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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Law in the Roman Provinces (online) (PGHC11505)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn ruling their empire, Roman administrators came into frequent contact with pre-existing local traditions. The legal sphere was no exception to this, and provincials and rulers alike often found dynamic ways of combining local and Roman legal traditions. Through a series of regional case studies, this course will examine the operation of law in the Roman empire from an historical perspective, examining the ways in which subjects interacted with their rulers in various legal contexts.
Course description The study of law in the Roman empire has a long tradition, but has experienced a resurgence of interest in historical studies in recent years. One effect of this renewed interest has been a marked shift in emphasis: there is an increased focus on the perspectives of the people at the periphery, and not just the imperial centre. How did imperial subjects find out about their legal options? How did these options and individuals' behaviour differ according to historical context - geographic, economic or social? And does this change our understanding of the very nature of law in the Roman provinces?

Through a series of regional case studies, this course will examine the legal lives of provincials in the Roman empire. The focus will be on private legal practice from a firmly historical perspective. Students will study a range of evidence to gain an understanding of the operation of law in the provinces and the way that Roman legal institutions interacted with local traditions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Law in the Roman Provinces (PGHC11504)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics, History or Archaeology (at least 1 of which should be in Classical Art and Archaeology) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Through screencasts, self study and interaction in the online forum, gain a broad knowledge of the operation of law in a Roman provincial context.
  2. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship and popular debates about the operation of law in various regions of the Roman empire.
  3. Demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material and different scholarly approaches (e.g. historical and juristic).
  4. Demonstrate, by way of forum participation and the course essay, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence.
  5. Consider the implications of the knowledge gained in the course for understanding the operation and nature of law and empire in other epochs.
Reading List
Ando, C. 2014. Pluralism and empire, from Rome to Robert Cover. Critical Analysis of Law: An International & Interdisciplinary Law Review 1, pp. 1-22.

Burton, G. P. 1975. Proconsuls, Assizes and the Administration of Justice under the Empire. The Journal of Roman Studies 65, pp. 92-106.

Bryen, A. 2012. Judging Empire: Courts and Culture in Rome's Eastern Provinces. Law and History Review 30: 3, pp. 771-811.

Czajkowski, K., Eckhardt, B. with Strothmann, M. eds. Forthcoming, 2020. Law in the Roman Provinces. Oxford.

Fournier, J. 2010. Entre tutelle romaine et autonomie civique. L'administration judiciaire dans les provinces
hellénophones de l'Empire romain (129 av. J.-C. - 235 apr. J.-C.). Athens.

Galanter, M. 1981. Justice in Many Rooms. Courts, Private Ordering, and Indigenous Law. Journal of Legal Pluralism 19, pp. 1-47.

Galsterer, H. 1986. Roman Law in the Provinces: Some Problems of Transmission. In: Crawford, M. H. ed. L'Impero Romano e le Strutture Economiche e Sociali delle province. Como, pp. 13-27.

Humfress, C. 2011. Law and Custom under Rome. In: A. Rio (ed.), Law, Custom, and Justice in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. London, pp. 23-47.

Mitteis, L. 1891. Reichsrecht und Volksrecht in den östlichen Provinzen des römischen Kaiserreichs: mit Beiträgen zur Kenntniss des griechischen Rechts und der spätrömischen Rechtsentwicklung. Leipzig.

Richardson, J. 2015. Roman Law in the Provinces. In: Johnston, D. ed. The Cambridge Companion to Roman Law. Cambridge, pp. 45-58.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Assimilate, process and communicate a wide range of information from a variety of sources.
- Process and critically assess information derived from historical research, utilising theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills specific to the subject area.
- Provide clear written and oral analyses based on historical information.
- Master practical skills in accessing and interpreting historical sources.
- Undertake a sustained independent research project in the course essay, and complete it within a strict time limit.
- Construct and pursue a coherent argument driven by analysis of the primary source material.
- Analyse, assimilate and deploy critically a range of secondary literature relevant and essential to the student's individual research subject.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Kimberley Czajkowski
Tel: (0131 6)50 9110
Course secretary
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