Ulpian’s appeal to nature: Roman law as universal law


In: Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d'Histoire du Droit / The Legal History Review
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  • 1 Legal Theory, University of Utrecht, Netherlands


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In this paper I argue that against the political and perhaps even religiously motivated background of the Constitutio Antoniniana, in order to further enhance the appeal of Roman law, Ulpian seeks to connect law and nature by using Stoic terminology. However, his usage of this terminology is radically distinct from the perfectionist Stoic approach.


  • 13

    Honoré, Pioneer (supra, n. 9), p. 215–217.

  • 25

    For the rarity of the sage see Brouwer, Stoic sage (supra, n. 15), p. 92–135, for Socrates as a possible sage (in the final days of his life, after having been condemned to death) see p. 163–166.

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  • 39

    For a full discussion see Brouwer, Stoic sage (supra, n. 15), p. 18–41.

  • 60

    M. Kaser, Das römische Privatrecht, Munich 1971, p. 195; cf. U. von Lübtow, De iustitia et iure, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Romanistische Abteilung, 66 (1948), p. 514; W. Waldstein, Zu Ulpians Definition der Gerechtigkeit (D 1,1,10pr.), in: J.J. Jakobs et al. (eds.), Festschrift für W. Flume zum 70. Geburtstag, Cologne 1978, p. 221.

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