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Clifford Ando

Law and Empire The Invention of Rome’s Legal System and Historical Reality

Clifford Ando is Professor of Classics, History and Law at the University of Chicago.

Roman civil law was a tool of Empire yet it was more than a collection of laws for internal use. In fact, civil law developed significantly when the Latin legal system — part of that unique political entity known as the Roman Empire — was deployed to embrace, incorporate and govern very different and highly dispersed peoples and cultures.
How did Roman lawyers cope with such pluralism? How did Rome’s imperial project impact its legal system?
What were the rights of foreigners and citizens in the eyes of the Roman Empire? How were the laws of warfare understood? What legitimised Roman sovereignty?
This book aims to celebrate the amazing creativity of the men who wrote Roman law and who developed its methods of disputation. For Clifford Ando, ‘To read and to think in their company is to encounter the men of the past who struggled, sincerely and intensely, with the complexity and diversity of the world that the politics of Antiquity gave birth to.’ A lesson for our own times?

• An innovative work that will enhance our understanding of the richness of Roman law as it relates to politics, at the heart of a complex world.