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Law, as we know it, with its rules and rituals, its procedures and professionals, has not been around forever. It came into being, it emerged, at different places and different times. Sources which allow us to observe the processes of law’s beginnings have survived in some cases.
In this book, scholars from various disciplines–linguists, lawyers, historians, anthropologists–present their findings concerning the earliest legal systems of a great variety of peoples and civilizations, from Mesopotamia and Ancient India to Greece and Rome, from the early Germanic, Celtic and Slavic nations, but also from other parts of the world. The general picture is complemented by an investigation into the Indo-European roots of a number of ancient legal systems, contributions from the point of view of legal philosophy and theory, and an overview of the insights gained.
The Word Sovereignty in Bodin and Vattel and the Myth of Westphalia
The purpose of this book is to enter into the history of the mental-social phenomena that are the word sovereignty and the myth of Westphalia. Given the circularity of language, the project proposes to examine the reality-creating role of language, as an organic instrument of social power within humanity. In semiotic terms, the complex structures of words and also myths form part of sign-systems in which they can both represent and create reality. These are the passive and active functions of language, which explain that words and myths not only represent and describe reality but may also play a leading part in creating and transforming reality, thus demonstrating and being used to carry fabulous power within humanity.
The Peace of Westphalia is analysed to show that, in spite of what actually took place in 1648, Westphalia has had an incredible social effect in international law, standing for the proposition that it signalled the beginning of a new era based on state sovereignty. However, it is argued that Westphalia constitutes a myth, an aetiological myth, which has provided a way for society to explain itself to itself, that is, a way for international society to explain its genesis to itself. As regards sovereignty, it is shown that Jean Bodin introduced the word in Six Livres for the purpose of having the French ruler enjoy supreme power in the hierarchical organisation structure of society. This is the original creative and transforming social effect on the shared consciousness of humanity for which the linguistic sign must be credited, which has continued, unaltered, to this day. With respect to Droit des Gens, it is demonstrated that Emer de Vattel utilised and actually changed the reality associated with sovereignty also for a specific reason, namely, to carry out its externalisation — the ruling entity was now to enjoy exclusive power to govern, which entailed being the sole representative of the people both internally and externally, and also meant that it could not be submitted to any foreign state or to any higher law externally. Vattel’s use of the word has had an extraordinary effect on the shared consciousness of society, including that of the emerging international society, which is still very much present today. These two archetype cases in which ‘sovereignty’ developed show how this word has really had two paradigms over the years, that is, it has represented and created the two distinct realities of the internal and the international.
A study in the evolution of the resident embassy
Since the early twentieth century the resident embassy has been supposed to be living on borrowed time. By means of an exhaustive historical account of the contribution of the British Embassy in Turkey to Britain’s diplomatic relationship with that state, this book shows this to be false. Part A analyses the evolution of the embassy as a working unit up to the First World War: the buildings, diplomats, dragomans, consular network, and communications. Part B examines how, without any radical changes except in its communications, it successfully met the heavy demands made on it in the following century, for example by playing a key role in a multitude of bilateral negotiations and providing cover to secret agents and drugs liaison officers.
Through recent changes in Dutch (1992) and English (1999) private law, contracts for a third-party beneficiary are, in Western Europe, nowadays considered to be effective and enforceable. This concept is, however, incompatible with both the civilian tradition on the continent and the traditional parties-only rule of English common law. The purpose of this study is to show how the problem of the third-party beneficiary was dealt with during the various periods of Western legal thought and to discuss the subject from the perspective of present-day comparative law. The book is of interest not only to legal historians, but also to all who are engaged with present-day private law – scholars, practitioners and advanced students.

Contributors include David Ibbetson, Regius Professor of Civil Law at the University of Cambridge, and Hendrik Verhagen, Professor of Private International Law, Comparative Law and Civil Law at the Radboud University Nijmegen, attorney at the firm Clifford Chance Amsterdam, and deputy justice at the Court of Appeal, ’s-Hertogenbosch.

