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24 April 2015

BOOK: Benjamin STRAUMANN, Roman Law in the State of Nature. The Classical Foundations of Hugo Grotius' Natural Law [Ideas in Context] (Cambridge: CUP, 2015), 283 p. ISBN 9781107092907, £ 65

(image source: cambridge.org)


Benjamin Straumann (NYU) published a new work on roman law and early modern law of nature at Cambridge University Press.

Abstract:
Roman Law in the State of Nature offers a new interpretation of the foundations of Hugo Grotius' natural law theory. Surveying the significance of texts from classical antiquity, Benjamin Straumann argues that certain classical texts, namely Roman law and a specifically Ciceronian brand of Stoicism, were particularly influential for Grotius in the construction of his theory of natural law. The book asserts that Grotius, a humanist steeped in Roman law, had many reasons to employ Roman tradition and explains how Cicero's ethics and Roman law – secular and offering a doctrine of the freedom of the high seas – were ideally suited to provide the rules for Grotius' state of nature. This fascinating new study offers historians, classicists and political theorists a fresh account of the historical background of the development of natural rights, natural law and of international legal norms as they emerged in seventeenth-century early modern Europe.
Table of Contents:
Introduction
1. Natural law in historical context
2. A novel doctrine of the sources of law: nature and the classics
3. Proving natural law: the influence of classical rhetoric on Grotius' method
4. Social instinct or self-preservation?
5. Justice for the state of nature: from Aristotle to the Corpus Iuris
6. Grotius' concept of the state of nature
7. Natural rights: Roman remedies in the state of nature
8. Natural rights and just wars
9. Enforcing natural law: the right to punish
Epilogue
Bibliography
Index.
 Free marketing excerpt here.

22 April 2015

COLLOQUIUM: "Critique sociale et critique sociologique du droit en Europe et aux Etats-Unis: le "Moment 1900" (Paris 29-30 May 2015)


WHAT Critique sociale et critique sociologique du droit en Europe et aux Etats-Unis: le "Moment 1900", colloquium

WHEN 29-30 May 2015

WHERE Paris, Université Paris 2 - Panthéon-Assas, Centre de Droit public comparé (CDPC EA n°7320)
all information here
Présentation
«Autour de 1900, la 'méthode juridique' a fait l'objet de vives controverses dans le monde occidental. De nombreuses approches critiques du droit ont dénoncé la cécité du formalisme juridique à l'égard des réalités individuelles et sociales. Elles furent entendues, elles ont changé nos méthodes de penser le droit et, aujourd'hui encore, elles interrogent nos théories et nos pratiques, nos doctrines et nos jurisprudences».

BOOK: "L’État du droit administratif" byJacques Caillosse


L’État du droit administratif, byJacques Caillosse 

Paris, LGDJ (Droit et société, t. 56), 2015, 346 p.

all information here

Présentation éditeur
Il est ici question de l’État du droit administratif, parce que la matière juridique de ce droit trouve dans l’État sa raison d’être.
L’État n’est-il pas origine et finalité d’un droit administratif tout entier tendu vers ces objectifs d’intérêt général hors desquels l’action publique serait sans justifications ?
Avec le droit administratif, l’État dessine sa cartographie. Il y construit son histoire en donnant à ses choix leur expression juridique : jusqu'où serait-il pensable, sans ce travail d’écriture juridique ? Il s’agit de rechercher, depuis le droit administratif, les empreintes de cette entreprise.
S’il faut se garder de penser que l’État ne serait qu’une production du droit administratif, force est d’admettre que les réalisations de ce dernier appartiennent à l’histoire de l’État. Ainsi sont ici entendus les « récits » du droit administratif : avec eux l’État se rend plus intelligible. On y trouve les traces de sa continuité par-delà ses transformations.
Le droit administratif participe des mutations d’un État voué à changer ses façons d’être et d’agir. Qu’il s’agisse pour lui de questionner ses performances, de repenser ses rapports avec le(s) territoire(s), ou encore de chambouler le modèle de contrôle de l’administration.
Ce programme exige que soient sollicités avec la même attention les figures centrales du droit administratif – service public, puissance publique, justice administrative – et tout un outillage juridique dont l’usage semble éloigné des dispositifs grâce auxquels l’État se reproduit : de la création du déféré préfectoral, à l’expérimentation de formes nouvelles de démocratie locale, en passant par le traitement non juridictionnel des conflits internes à l’administration. Si l’analyse de l’État du droit administratif est inconcevable hors des élaborations politiques de ce droit, elle n’est crédible qu’à la condition qu’en soient reconnus et décrits les supports techniques. L’État se fabrique jusque dans les « détails » du droit administratif.

