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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 March 2020

Reading a Dead Man’s Mind: Hellenistic Philosophy, Rhetoric and Roman Law

Reading a Dead Man’s Mind: Hellenistic Philosophy, Rhetoric and Roman Law

Chapter:
(p.26) Chapter 3 Reading a Dead Man’s Mind: Hellenistic Philosophy, Rhetoric and Roman Law
Source:
Cicero's Law
Author(s):

Olga Tellegen-Couperus

Jan Willem Tellegen

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408820.003.0003

Which Hellenistic school of philosophy was most influential in the development of Roman law, Stoicism or the New Academy? Within the broader and familiar topic of the connection between philosophy, rhetoric and law in ancient Rome, an unequivocal, or at least potentially persuasive, answer to this question has so far remained elusive. While we would caution against overheated expectations of a conclusive resolution, we believe that the concept of the voluntas testatoris, whose interpretation was as much a matter of debate in Roman antiquity as it is now among Romanists, will bring us closer. Using this notion as a case study, we will argue that while the Roman jurists did not construct a balanced and general voluntas testatoris theory, they might in this area at least have been more likely to favour the New Academy approach.

Keywords:   New Academy, Stoicism, epistemology, voluntas testatoris, causa Curiana, legatum, fideicommssum, ambiguitas

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