Law, Society, and Authority in Late Antiquity

Law, Society, and Authority in Late Antiquity

Law, Society, and Authority in Late Antiquity

Law, Society, and Authority in Late Antiquity

Synopsis

The sixteen papers in this volume investigate the links between law and society during Late Antiquity (260-640 CE). On the one hand, they consider how social changes such as the barbarian settlement and the rise of the Christian church resulted in the creation of new sources of legal authority, such as local and 'vulgar' law, barbarian law codes, and canon law. On the other, they investigate the interrelationship between legal innovations and social change, for the very process of creating new law and new authority either resulted from or caused changes in the society in which it occurred. The studies in this volume discuss interactions between legal theory and practice, the Greek east and the Roman west, secular and ecclesiastical, Roman and barbarian, male and female, and Christian and non-Christian (including pagans, Jews, and Zoroastrians).

Excerpt

The sixteen studies presented below are the culmination of the work of participants at the second biannual ‘Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity’ conference, held at the University of South Carolina in March, 1997. All but one, that of the volume’s editor, were presented orally at the conference, and all have undergone further extensive restyling and revision, not only as a result of discussions at the conference but also so as to fit the theme of this volume.

Both the conference and this collection could not have been produced without the lavish assistance of both individuals and institutions. the conference was generously funded by the College of Liberal Arts, the Office of the Provost, and the Departments of History, English, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and French and Classics, all of the University of South Carolina. Dr Peter Becker, Chair of the Department of History at the time, was especially forthcoming with both financial and moral support. Additional thanks are due to the usc Late Antiquity graduate student corps of Timothy Cox, Allen Jones, Tracy Keefer (who also served as Administrative Assistant), Walter Roberts, and Wendell Tate, for doing yeoman service ranging from registration work to chauffeuring duties. the production of this volume itself benefited at an early stage from the editorial advice of Gillian Clark, Jill Harries, and Hagith Sivan; and particular thanks are due to Gillian for her coordination across the water with Oxford University Press. Thanks are also extended to the two anonymous referees for the press whose criticisms and encouragement resulted in a much finer final product. It also goes without saying that without the unflagging encouragement, cogent advice, and genuine interest of Hilary O’Shea, Classics Editor for Oxford University Press, this book never could have been produced. and finally, profound thanks and . . .

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