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Cicero's Law

Rethinking Roman Law of the Late Republic

Edited by Paul J. du Plessis

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A fundamental re-assessment of Cicero’s place in Roman law

This volume brings together an international team of scholars to debate Cicero's role in the narrative of Roman law in the late Republic – a role that has been minimised or overlooked in previous scholarship. This reflects current research that opens a larger and more complex debate about the nature of law and of the legal profession in the last century of the Roman Republic.

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List of contributors
List of abbreviations
A note on translations
1. Introduction, Paul J. du Plessis
Part 1. On Law
2. A Barzunesque view of Cicero: from giant to dwarf and back, Philip Thomas
3. Reading a dead man’s mind: Hellenistic philosophy, rhetoric, and Roman law, Olga Tellegen-Couperus and Jan Willem Tellegen
4. Law’s nature: philosophy as a legal argument in Cicero’s writings, Benedikt Forschner
Part 2. On Lawyers
5. Cicero and the small world of Roman jurists, Yasmina Benferhat
6. “Jurists in the shadows”: the everyday business of the jurists of Cicero’s time, Christine Lehne-Gstreinthaler
7. Cicero’s reception in the juristic tradition of the early Empire, Matthijs Wibier
8. Servius, Cicero and the res publica of Justinian, Jill Harries
Part 3. On Legal Practice
9. Cicero and the Italians: expansion of Empire, creation of law, Saskia T. Roselaar
10. Jurors, jurists and advocates: law in the Rhetorica ad Herennium and De Inventione, Jennifer Hilder
11. Multiple charges, unitary punishment, and rhetorical strategy in the quaestiones of the late Roman Republic, Michael C. Alexander
12. Early-career prosecutors: forensic activity and senatorial careers in the late Republic, Catherine Steel
Postscript, Paul J. du Plessis

About the Author

Paul J. du Plessis is Professor of Roman Law at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses predominantly on the multifaceted and complex set of relationships between law and society in a historical context. Paul is an experienced editor and author. He is co-editor of the following publications: The Making of the Ius Commune: From Casus to Regula (EUP, 2010), Beyond Dogmatics: Law and Society in the Roman World (EUP, 2007), Reassessing Legal Humanism and Its Claims (EUP, 2015) and The Oxford Handbook of Roman Law and Society (OUP, 2016). He is also editor of New Frontiers: Law and Society in the Roman World (EUP, 2013), Cicero's Law: Rethinking Roman Law of the Late Republic (EUP, 2016) and Borkowski's Textbook on Roman Law (OUP, 2015).


The essays are very much on the mark set by the editor, and the quality is high. The book is for scholars, but advanced learning methodology or studying the history of Roman law scholarship will find the book useful too.
- Ernest Metzger, University of Glasgow, Roman Legal Tradition

A thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking book. It is always a pleasure to remake Cicero's acquaintance, and this book does not disappoint.

- Craig Anderson, Robert Gordon University, Edinburgh Law Review

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