HelRAW: Jakub Urbanik 2.3.2020

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.


Lecture hall 11, Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40, 00101 Helsinki)

Jakub Urbanik (University of Warsaw): The status and law between the centre and periphery. On survival of local laws in the Roman Empire

This paper will address the perennial question of the relations between the Roman and local laws after the Roman conquest. My starting point is reading, with Mélèze Modrzejewski, of a passage from the rhetorical treatise ascribed to Menander of Laodicea, De divisione generis demonstrativi, which has been used by some to evidence the final victory of Roman law over the local orders. Modrzejewski’s view that the local laws surived under the Roman rule reduced to role of subordinated customs will be then examined in the light of some instances in which the law of the Egyptian is evoked as the competent order to decide the pending cases. Finally, with two passages from the Digest (XIV 2.9 pr. and I 3.34 pr.) I will try reformulating the ideas on how law was actually applied in Egypt by the Roman authorities.