BOOK: "L'imaginaire de la Commune", by Kristin Ross



L'imaginaire de la Commune, by Kristin Ross

all information here

Présentation éditeur
William Morris, Élisée Reclus, Pierre Kropotkine : ce ne sont pas les premiers noms qui viennent à l’esprit s’agissant de la Commune de Paris. S’ils tiennent dans ce livre un rôle important, c’est que pour Kristin Ross, la Commune déborde l’espace-temps qui lui est habituellement attribué, les 72 jours écoulés et les fortifications sur lesquelles elle a combattu. L’Imaginaire signifie que cet événement révolutionnaire n’est pas seulement international mais qu’il s’étend bien au-delà du domaine de la politique, vers l’art, la littérature, l’éducation, la relation au travail. Ce n’est pas un hasard si les trois personnages principaux du livre sont un poète-artiste, un géographe et un scientifique-anarchiste russe: la Commune n’est pas un simple épisode de la grande fable républicaine, c’est un monde nouveau qui s’invente pendant ces brèves semaines, un monde qui n’a pas fini de hanter les uns et d’inspirer les autres.

Auteure
  • Kristin Ross est professeur de littérature comparée à la New York University. Ses livres publiés en français: Mai 68 et ses vies ultérieures (Complexe, 2005) et Rouler plus vite, laver plus blanc (Flammarion, 2006). A paraître prochainement:Rimbaud et la Commune (Textuel).

BOOK: "Mentir à Rome:"mentiri" ou "mendacium dicere"? L'inhospitalité des sources juridiques" by Patrick Vassart



Mentir à Rome: "mentiri" ou "mendacium dicere"? L'inhospitalité des sources juridiques" by Patrick Vassart

all information here

Présentation éditeur
Pourquoi la prohibition du mensonge résulte-t-elle d’une norme éthique et sociale qui ne fait l’objet que d’un nombre restreint de transpositions? Peut-on retrouver l’origine de ce paradoxe à la lumière des sources romaines du droit contemporain?

  • Patrick Vassart: Docteur en Sciences juridiques, chargé de cours à l’Université de Mons, maître de conférences à l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, avocat au barreau de Bruxelles.

BOOK: "Manuel de droit romain" by Patrick Vassart


Manuel de droit romain, by Patrick Vassart

Bruylant, 2015, 424 p.

all information here

Présentation éditeur
Ce Manuel se propose d'initier des étudiants en droit aux notions remémorées de la jeunesse de notre droit: le Droit romain, en particulier les normes dont il a irrigué le droit privé depuis plus de vingt-cinq siècles. Avec un seul parti-pris de méthode: envisager la découverte comme une promenade de prospection archéologique à travers le fécond champ gallo-romain du Code civil.

Auteur
  • Patrick Vassart: Docteur en Sciences juridiques, chargé de cours à l’Université de Mons, maître de conférences à l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, avocat au barreau de Bruxelles.

BOOK: "Richelieu et l'écriture du pouvoir. Autour de la journée des Dupes" by Christian Jouhaud


Richelieu et l'écriture du pouvoir. Autour de la journée des Dupes, by Christian Jouhaud

Paris, Gallimard (L'Esprit de la cité), 2015, 352 p.