Studies in the History of Private Law, vol. 1
Original Latin Text and English Translation
The quadricentenary of Hugo Grotius’ Mare liberum (1609-2009) offered the opportunity to publish a reliable critical edition – combined with a revised English translation – of Grotius’ first publication in the field of international law.
Starting from a comparison with the autographic manuscript, Robert Feenstra undertook a verification of the text of the first and only authorised edition – in particular of the numerous marginal references – resulting in many corrections and further annotations. In his ‘Editor’s Introduction’, he explains the history of the later editions of the Latin text and the translations of Mare liberum. Jeroen Vervliet’s ‘General Introduction’ aims at providing a better understanding of the circumstances in which Hugo Grotius wrote this work; it elucidates the legal argument used by Grotius, and the reaction of his contemporary opponents.
This book examines the economic transformation of Turkey, a nation that has risen from bare subsistence in the early 1920s to a thriving market economy as it approaches its EU destination. It reviews the liberal period of the 1920s, highlights Turkey’s inward-looking economic and policy environments that prevailed for more than four decades, and provides an in-depth look at the stabilization and restructuring efforts since the 1980s, focusing on the legislative and political reforms implemented to comply with the terms of entry into the EU. This is a timely title that will be of great interest to policy makers, academics, and the general public, and is a valuable reference for students and scholars of international economics, macroeconomics, and public policy.
Law and Rhetoric in the School Controversies
Gaius Meets Cicero. Law and Rhetoric in the School Controversies sheds new light on a much debated issue in the field of Roman law, i.e. the so-called 'school controversies' between the Sabinians and the Proculians. Tessa Leesen rejects the general assumption in modern literature that the two schools each adhered to a fundamentally different theoretical conception of law. She argues that the 'school controversies' as described in Gaius' Institutiones arose in legal practice when the heads of the two schools were consulted by two conflicting parties and each gave opposing advice. In order to make their opinions persuasive, the jurists were in need of adequate arguments. For this purpose, they made use of rhetoric and of the argumentative theory of topoi as described in Cicero's Topica.
Transnational Insurance Law and the Great San Francisco Earthquake
At the end of the 19th century, internationalisation and standardisation fundamentally changed business law. More and more industries such as insurance, transport, wholesale and finance used standard contracts and clauses for international transactions. An impressive example of this development was the reaction of the insurance industry to the earthquake and inflagration of San Francisco in 1906. At once, a global discourse on the economic, technical and legal consequences arose; in the meantime, a small group of powerful reinsurance managers developed a strict exclusionary clause intended for worldwide application. Fire insurers in many countries adopted this "earthquake clause", while others refused it. Germany, California and Italy - where the earthquake of Messina in 1908 led to a legal turn - are paradigmatic examples of these reactions. Beyond this case study, the author discusses the novel phenomenon of international standard contracts and clauses from a theoretical perspective.
Representing the Periphery
Histories of Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding in the Nordic and Baltic Countries provides an historical perspective on public diplomacy and nation branding in the Nordic and Baltic countries from 1900 to the present day. It highlights continuity and change in the efforts to strategically represent these nations abroad, and shows how a self-understanding of being peripheral has led to similarities in the deployed practices throughout the Nordic-Baltic region.

Edited by Louis Clerc, Nikolas Glover and Paul Jordan, the volume examines a range of actors that have attempted to influence foreign opinions and strengthen their country’s political and commercial position. Variously labelled propaganda, information, diplomacy and branding, these constant efforts to enhance the national image abroad have affected how the nation has been imagined in the domestic context.
Courts, Statutes, Contracts, and Legal Scholarship
The contributions of Understanding the Sources of Early Modern and Modern Commercial Law: Courts, Statutes, Contracts, and Legal Scholarship show the wealth of sources which historians of commercial law use to approach their subject. Depending on the subject, historical research on mercantile law must be ready to open up to different approaches and sources in a truly imaginative and interdisciplinary way. This, more than many other branches of law, has always been largely non-state law. Normative, ‘official’, sources are important in commercial law as well, but other sources are often needed to complement them. The articles of the volume present an excellent assemblage of those sources.

Anja Amend-Traut, Albrecht Cordes, Serge Dauchy, Dave De ruysscher, Olivier Descamps, Ricardo Galliano Court, Eberhard Isenmann, Mia Korpiola, Peter Oestmann, Heikki Pihlajamäki, Edouard Richard, Margrit Schulte Beerbühl, Guido Rossi, Bram Van Hofstraeten, Boudewijn Sirks, Alain Wijffels, and Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz.