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Abstract Pacta Sunt Servanda
Legal maxims written in Latin are a constant in European and American legal cultures, where they have great authority due to perceived antiquity and origins in Roman law. However, sometimes these maxims are actually fairly recent, neologisms that only purport to be ancient. The purpose of this article is to explore one such maxim, pacta sunt servanda, agree-ments have to be upheld, and the cultural, political and legal connotations and contem-porary significances that the phrase has. Through the convoluted history of the maxim pacta sunt servanda, the article explores the role of tradition and history in the making and legimitizing rules.