All information here

Présentation éditeur
On a beaucoup écrit sur la journée des Dupes, souvent la même chose : un jour Richelieu est congédié, le lendemain il triomphe, élimine ses ennemis et poursuit son éclatante carrière au cœur des rouages du pouvoir monarchique. Mais cet épisode ne se réduit pas à la narration qui prétend le restituer. Il s'insère dans une suite d'événements, qui le produit et lui donne sens. 
Christian Jouhaud reconstitue cette crise politique dans sa longue durée. Il en retrouve les protagonistes célèbres ou moins connus, scrute les décors et les lieux, met au jour les enjeux visibles, les passions dissimulées, les non-dits et les arrière-pensées. Défilent ainsi sous un éclairage parfois surprenant les figures attendues de Louis XIII, roi de cérémonie et de violence, de la reine mère, d'un Richelieu tacticien de sa propre histoire autant que de la puissance de l'État ; mais encore les vaincus de la crise, un Marillac, un Bassompierre, qui en portent témoignage du fond de leur défaite. 
L'histoire du pouvoir politique n'a de meilleure voie d'accès que de disséquer l'Événement, comme dans une autopsie, pour en explorer les ramifications et les replis. Mais cette histoire n'est intelligible que dans les traces écrites qui disent les actions du pouvoir et dans le travail d'écriture conçu par le pouvoir pour s'inscrire dans le temps.


DEBATE: "Il ruolo delle Costituzioni tra storia e diritto" (Rome, 23 April 2015)


WHAT Il ruolo delle Costituzioni tra storia e diritto, debate within the project I confini del diritto

WHEN 23 April 2015, 17:30

WHERE Università la Sapienza, Law Faculty, piazzale Aldo Moro, Rome

All information here
speakers

Maria Rosaria Ferrarese
Luigi Lacchè
Gunther Teubner

Le costituzioni negli ultimi duecento anni sono state il prodotto più “alto” di quelle formazioni sociali chiamate Stati. Abbandonato l’universalismo che si propugnava alle origini del costituzionalismo moderno, la dimensione statale ha rappresentato il perimetro entro cui si sono pensate e, poi, fatte valere le garanzie dei diritti costituzionali. La concreta macchina costituzionale entra in gioco, da un lato, per assorbire il potere costituente, potere “terribile”, posto alla base dell’ordinamento ma sempre eccedente i suoi confini istituzionali; dall’altro, per sostituire alla processualità aperta dal momento costituente uno stabile quadro di tutele e di garanzie. Guardando al presente, si potrebbe ipotizzare che i processi di globalizzazione abbiano ormai privato le costituzioni del loro presupposto: lo Stato. Nei tempi recenti prevalgono, in effetti, i discorsi sul dominio, non più delle costituzioni intese come “leggi supreme”, bensì dei mercati globali, dei gruppi sociali diffusi entro l’intero pianeta. In molti si dedicano alla ricerca di una nuova dimensione − non più statale, ma sociale − delle costituzioni. A essere messa in discussione non è una delle particolari declinazioni del concetto moderno di costituzione − intesa, alternativamente, come grande decisione, complesso di principi e valori sovraordinati o norma fondamentale − ma la costituzione sans phrase. Tuttavia, una costituzione senza Stato, forse anche senza politica, rimessa esclusivamente alle determinazioni della società nei suoi diversi segmenti (s’è parlato di costituzioni settoriali) quale ruolo svolge? Può porsi ancora come limite ai poteri e garanzia dei diritti ovvero si deve limitare a descrivere le emergenze spontanee dei diversi segmenti che vanno a comporre le nostre società globali?

21 April 2015

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: The Theory of Just War. Behind the Jurisprudential Defense of (Abstaining From) Military Action (Warsaw, 13-14 October 2015); DEADLINE 15 MAY 2015


 (image source: saevientibus2015)

The Departments of Ethics, History of Philosophy and Law and Administration, as well as the International Centre for Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Łazarski Universities (Warsaw) host a conference on 13-14 October 2015 on the eternal interdisciplinary topic of "Just Wars". More information:

On 5th July 1415 the participants of the Council of Constance – a historically pivotal gathering of the ruling and clerical elite of contemporary Europe – were provided with the first of a series of legal writings concerning a momentous dispute between the Kingdom of Poland and the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (the Teutonic Knights). The case centered around the legitimacy of military attacks undertaken by the State of the Teutonic Order on the region of Samogitia (northwestern part of today’s Lithuania), whose inhabitants were the last ethnic group in Europe to resist conversion to Christianity. Arguing for the Polish side was Paul Vladimiri (Paweł Włodkowic), rector of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, who, following the most prominent theological and legal thinkers of the time, defended the rights of pagans to have their own states, safe from the attacks of Christians, provided they themselves refrained from attacking their Christian neighbours. Based on the idea of mutual tolerance and peaceful coexistence between different political communities, Paul Vladimiri’s argumentation has gone down in history as one of the prototype versions of the theory of just war. 600 years after its original presentation, some fundamental issues raised during the medieval dispute are still of utmost urgency:

What type of rationale legitimizes the use of force against an autonomous political community?

