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Introduction To Part One The Law Behind The Documents: External And Internal Evidence

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Chapter Summary

This part of the book investigates general issues related with the question to law behind the documents. Starting from the language issue that has dominated scholarship so far it takes the discussion two steps beyond and also looks at references to law in the papyri and consequently at a possible pattern in these references and its meaning for our understanding of law behind the documents. The book deals with the language issue, starting from conclusions drawn in previous scholarship and raising questions as to these conclusions, foremost to the role of Aramaic as a legal language after the conquest. Conclusions as to the invalidity of Aramaic as a legal language within a context of Roman jurisdiction have pervaded recent scholarship, without a due amount of critical reflection as to the tenability of such conclusion.

Keywords: language; Roman jurisdiction; Roman law



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