Empire and Legal Thought

Ideas and Institutions from Antiquity to Modernity


Emphatic of the importance of legal thought to the rise and fall of empires, this book highlights the centrality of empires to the development of legal thought.

Comprehension of the development of legal thought over time is necessary for any historical, philosophical, practical, or theoretical enquiry into the subject today, it is argued here. When seen against the background of broad geopolitical, diplomatic, administrative, intellectual, religious, and commercial changes, law begins to appear very resilient. It withstands the rise and fall of empires. It provides the framework for the establishment of new orders in the place of the old.

Today what analogies, principles, and authorities of law have survived these changes continue to inform much of the international legal tradition.

Contributors are: Clifford Ando, Lia Brazil, Joseph Canning, Edward Cavanagh, Zachary Chitwood, Emanuele Conte, Matthew Crow, Alberto Esu, Tiziana Faitini, Dante Fedele, Naveen Kanalu, Alexandre A. Loktionov, P. G. McHugh, Jordan Rudinsky, Mark Somos, Joshua Smeltzer, Lorenzo Veracini, Halcyon Weber, and Sarah Winter.

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Edward Cavanagh was a Fellow (2016-2019) of Downing College, after attaining his PhD from the University of Ottawa (2012-2015). His scholarly interests lie at the crossroads of law and history.
 Notes on Contributors
 1Empire and Legal Thought: An Introduction
Edward Cavanagh
 2The First ‘Lawyers’? Judicial Offices, Administration and Legal Pluralism in Ancient Egypt, ca. 2500–1800BCE
Alexandre A. Loktionov
 3After the Empire: Judicial Review and Athenian Interstate Relations in the Age of Demosthenes, 354–22BCE
Alberto Esu
 4Public Law and Republican Empire in Rome, 200–27BCE
Clifford Ando
 5Compromise and Coercion: Imperial Motives Behind Justinianic Legislation in Sixth-century Constantinople
Halcyon Weber
 6Muslims and Non-orthodox Christians in Byzantine Law until ca. 1100
Zachary Chitwood
 7Roman Public Law in the Twelfth Century: Politics, Jurisprudence, and Reverence for Antiquity
Emanuele Conte
 8Ius gentium: The Metamorphoses of a Legal Concept (Ancient Rome to Early Modern Europe)
Dante Fedele
 9‘Exiit edictum a Caesare Augusto ut describeretur universus orbis’ (Luke 2:1–2): Debating Imperial Authority in Late Medieval Legal and Political Thought (12th–14th Centuries)
Tiziana Faitini
 10Ideas of Empire in the Thought of the Late Medieval Roman Law Jurists
Joseph Canning
 11Medieval Pisa as a Colonial Laboratory in the Historiographical Imagination of the Early Twentieth Century
Lorenzo Veracini
 12Open and Closed Seas: The Grotius-Selden Dialogue at the Heart of Liberal Imperialism
Mark Somos
 13Littoral Leviathan: Histories of Oceans, Laws, and Empires
Matthew Crow
 14From Procedural Law to the ‘Rights of Humanity’: Habeas corpus,Ex parte Somerset (1771–72), and the Movement toward Collective Representation in Early British Antislavery Cases
Sarah Winter
 15Prerogative and Office in Pre-revolutionary New York: Feudal Legalism, Land Patenting, and Sir William Johnson, Indian Superintendent (1756-1774)
P.G. McHugh
 16The Pure Reason of Lex Scripta: Jurisprudential Philology and the Domain of Instituted Laws during Early British Colonial Rule in India (1770s–1820s)
Naveen Kanalu
 17James Bryce’s Home Rule Constitutionalism and Victorian Historiography
Jordan Rudinsky
 18Crown, Conquest, Concession, and Corporation: British Legal Ideas and Institutions in Matabeleland and Southern Rhodesia, 1889–1919
Edward Cavanagh
 19British War Office Manuals and International Law, 1899–1907
Lia Brazil
 20Reich, Imperium, Empire: Carl Schmitt and the ‘Overcoming of the Concept of the State’
Joshua Smeltzer
This book has been designed consciously to appeal to legal scholars as well as historians.
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