What are the preconditions of a morally/legally justified military intervention undertaken on the territory of an independent state?

Which international institution possesses the entitlement to authorize the enforcement of universally recognized standards of execution of political power, e.g. respect for basic human rights?

Are there any moral/legal constraints on the membership in alliances aimed at eliminating specific threats to world peace?

To what extent are individual people responsible for the aggressive policy of (morally deplorable use of force by) their state leaders?

Answers to these and many other questions related to the idea of just war will be discussed during a conference held at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw, Poland, on 13-14 October 2015. We are inviting proposals for paper presentations (up to 20 minutes long) that will contribute to the conference debate. Themes of presentations, accompanied by paper abstracts (maximum 300 words), should be submitted by May 31, 2015, via e-mail to saevientibus2015@uksw.edu.pl . PDF copies of Paul Vladimiri’s writings (the Latin original with its Polish and English translations) as well as the abstract submission form are available on the conference web page: www.saevientibus2015.pl. Selected presenters will be contacted via e-mail by June 15, 2015 and required to register. Accepted papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume on the conference theme.

Registration procedure must be completed by September 15, 2015 by paying the conference fee of 100 EURO (or 115 USD; for details, see the Practical Information tab)

The conference fee does not cover accommodation. The organizers may assist participants in making hotel reservations (selected options are presented in the Practical Information tab of the conference web page).

CONFERENCE/BOOK LAUNCH: Standen en Landen/Anciens Pays et Assemblées d'États (Brussels, 18 May 2015)


Standen en Landen /Anciens Pays et Assemblées d'États, the Belgian Section of the International Committee for the History of Parliamentary and Representative Institutions, launches the 110th volume of its collection on Monday 18 May 2015 in the Chamber of Representatives.

After presentation of a work on 20th Century Belgian parliamentary and party politics (Dr. Frederik Verleden (KUL),Vertegenwoordigers van Natie‘ in partijdienst. De verhouding tussen de Belgische politieke partijen in hun parlementsleden (1918-1970), Kortrijk:INNI publishers, 2015), prof. Olivier Christin (Neuchâtel/EPHE), author of Vox Populi. Une Histoire du vote avant le suffrage universel (Paris: Seuil, 2014, see earlier on this blog) will deliver a keynote lecture on Old Regime voting systems.

Those wishing to attend the event, from 14:00 to 16:00, should notify their presence on standenenlanden@gmail.com.

(source: standenenlanden.wordpress.com)

17 April 2015

JOURNAL: Merchant Morality in the 18th Century Mediterranean (Rives 2014, nr. 49)

(image source: revues.org)

The journal Rives méditerranéennes published a theme issue on "merchant morality in the 18th Century Mediterranean".

Summary:
Par l’existence d’une densité et d’une variété institutionnelles et par la prégnance du commerce sur l’économie, l’espace méditerranéen du long XVIIIe siècle peut être perçu comme un laboratoire pertinent pour travailler la thématique des moralités marchandes. Ce numéro se penche sur la question au croisement de quatre niveaux d’analyse : les trajectoires et les caractéristiques personnelles des négociants, avec leurs stratégies d’autoreprésentations ; les encastrements politiques, culturels et sociaux qui façonnent les groupes marchands (l’État, la paroisse, la « nation », la ville, la religion…) ; les institutions productrices de normes et de comportements normés (l’État, mais aussi les tribunaux de commerce, les assemblées de marchands…) ; et les pratiques qui mettent les éthiques, les lois et les discours à l’épreuve du terrain.

