Section: Events


Semester 2

Edinburgh Roman Law Group

16 March 2018: Dr Philip Kay (Oxford), 'The Effectiveness of the Early Roman Law of Contract for Bankers: An Economic Historian's View'.

5:30-7pm, Neil MacCormick Room, David Hume Tower, All welcome

Livy and other ancient authors suggest that bankers were operating in Rome from as early as the end of the fourth century BC. Some have doubted the veracity of these reports, but the plays of Plautus, written around 200 BC, present a monetised world in which bankers are active and in which the use of banking terminology suggests that deposit banking was already well established as part of everyday Roman life.
Against that background, this paper will take a critical look at the Roman law of obligations in the middle Republic to examine the extent to which, given the importance of ‘judicial security’ in the financial world, the ius civile at that time provided practical and effective mechanisms for bankers and their depositors to make contracts with each other and to seek remedies when monies were not repaid. Rome between the late fourth and early second centuries BC was a society in which the form of contract was oral or performative and the legis actio procedure was still dominant, while, on conventional dating, the ius honorarium was still embryonic. Did this legal framework help or hinder bankers and indeed did the gradual development of the ius honorarium from the late third century BC onwards actually change any significant elements of the law of obligations as it affected bankers?

Henry Goudy Seminar

The next Henry Goudy Seminar will take place on Friday 23 March. We shall convene in the lobby of floor 9, David Hume Tower, at 6.15pm, with a view to proceeding from there to dinner. The chosen text is the opening title of the Digest, D.1.1. You can find it here:


Book Launch

29 March 2018: Book Launch for Guido Rossi's Insurance in Elizabethan England: The London Code (CUP 2016)

13:00-14:00, Elder Room, Old College, University of Edinburgh

Book a free ticket at Eventbrite.


Workshop: Early Modern Legal Practice in Europe (16th-18th centuries): usus modernus europaeum?

 25-26 May 2018

The workshop will look at the comparative development of legal practice in the early modern period across Europe. Focusing deliberately on the impact of law courts on substantive law - and not its systemisation by learned jurists - it will investigate similarities and differences in the development of law across different jurisdictions, seeking to understand whether and to what extent it is possible to consider this development as a unitary and truly European phenomenon.

The workshop will consist of twelve invited speakers, together with PhD and Post-doctoral scholars from the fields of legal history, private law, and early modern history.

Workshop: Ancient Law in Context 

1-2 June 2018

The next meeting of Ancient Law in Contest will be on the broad theme of 'Poverty, Wealth, and the Law'.

Date / Time Details Where
29th Mar 2018 13:00 (1 hour) Seminar: Insurance in Elizabethan England The London Code (Dr Guido Rossi)
Elder Room, Old College

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