Law and Religion in the Roman Republic


Over the past two hundred plus years, scholarship has admired Roman law for being the first autonomous legal science in history. This biased view has obscured the fact that, traditionally, law was closely connected to religion and remained so well into the Empire. Building on a variety of sources – epigraphic, legal, literary, and numismatic – this book discloses how law and religion shared the same patrons (magistrates and priests) and a common goal (to deal with life’s uncertainties), and how, from the third century B.C., they underwent a process of rationalization. Today, Roman law and religion deserve our admiration because together they supported and consolidated the growing power of Rome.

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Olga Tellegen-Couperus, Ph.D. (1982) in Law, University of Amsterdam, is Associate Professor of Legal History at Tilburg Law School. She has published on Roman law and rhetoric as applied by Cicero and Quintilian and by the classical Roman jurists.

Contributors are: Federico Santangelo, Leon ter Beek, Michel Humm, Jörg Rüpke, Linda Zollschan, James Rives, and Jan Willem Tellegen.
All those interested in Roman legal history, the history of Roman religion, and constitutional history, as well as classical philologists, specialists in Roman law, and sociologists.
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