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Roman Law and Latin Literature - 02-03-04/09/2019, Durham (England)


This conference aims to bridge that divide. It will explore the quintessentially normative nature of Latin literature vis-à-vis the literary character of Roman law. We aim to examine the interactions between legal texts (e.g. laws, edicts, witness statements, inscriptions, letters, responsa of jurists, sententiae) and literary works (e.g. comedy, tragedy, epic, didactic poetry, elegy, satire, collections of letters, declamations, speeches, praecepta, scholia).

FECHA /DATE/DATA: 02-03-04/09/2019

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Durham University (Durham, England)




Se ruega enviar un email a /please contact /sono pregati di inviare una e-mail a

Conference dinner: Monday, 2nd of September, 7 pm (restaurant and price TBA).


Monday 2nd of September

Registration and Coffee

9:00 – 10:00

Welcome and Introduction

10:00 – 10:30

Session 1: Property

10:30 – 11:30

Paper 1: Thomas McGinn, The ‘Things Common to All’: Philosophical Ideal, Cultural Value, or Legal Principle?

Paper 2: John Oksanish, Intellectual ‘Property: Ownership, Possession, and Judgment among Civic artes.

Break: 11:30 – 12:00

Session 2: Precedent

12:00 – 1:00

Paper 1: Néphélé Papakonstantinou, Legal Precedent in Roman Declamation

Paper 2: Zachary Herz, Exemplarity, Precedent, and the Rules of Law

Lunch: 1 – 2:00

Session 3 (Jurists)

2:00 – 4:00

Paper 1: Francesco Reali, Seneca the Elder and Roman jurists: a comparison on the social concern about unions between freedmen and freeborn women

Paper 2: Tobias Dänzer, How to Win a Court case: Quintilian and the Jurists

Paper 3: Peter Candy, Law, rhetoric, and Saufeius’ ship: The use of chiasmus in D.19.2.31 (Alf. 5 dig. a Paulo epit.)

Paper 4: Matthijs Wibier, The many faces of Marcus Antistius Labeo

Break 4:00 – 4:30


4:30 – 5:30 Michèle Lowrie, The Force of Literature

Tuesday 3rd of September

Session 1 (Marriage and Adultery)

9:30 – 11:00

Paper 1: Jennifer Ingleheart, ‘The bearded Callistratus has been taken in marriage by the lusty Afer’ (Martial 12.42.1); a very queer marriage in ancient Rome

Paper 2: Kirsten Parkin, Three’s a Crowd: Adultery in Declamation.

Break: 11:00 – 11:30

Session 2 (Poetics of Law)

11:30 – 1:00

Paper 1: Jan Felix Gaertner, Terence’s Phormio

Paper 2: David Perry, Roman Statute Law in Poetry

Paper 3: Stella Alekou, Legal Ambiguities in Ovid’s Ecphrasis: Revisiting the Femina Ovidiana in the Metamorphoses

Lunch: 1 – 2:00

Session 3 (Administering the Law)

2:00 – 4:00

Paper 1: Laura Donati, Slaves, Crime and Punishment: Juridical Thoughts and Masterly Issues between the Digest and the Agricultural writers

Paper 2: John Dugan, Littoral Meaning in the Causa Curiana

Paper 3: Aske Damtoft Poulsen, Lex and biopolitics in the portrayal and rhetoric of the delatores

Paper 4: Matthew Mordue, The Virtuous Governor and Thematic Transformation in Book 10 of Pliny’s Epistles

Break 4:00 – 4:30


4:30 – 5:30 Erik Gunderson, Property, Self-Possession, and the Economy of Philosophical Exchange in the Epistulae Morales

Wednesday 4th September (3 papers)

Session 1 (After Roman Law)


Paper 1: Alexander Schwennicke, Late Antique Memories of the Twelve Tables: Education and Empire in Synesius of Cyrene

Paper 2: Nandini Pandey, Created Equal? Relative Quantifications of Human Value, from Roman Law and Literature to American Affirmative Action.

Paper 3: Matthew Leigh, Quintilian and Dred Scott

Break 11:30 – 12:00

Concluding Remarks + Discussion

12:00 – 1:00

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