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Beyond DogmaticsLaw and Society in the Roman World$
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John W. Cairns and Paul J. du Plessis

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627936

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627936.001.0001

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Legal Pluralism and the Roman Empires

Legal Pluralism and the Roman Empires

(p.39) 2 Legal Pluralism and the Roman Empires
Beyond Dogmatics

K Tuori

Edinburgh University Press

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

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