Section: Seminars and Lectures

Henry Goudy Seminar


Henry Goudy SeminarDuring the course of the 1980s Peter Birks, then holder of the chair of Civil law at the University of Edinburgh set up a Roman law club. According to the advertisement for this club, it was designed to operate in conjunction with the Edinburgh Roman Law Group and was ‘… an informal activity of the [Edinburgh Roman Law] Group with the particular aim of encouraging students whose interest in law or the ancient world attracts them to the study of Roman law.’

After Peter Birks’ departure from the chair in Civil law in the late 80s, the Roman law club lay dormant, while the Edinburgh Roman Law Group went from strength to strength, becoming one of the most prestigious meetings of its kind in Europe. With the filling of the chair in Civil law once more in 2013, it seems appropriate to resurrect the Roman law club also. Given the long and illustrious history of Civil law teaching at Edinburgh, it seems appropriate to rename the club after one of the great civilians who held the chair in the past, Henry Goudy,* professor of Civil law at the University of Edinburgh from 1889 to 1893. Thus, from 2013, the newly resurrected Roman law club will be known as the Henry Goudy Seminar in Roman Law.


The group will meet late each month during term time and will be led by Professor Paul J. du Plessis. It is open to all undergraduates, postgraduates, and staff. You do not have to enrol for this seminar. Those who attend will be asked to sign a register to record their presence. A reading programme will be followed. Notification of the reading for the next meeting will be posted on this web page one month in advance.

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:

Ancient Famous Man from illustrated MS Harley 3485 f. 122 

Detail of a historiated initial with a portrait of a famous man, at the beginning of a biography. BL MS Harley 3485. f. 122


* John W. Cairns, ‘Goudy, Henry (1848–1921)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 17 Sept 2013]    


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