Tacitus over recht en krom | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 56, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573

Abstract

Abstract

Although Roman law may rightfully be considered one of the most enduring legacies of the ancient world, as a field of study it has all too often been quite disconnected from Roman history. In recent years, however, academic interest in a more interdisciplinary approach that highlights the interconnectedness between Roman law and its wider societal context has steadily become more popular. This contribution will argue that an increased focus on legal themes in the work of ancient authors operating outside the sphere of legal experts is absolutely invaluable for a deeper understanding of the ancient world, and can furthermore help modern readers to explore their own perceptions and expectations of the law, and how they reflect societal values and interests. It will illustrate this idea by delving into the legal thinking of the Roman historian Tacitus, whose works display a notable interest in the subject, and provide fascinating insights into the various ways in which educated non-experts in the Roman Empire could think about the role of law in society.

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