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Legal science and law in Late Antiquity Gaul and Africa

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image of Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d'Histoire du Droit / The Legal History Review

Liebs has treated of legal science in Late Antiquity in two books, one on Africa, the other, recently reedited, on Gaul. As a result of his method we dispose now of valuable displays of the status quo, indicating that the level of jurisprudence was still acceptable; although regarding the Pseudopauline Sentences it is still unclear from which sources the author drew. Weßel, a pupil of Liebs', has analysed in detail the Tablettes Albertini, purchase deeds of land in Africa under the Vandal kings. In many cases he could refute the speculation by Saumagne (the first editor of these texts). Despite Weßel's contention, the farmers of Tuletanios cannot be identified with the coloni adscripticii of the 4th and 5th century, nor the conductores of the culturae mancianae of the 2nd century AD with the emphyteuticarii of later times. But Weßel's analysis shows in any case, that the law in those days was certainly not vulgarised: the sale does not distinguish itself basically from the classical law of sale.

Affiliations: 1: Oxford


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