Legal Pluralism and the Roman Empires

K Tuori

in Beyond Dogmatics

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780748627936
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651474 | DOI:
Legal Pluralism and the Roman Empires

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The image of the Roman Empire has undergone a noticeable change over the last few decades. The unitary model of the Roman Empire, in which laws issued by the emperor were followed equally from Egypt to Spain after AD 212, has been crumbling. Instead of this model of a quasi-modern state, historical studies based on sources found in the provinces offer a model of a heterogeneous empire, in which local rules and customs are more prominent. This chapter seeks to offer some insights into the implication of this development, proceeding from a juxtaposition of contemporary studies through the concepts of centre and periphery, universalism and particularism. These concepts are then applied to the debate over the Constitutio Antoniniana, as is fitting to any discussion on the legal unification of the Roman Empire. Finally, it explores the contradictory tendencies of centralisation and disintegration apparent in the historical scholarship today.

Keywords: Roman Empire; Roman law; heterogeneous empire; universalism; particularism; Constitutio Antoniniana

Chapter.  6018 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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