By Tony Honoré
This is a new book from an eminent and well-respected scholar. A work of reference; an essay in the analysis of style; a contribution to the prosopography of the late Roman quaestorship; a reflection on the fall of the western and the survival of the eastern Roman empire: the book combines all four. Using his innovative and controversial method of analysis, already successfully employed in his highly-acclaimed Emperors and Lawyers (2nd edn 1994, OUP), the author examines the laws of a crucial period of the late Roman empire (379-455 AD), a time when the West collapsed while the East survived. Wherever possible, he assigns each law to the likely imperial quaestor who drafted it. This approach yields a novel type of list of office holder (Fasti), in which each quaestor is associated with the laws he drafted. The author shows why the eastern Theodosian Code (429-438 AD), intended to restore the legal and administrative unity of the Roman empire, came too late to save the West. The accompanying Palingenesia on an accompanying disk will enable scholars to read the texts chronologically and to judge the soundness of the arguments advanced. This book will be welcomed as a significant advance in our understanding of a fascinating period of late antiquity.