Table of contents (source: revues.org)

JOURNAL: Uses of the Law (Review of Nineteenth Century History 2014, Nr. 48)

(image source: revues.org)


The Revue d'histoire du dix-neuvième siècle published an interesting theme issue on the uses of law in 19th century Europe.

Table of contents (source: revues.org):


15 April 2015

JOB: Two Postdocs at the MPI for European Legal History/Goethe University Frankfurt, 'Knowledge of the Pragmatici, late 16th, early 18th Century'; DEADLINE 15 MAY 2015

(image source: MPI Frankfurt)

The MPI for European Legal History in Frankfurt advertises two postdoc positions on early modern legal history.

Project presentation:
By the third decade of the sixteenth-century, once the first settlements had been successfully established in the Caribbean as well as in Central and South America, the Spanish monarchy had to confront the task of establishing its dominion over huge populations and across vast distances, albeit with limited human and material resources. In light of the scarcity and the remoteness, great importance was accorded to propagating and implementing codes of conduct and modes of behavioural control – not just among European settlers, but also over the indigenous populations.
As a part of the Collaborative Research Centre (‘Sonderforschungsbereich’) 1095, which was approved in November 2014 and is slated to begin at the start of 2015 at Goethe University, Frankfurt, bearing the title “Discourses of Weakness and Resource Regimes”, this subproject draws on the broader historical context described above to ask what norms and mediatic forms had been put to service by the Spanish sovereign to regulate codes of conduct in the period spanning between the 16th and mid-17th century. This study centres predominantly on “normativity”, its conventional and mediatic sources, not least on “law” and the functionality of these normative orders. However, the core of this project draws less on conventional sources of legal history, meaning the large stacks of textual collections pertaining to the norm setting practices of higher authorities or other early modern legal sources from the Castilian tradition and ius commune. Instead, special attention is being paid to modalities of normativity and their special mediatic forms primarily established to reach out to “practitioners” – and, in particular, sources from the fields of moral theology, pastoral or catechetic literature. Research on private book collections and on book circulation shows that they predominantly included popular works, namely small compendia, summaries of greater moral theological works, and, in part, also juridical theses that were notably used in Hispanic America.
The project builds on the hypothesis that “pragmatic literature”, in particular, the strand that powerfully refers back to the tradition of moral theology, may have gained in significance and functionality in the remote frontier context of the early modern empire, lacking in any standard of review: particularly because this body of works did not represent complex instructions or a sophisticated normative framework, or even direct command of the authorities. What on the one hand was regarded as “weakness” could now also be viewed as “strength”: precisely its succinct and concise quality may have rendered this strand of pragmatic literature functional; instead of focusing on law and its enforcement, the works concentrate on the innate force of human conscience, inculcated by way of rituals and discourses. These texts were simultaneously “weak” and “strong”, not only because it was possible to tie them in with Christian traditions of a weak discourse. They were perceived as weak for the lack of theoretical complexity compared to the challenging scholarly tractates and, importantly, also because in general they could not be enforced like the rule of law. They were “strong”, on the other hand, in a pragmatic sense, as their flexible normative underpinnings enabled them to take up those notions of legitimacy and basic moral assumptions which became a part of the moral economy of the colonial society. Not least in the imperial peripheries, where the American territories were located at the beginning and where vast swaths of the Americas continued to remain even after different centres were established in the composite monarchy, these adaptable and pragmatic texts addressing codes of conduct, such as confessional writings, catechisms, moral theological instructions, became particularly important: even in places where the reach of law was limited or non-existent, the practice of specific regulations and notions of “proper” behaviour were effectively mediated through ecclesiastic institutions and players, but also through the omnipresent religious symbols and their consistent inculcation.   
There are some indications that this constellation of resources was responsible for generating, even minimally, normative conceptions of social order and thereby also establishing a system of rule: Juridical normativity and institutions consolidated in a process of differentiation, essentially resources central to the formation of the early modern European state, were substituted by religious normativity and pragmatic literature, which characteristically offered greater scope for interpretation. As a result, the situation that emerged could be construed as “weak” when compared to the European context. But set against the backdrop of the challenge of the colonial project – at the outset at least – it could be viewed as a functional normative order built on a distinct configuration of resources.  
If these hypotheses were confirmed, the project would also help to bring to light not just the practical significance and functionality of this strand of sources, which has received scant attention for a long time, but perhaps also its intellectual weight. It is possible that the perceived weaker nature of this literature does not merely suggest – as often assumed – a form of vulgarization; on the contrary, it may be possible to see herein a conscious, and considerable work of abstraction.

