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Legitimacy and Law in the Roman World
Tabulae in Roman Belief and Practice

$58.99 (C)

  • Date Published: July 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521068918

$ 58.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The Romans wrote solemn religious, public, and legal documents on wooden tablets often coated with wax. This book investigates the historical significance of this resonant form of writing and its power to make documents efficacious. It traces its role in court, its spread to the provinces (an aspect of Romanization) and its influence on the evolution of Roman law. Elizabeth Meyer reveals how Roman legal documents on tablets are the ancestors of today's dispositive legal documents--the document as the act itself. In a world where knowledge of Roman law was scarce (and enforcers scarcer), Roman law drew its authority from a wider world of belief.

    • Reintegrates the Roman law into the contemporary study of Roman social and cultural history
    • Argues for understanding obedience to the law in terms of extra-legal beliefs and social practices
    • Offers a challenge to earlier ideas about Romanization
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Elizabeth Meyer has given us a fine introduction to the function of tablets in Roman society. Her book is wide ranging and, in fact, its greatest strength is its multiple perspectives." New England Classical Journal, Cynthia Bannon, Indiana University at Bloomington

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521068918
    • length: 372 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of abbreviations
    Part I. The World of Belief:
    1. The use and value of Greek legal documents
    2. Roman perceptions of Roman tablets: aspects and associations
    3. The Roman tablet: style and language
    4. Recitation from tablets
    5. Tablets and efficacy
    Part II. The Evolution of Practice:
    6. Roman tablets in Italy (AD 15–79)
    7. Roman tablets and related forms in the Roman provinces (30 BC–AD 260)
    8. Tablets and other documents in court to AD 400
    9. Documents, jurists, the emperor, and the law (AD 200–AD 535)

  • Author

    Elizabeth A. Meyer, University of Virginia
    Elizabeth A. Meyer is Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia and has published articles on Roman history and epigraphy in several major journals.

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