under Augustus, with new processes of integration and social mobility brought into play. Professor Capogrossi Colognesi brings into sharp relief the deeply political nature of the role of Roman juridical science as an expression of aristocratic politics and discusses the imperial jurists' fundamental contribution to the production of an outline theory of sovereignty and legality which would constitute, together with Justinian's gathering of Roman legal knowledge, the most substantial legacy of Rome.

    • Provides a comprehensive treatment of the relationship between law and politics throughout Roman history
    • Demonstrates the central role of the legal system in shaping the political institutions of Rome
    • Proves that the extraordinary success of ancient Rome was due not to military power alone, but also to an articulated system of legal rules which provided a degree of integration of the conquered peoples into their system
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107420465
    • length: 402 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The genesis of a political community
    2. Early Roman institutions
    3. The Etruscans
    4. From Monarchy to Republic
    5. Rome's Republican institutions
    6. Toward Italian hegemony
    7. An aristocracy of government
    8. The evolution of Roman law and jurisprudence
    9. Rome's Mediterranean hegemony: new horizons in the third century BC
    10. The reforms of the Gracchi and the crisis of the Roman ruling class
    11. Sulla's attempted restoration and the twilight of the Republic
    12. Civil war
    13. Augustus: the construction of a new institutional system
    14. The architecture of governance
    15. The imperial order at its height
    16. An empire of cities
    17. The emperor and the law
    18. The conclusion of a long journey.

  • Author

    Luigi Capogrossi Colognesi, Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza', Italy
    Luigi Capogrossi Colognesi served as Professor of Roman Law at the Universities of Macerata and Pisa from 1971, and at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza' from 1981, where he is now Professor Emeritus. He has an international reputation in many areas of research including the history of property law, the history of Roman agrarian institutions and economics, and the history of social sciences in the nineteenth century, with particular reference to Max Weber's thinking on ancient history.


    Laura Kopp

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