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Cicero's LawRethinking Roman Law of the Late Republic$
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Paul J. du Plessis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408820

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408820.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
Cicero's Law

Paul J. du Plessis

Edinburgh University Press

The centre of gravity of legal development therefore from time immemorial has not lain in the activity of the state, but in society itself.

(Ehrlich 1962: 390)

In his 1995 book, The Spirit of Roman Law (Athens, GA 1995), Alan Watson included a chapter provocatively titled ‘Cicero the outsider’. By locating this chapter towards the end of the book, Watson hinted that any discussion of Cicero in the context of the spirit of Roman law (a difficult concept in itself) could only really form part of an appendix (in this case Appendix A) to a book of this kind. The gist of this chapter, following the then dominant Romanist view, is that ‘Cicero’s outlook [was] remarkably different from that of the Roman jurists’ (at 200)....

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