The Jurisdiction of the Pontiff in the Roman Republic: A Third Dimension


Jan Hendrik Valgaeren
Pages: 164 pages
Shipping Weight: 450 gram
Published: 11-2012
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789058509185

Product Description

In academic research, the pontiff (pontifex) of the Roman Republic has largely been a twodimensional figure, created by Historians and Romanists. In this book, the author - a graduate in both law and history - adds a fascinating third dimension. Taking the pontiff’s jurisdiction (i.e., the supervision of civil litigation) as his starting point, he demonstrates that most Romanists evidence a highly dogmatic approach and only pay attention to the institutional aspects of Roman law, while Historians are primarily interested in the big picture and are mostly unaware of the pontiff’s legal duties. What binds these perspectives is that the scholarly thinking of adherents of either discipline is rooted in the Enlightenment idea that Roman society was a secular one. This biased idea obscures the fact that in the Roman Republic law and religion were intimately connected and remained so well into the Empire. The author argues that it was only around 200 BC - and not earlier - that, as part of the radical reforms following the Second Punic war, jurisdiction was transferred from the pontiff to the praetor.

Jan Hendrik Valgaeren (1980) studied Ancient History, Law, and International Relations in Belgium (Leuven Catholic University), the Netherlands (Tilburg University), and Spain (Deusto University). Greatly inspired by the Renaissance notion of homo universalis, he has taught courses on Legal History, Politics, Culture, and International Relations and is currently working as a lawyer at Vandenheuvel – Du Mongh, Antwerp. He is intrigued by the world of art.