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A flight to Rome: Ernst Rabel's intellectual itinerary

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How can one explain that Ernst Rabel (1874–1951), born in Vienna, with Jewish roots, became the architect of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) and one of the foremost authorities ever on Private International Law? Was this a mere coincidence or was his method of looking for similarities in the law of di erent nations rather than looking for its disparities the product of an universalism rooted in the example of the Roman Empire and its law and the experience of the multiethnic Empire of the Hapsburgs?

Affiliations: 1: Privatdozent, Rechts- und Staatsrechtswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Bonn, Germany;, Email:


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