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I need book recs on the topic of Public Roman Law.

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So, my Ph.D asked me to read through literature to see what topics are more interesting to me, so I could narrow down my potential MA thesis field, and apart from Polish sources he recommended me to find John the Lydian's On the Magistracies of the Roman Constitution, but unfortunately closest physical copies I could find are in North America and Australia and I don't feel ordering them just to read them since it is only recommended lecture, not obligatory. Do you have any suggestions on a good substitute for the book, especially if it is written by someone in the classical era and translated to English?



  1. Kat's Avatar
    PS. I found already a good book, but I still would appreciate some other sources. Some more obscure, if you may, of course I am familiar with Gibbon and other most known authors in the field.
  2. CompositeGNFNR's Avatar
    Gibbon is shit. Its well researched for the time but its been refuted by 200 years of new evidence. You *might* be able to use it as a source for what you're looking for but its a bit outdated.
  3. Five_X's Avatar
    Gibbon definitely made some points that still stand in today's academics. The main point that he fails on is the wide point he makes about Christianity leading to a kind of "apathy" in the empire and making it disintegrate because the people were too obsessed with heaven to care about Rome.

    In that regard, if you're going to read The Decline and Fall, also read Augustine's City of God for a direct refutation of the above theory; that book shows a general Christian perspective on philosophical matters alongside the idea of the empire. Though, neither of the two books really have a whole lot to do with the intricacies of Roman laws, so you should read them as a point of interest, more or less.
  4. Kat's Avatar
    I'm aware enough that 'Dark Ages' were not that 'Dark', so I obviously don't buy everything Gibbon says.

    I noticed that my supervisor who is a practicising Christian is a fan of Julian the Apostate, and he deems anti-politheist laws as intolerant. I like him even more now, because Polish Catholic inteligentsia of today in general is not much tolerant and open. Dr. Jakubowski is quite worldly guy who toured Europe as opera singer (he retired a year ago) before it was cool and Communist frowned on travelling to the West. He also knows English, Spanish, French, German and Latin perfectly.
  5. CompositeGNFNR's Avatar
    So is the law of the ERE out?
  6. Kat's Avatar
    Not, because the Justinian period is covered by the seminar. Thus, I think 6th century ERE counts.
  7. Kat's Avatar
    Well, I know that already.
  8. CompositeGNFNR's Avatar
    I'd get clarification on if you could, but yeah Justinian code.
  9. Kat's Avatar
    It's confirmed.