Changes in Late Antique Legal Systems

Kaiser Justinian. Mosaiken in Ravenna, St. Vitalis (Ausschnitt). Image Credit: The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202 lizensiert unter the GNU Free Documentation License:

Changes in Late Antique Legal Systems: Reception, Transformation and Recontextualization of Legal Terms

International workshop organized by project C03 “Interaction and Change in Oriental Legal Systems. The Transfer of Normative Knowledge as Exemplified by Zoroastrian and Islamic Law (Seventh to Eleventh Centuries)” (Head: M. Macuch)

May 22, 2015, 09:00 AM c.t. – 06:30 PM

SFB-Villa, Sitzungsraum, Schwendenerstraße 8, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem

Legal systems are characterized by sophisticated technical languages that make use of a multitude of juridical terms to describe mostly complex circumstances. Whereas legal terms on the one hand have a stabilizing function and serve the jurists for the categorization and evaluation of cases – what is especially true for the tradition-oriented systems of the Late Antiquity like the Roman-Byzantine, Zoroastrian, Islamic, Jewish or Christian canonical laws – they show on the other hand constant changes in their historical development with regard to content and meaning. Besides such endogenous factors in the change of meaning, also exogenous sources as the adoption of a term from an alien law system and its recontextualization are conceivable. In both cases it results in intended or unintended shifts of meaning that may have an impact on other terms or elements of the system, depending on the relevance of the term. It is in particular this modification of Late Antique legal systems caused by changes of legal terms that is subject of the workshop. It targets on an exemplary more detailed description and analysis of the further development of particular legal terms within the systems as well as in their interrelation.

To register, please contact Dr. Iris Colditz: icolditz[at]


9:15–9:30 a.m Maria Macuch (Berlin):
Welcome and Introduction

Panel 1: Rechtsbegriffe und -institutionen in transkulturellem Kontext
9:30–10:15 a.m Johannes Pahlitzsch (Mainz):
„Die Entstehung des christlichen waqf
10:15–11:00 a.m Richard Payne (Chicago):
„Christianizing Stūrīh: Law, Reproduction, and Elite Formation in the Iranian Empire“
11:00–11:30 a.m coffee break
11:30 a.m. –12:15 p.m. János Jany (Budapest):
„Transmitters of Legal Knowledge: Dadestan, Fatwa, Responsum
12:15–1:45 p.m. lunch break

Panel 2: Wandel von Rechtsbegriffen und Argumentationsformen im jüdischen und römischen Recht
1:45–2:30 p.m. Ronen Reichman (Heidelberg):
„‚Was die Schrift lehrt, geht aber doch aus einem Vernunftsargument hervor!‘: Über die Entwicklung eines (rechtspositivistischen [?]) Argumentationsmusters in der rabbinischen Literatur“
2:30–3:15 p.m. Anna Seelentag (Frankfurt/M.):
Tutela und cura – Zur Annäherung zweier Rechtsbegriffe im römischen Recht“
3:15–3:45 p.m. coffee break
3:45–4:30 p.m. Johannes Platschek (München):
Arra in römischen Rechtstexten“
4:30–5:15 p.m. Thomas Rüfner (Trier):
Ius, iudex, iurisdictio: Die Terminologie des römischen Prozessrechts in der Spätantike“
5:15–5:30 p.m. coffee break
5:30–6:30 p.m. Final Discussion