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A Cultural History of Law

6 Volumes

      How should we talk about “the law” in a period so remote from our own and covering such a huge span of time and space? From the Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1750 BCE) to Justinian’s Corpus Iuris Civilis (529–534 CE), A Cultural History of Law in Antiquity draws upon legal texts and non-textual forms (such as vase-painting, sculpture, and architecture) to uncover the diverse and rich legal traditions of societies ranging from the Ancient Near Eastern cities of Assyria and Babylon in Mesopotamia to the Ancient Israelites, and from Ancient Greece to Rome of the Archaic and Classical Periods.

      With a wealth of textual and visual sources, A Cultural History of Law in Antiquity presents essays that examine key cultural case studies of the period on the themes of justice, constitution, codes, agreements, arguments, property and possession, wrongs, and the legal profession.

      A Cultural History of Law in the Middle Ages

      Volume 2

      Editor(s):

      Emanuele Conte, Laurent Mayali

      In 500, the legal order in Europe was structured around ancient customs, social practices and feudal values. By 1500, the effects of demographic change, new methods of farming and economic expansion had transformed the social and political landscape and had wrought radical change upon legal practices and systems throughout Western Europe. A Cultural History of Law in the Middle Ages explores this change and the rich and varied encounters between Christianity and Roman legal thought which shaped the period. Evolving from a combination of religious norms, local customs, secular legislations, and Roman jurisprudence, medieval law came to define an order that promoted new forms of individual and social representation, fostered the political renewal that heralded the transition from feudalism to the Early Modern state and contributed to the diffusion of a common legal language.

      Drawing upon a wealth of textual and visual sources, A Cultural History of Law in the Middle Ages presents essays that examine key cultural case studies of the period on the themes of justice, constitution, codes, agreements, arguments, property and possession, wrongs, and the legal profession.

      Opened up by the revival of Classical thought but riven by the violence of the Reformation and Counter Reformation, the terrain of Early Modern law was constantly shifting. The age of expansion saw unparalleled degrees of internal and external exploration and colonization, accompanied by the advance of science and the growing power of knowledge. A Cultural History of Law in the Early Modern Age, covering the period from 1500 to 1680, explores the war of jurisdictions and the slow and contested emergence of national legal traditions in continental Europe and in Britannia. Most particularly, the chapters examine the European quality of the Western legal traditions and seek to link the political project of Anglican common law, the mos britannicus, to its classical European language and context. Drawing upon a wealth of textual and visual sources, A Cultural History of Law in the Early Modern Age presents essays that examine key cultural case studies of the period on the themes of justice, constitution, codes, agreements, arguments, property and possession, wrongs, and the legal profession.

      The period of the Enlightenment was marked by innovation in political, cultural, religious, and educational ideas with the aim of improving the experience of human beings in society. Key to intellectual debates and day-to-day life were ideas about the law. Many looked to Britain, and to the British, as exemplars of a state governed by moderate laws under a moderate constitution. Britain’;s laws and constitution were portrayed and satirized in almost every artistic medium. A Cultural History of Law in the Age of Enlightenment presents essays spanning the “long 18th century” (1680 to 1820) which explore the place of law in a range of creative and artistic media, all of which flourished in a commercial society with law at its center and enlightenment as its aim. Drawing upon a wealth of visual and textual sources, A Cultural History of Law in the Age of Enlightenment presents essays that examine key cultural case studies of the period on the themes of justice, constitution, codes, agreements, arguments, property and possession, wrongs, and the legal profession.

      The Age of Reform – the hundred years from 1820 to 1920 – has become synonymous with innovation and change but this period was also in many ways a deeply conservative and cautious one. With reform came reaction and revolution and this was as true of the law as it was of literature, art and technology. The age of Great Exhibitions and Great Reform Acts was also the age of newly systemized police forces, courts and prisons. A Cultural History of Law in the Age of Reform presents an overview of the period with a focus on human stories located in the crush between legal formality and social reform: the newly uniformed police, criminal mugshots, judge and jury, the shame of child labor, and the need for neighborliness in the crowded urban and increasingly industrial landscapes of Europe and the United States.

      Drawing upon a wealth of visual and textual sources, A Cultural History of Law in the Age of Reform presents essays that examine key cultural case studies of the period on the themes of justice, constitution, codes, agreements, arguments, property and possession, wrongs, and the legal profession.

      A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age

      Volume 6

      Editor(s):

      Richard K. Sherwin, Danielle Celermajer

      The period since the First World War has been a century distinguished by the loss of any unitary foundation for truth, ethics, and the legitimate authority of law. With the emergence of radical pluralism, law has become the site of extraordinary creativity and, on occasion, a source of rights for those historically excluded from its protection. A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age tells stories of human struggles in the face of state authority – including Aboriginal land claims, popular resistance to corporate power, and the inter-generational ramifications of genocidal state violence. The essays address how, and with what effects, different expressive modes (ceremonial dance, live street theater, the acoustics of radio, the affective range of film, to name a few) help to construct, memorialize, and disseminate political and legal meaning.

      Drawing upon a wealth of visual, textual and sound sources, A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age presents essays that examine key cultural case studies of the period on the themes of justice, constitution, codes, agreements, arguments, property and possession, wrongs, and the legal profession.