Ancient Law and Modern Understanding: At the Edges

Overview

In Ancient Law and Modern Understanding Alan Watson proposes that ancient law is relevant and important for understanding history, theology, sociology, and literature. "Law, though technical," he writes, "is not remote from scholarship on other matters, and law is a central element in society."

From Homeric Greece to present-day Armenia, Watson examines law's influence. Without a sensitivity to technical legal language, scholars of literature or history miss much: the use of ...

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Overview

In Ancient Law and Modern Understanding Alan Watson proposes that ancient law is relevant and important for understanding history, theology, sociology, and literature. "Law, though technical," he writes, "is not remote from scholarship on other matters, and law is a central element in society."

From Homeric Greece to present-day Armenia, Watson examines law's influence. Without a sensitivity to technical legal language, scholars of literature or history miss much: the use of puns in Plautus, Sulla's claim that Julius Caesar was descended from a slave, the relationship between the Synoptic Gospels. Legal history is an essential tool for understanding society, Watson argues, but it must be applied with knowledge of how law moves from one society to the next, legal reliance on authority, juristic concern with apparent trivia, and the impact on legal growth.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820341156
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2012
  • Pages: 170
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Watson, Distinguished Research Professor and Ernest P. Rogers Chair at the University of Georgia School of Law, is regarded as one of the world's foremost authorities on Roman law, comparative law, legal history, and law and religion.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Uses and Abuses of Law in History 1
2 Insights into Social History 20
3 Julius Caesar: Descendant of a Slave? 34
4 Jesus and the Adulteress 46
5 Mark's Gospel 58
6 On Gathering Acorns 71
7 Roman Law and the Armenian Draft Civil Code 84
8 The Process 91
9 Law and Not Law 98
Conclusion 106
Notes 119
Bibliography 137
Index of Texts 143
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