WORKSHOP: "Between slavery and freedom: aspects of manumission in the ancient world. The ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome" (Edinburgh, 1 May 2015)


WHAT Between slavery and freedom: aspects of manumission in the ancient world. The ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome, one-day Workshop

WHEN Friday 1 May 2015, 9:30 am - 6:00 pm 

WHERE Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre, doorway 1, Old Medical Quad, Teviot Place

all information here

Hosted by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, this workshop will bring together scholars working on manumission and slavery in both the classical world (Greece and Rome), and the Near East to debate specific aspects of the manumission process and the lives of freed slaves.

Transition from slavery to freedom

Recent monographic work on ancient slavery has included a number of significant studies of manumission and freedmen. But despite these monographic treatments, it has become ever clearer that seminal aspects of the processes involved in slave manumission are understudied (including the workings and the place of peculium, the slave’s ability to amass possessions that enables him or her to purchase their freedom, the role played by the slave’s gender in the manumission process and prospects, etc.).
Moreover, the status of freed slaves remains subject to debate. In light of the prominence of evidence for manumission and the importance of status in ancient societies, the transition from slavery to freedom is central to our understanding of the peculiar institution in the ancient world.

Workshop programme

There will be three formal sessions: one on Rome, one on Greece, and one on Near Eastern slavery and manumission.
Each speaker is allocated one full hour for paper delivery and ensuing discussion, followed by a plenary discussion session at the end of the day chaired by the workshop organisers.


LECTURE: "Manumitting Slaves: Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Ancient Rome" (Edinburgh, 30 April 2015)


WHAT Manumitting Slaves: Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Ancient RomeThe 5th Slavery in World History lecture

WHEN Thursday 30 April 2015, 6:15 pm - 7:30 pm 

WHERE Teviot Lecture Theatre, doorway 5, Old Medical School, Teviot Place

all information here


Hosted by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, this lecture will consider the manumission of slaves in eighteenth-century Scotland, delivered by Professor John W. Cairns from the University of Edinburgh Law School.

Manumitting Slaves: Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Ancient Rome

Manumission has played a complex social role in slave-owning societies. Unlike ancient Rome, eighteenth-century Scotland was not a slave-society; but it was certainly a society in which men, women and children were held as slaves.
This was the product of the energetic activity of Scots in the British Empire: most of the individuals held as slaves had been imported from the colonies. Slave-societies typically regulate manumission as part of a complex set of regulations of slavery and slave-ownership.
But the legal position of slaves in Scotland as ambiguous; legal practices imported from the colonies and often understood - at least by lawyers - through a lens of Roman law created social and perhaps even legal norms. These ambiguities created uncertainties about manumission and how to make it effective, to allow those freed to maintain their freedom and not be sold abroad.

Join us at our 'Slavery and freedom' workshop

Following this public lecture, there is a workshop on manumission in the ancient world, taking place on 1 May.
Full information on the workshop programme, as well as on how to register, can be found on our website.

Registration

This lecture is free but ticketed. Please visit our online booking system to register.

Further information

For further information on this workshop, please contact the organiser, Dr Ulrike Roth.

CONFERENCE: Capital, Investment and Innovation in the Roman World (Free University of Brussels (VUB), 28-30 May 2015)

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Research Network "Structural Determinants of Economic Performance in the Roman World" (Ghent/Leuven/VUB, funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)) organises a conference in Brussels (VUB) on 28-30 May 2015 around the theme "Capital, Investment and Innovation in the Roman World".

