The aim of REDHIS is to write a new history of the Roman legal culture in Late Antiquity. The project will focus on the elements which display the persistence of a legal culture of high level. Two are the main aspects that will be researched. First, a comprehensive understanding of legal culture has to include the study of the legal texts’ manuscript transmission. Although in Late Antiquity few works were composed anew, the books of the main classical jurists of previous centuries were copied, read and studied in the school and in the courts. A full appreciation of the remains of such copies in papyri and parchment – which has been neglected here so far – will explain how the lawyers of the 4th and 5th centuries AD kept in touch with the achievements of previous jurists. Secondly, Late Antiquity is considered to be the epoch of the emperors’ legislation, in opposition to the previous epoch dominated by private jurists. Nevertheless, a thorough analysis of the motivations of the emperors’ decisions will show the mental proceeding of the lawgivers and, at the same time, will show a deep relationship with the works of the roman jurists.
The project will be developed, under the direction of the PI, by three research teams, with a strong cross-disciplinary composition. A wide collection of papyri and parchments will be edited, as a basis for a new interpretation, which will be the second part of the project. REDHIS will organize a series of workshops with the participation of scholars from different European countries. A final international conference on the legal culture in Late Antiquity will disseminate into the scientific community the results of the research.
Four publications will be produced: a collection of the jurists' writings that have come down to us in direct tradition, i.e. outside the Digest; a monograph on the history and geography of Late Antique legal literature; a book on Justinian as a lawgiver; the proceedings of the international conference.
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