HelRAW: Elsemieke Daalder 1.2.2019

The Helsinki Research on the Ancient World (HelRAW) is a monthly research seminar. HelRAW is organized by the SpaceLaw project together with Marja Vierros from the Digital Grammar of Greek Documentary Papyri (PapyGreek) project.


Room A205, Topelia (Unioninkatu 38, 00100 Helsinki)

Elsemieke Daalder (Leiden Law School): Imperator aequum putavit. Law and justice in Julius Paulus’ collections of imperial judgments.

The emperor was the pinnacle of the Roman legal system. He was perceived as the ultimate source of law and justice and therefore all of his legal acts (edicts, rescripts and even judicial decisions) had force of law. At the same time, cultural values dictated that, even though the emperor was above the law, it befitted him to live and act in accordance with it. The delicate balance between these two concepts features prominently in the judicial decisions of the emperor Septimius Severus (193-211 CE), recorded by the Roman jurist Paul in his Decreta and Imperiales Sententiae. This seminar will focus on how, according to Paul, Septimius Severus dealt with the rule of law and the administration of justice in his judicial decisions and how these decisions contributed to the representation of imperial power.

Elsemieke Daalder (1987) studied Law and Classics at Leiden University (2005-2012) and completed a master’s degree in both disciplines. In October 2018 she successfully defended her PhD thesis on Julius Paulus’ two collections of imperial judgments (the Decreta and the Imperiales Sententiae) at the same university. She is currently an assistant professor of legal history at Leiden Law School.