Presentation:
Capital may be defined to comprise all man-made resources available for production. These include (1) financial capital : all monetary wealth in whatever form (stocks of currency, bullion, transferable credit bonds, etc.) available to buy whatever is needed or used to realize production: supplies, tools, equipment, labor, licenses, information, etc.; as well as (2) real (or physical) capital: all material resources such as tools, workshops and factories, warehouses, etc. needed or used to realize production. Both forms of capital may be privately or publicly owned. In a wider sense the concept 'human capital' denotes the embodied stock of human competencies, intellectual and other, that allow a person to perform the tasks necessary to create 'labor'. In order to retain a clear focus for the project and monograph, however, we will limit ourselves for this project to these 'classical' definitions of capital. The concept 'social capital', while valuable in itself, would take us too far from what we consider the core issues of our project. We explicitly focus, furthermore, on investments and innovations, i.e. on the quantitative and qualitative changes that stocks of financial, real and human capital underwent in the Roman world. The objective is to produce a coherent and innovative study of capital, investment and innovation in the Roman world.

Capital and credit are important elements in the furthering or holding back of economic growth. The allocation of capital, labor and natural resources through market and non-market channels determines economic performance.

Hence, fundamental issues in understanding the functioning of the economy of the Roman world include: who had access to capital, to what extent, and in what form, and how they dealt with it. Various segments of society controlled capital to different extents and used it for diverse purposes.

Did the social and political elites of the Roman world treat the wealth they controlled fundamentally differently from the magnates of the capitalistic era, or do the different forms and instruments of the Roman business world no more than cloak an essentially identical mentality? To what extent did other segments of society have access to capital, and how did capital circulate through society?

Asking these questions implies that we should not limit our study to the formal instruments of banking and business, but also take into account the wider institutional framework, both the formal rules and the social networks and informal arrangements that eased or hampered the dissemination of capital. Recent approaches within NIE (North, Wallis & Weingast, Violence and Social Orders, 2009) urge us to look at political and social conditions that constrained the pre-modern economy. According to a pessimistic view, the predatory and exploitative inclinations of the state and of the politically leading rentier class, who extracted the surpluses produced by the peasantry and an underprivileged workforce, hampered the accumulation and productive investment of capital. In other views, it was not the shortage of capital, but the poor allocation of capital that restrained economic performance. The question, however, is whether this is a valid assessment of the situation in the Roman Empire.

Some questions that we will discuss are:
•Did the political and social elites perceive money as an economic asset?
•What part of their property and income consisted of disposable money? How easily and/or readily were assets such as land, buildings, workshops, or slaves transferred into financial capital through factor and commodity markets?
•To what extent did the political and social elites dominate ownership of capital goods (land, natural resources, raw materials, production facilities, tools)?
•What is the role of the state (on imperial and local levels) in the accumulation of capital? What was the property rights regime of publicly owned goods ? What is the role of war in the dissemination and destruction of (fixed) capital?
•What was the role of religious institutions, such as temples, in the creation of capital and in making it available? Were there subject to the same property rights regime as private persons?
•How well did the credit market function? What does the level of interest tell us about the value of capital? Which requirements and whose needs determined the development of formal and informal instruments of the credit market?
•What was the role of private voluntary collectives, such as collegia, in the creation of capital and in making it available ? Were there subject to the same property rights regime as private persons ?
•To what extent was credit necessary for production ? What form did this credit take ? To what extent was consumption credit provided for by commercially oriented financial institutions or entrepreneurs - i.e. by enterprises whose financial assets constituted working capital rather than reserves for future consumption ?
•How and by whom were capital goods besides land and natural resources (tools, machines, production facilities, work animals) produced and allocated?

Equally important is the question to which purposes capital was used: what scope for investment did the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors offer, and to what extent was capital invested in means of production that boosted productivity rather than in status-enhancing assets such as urban palaces, benefactions, and expensive cooks? While investments potentially created growth, market oriented capital investment is as much a response to an expanding market as it is an incentive for economic growth in itself. The increasing urbanization and market integration of the Roman world made productive capital investment an increasingly attractive option, as it widened the market and increased the stability of demand. At the same time, to what extent did landowners and businessmen actually respond to these changing conditions of the market? And how did their response to population decline and the shrinking of the urban markets aggravate the economic decline that seems to occur in many parts of the Roman world after the second century AD? The examples of capital investment in agriculture, transportation, and industry in our archaeological and written sources are undeniable, but what limits were there to the investment of capital in the economy ?

One form of investment that deserves particular interest and which operated at all levels of society is that in knowledge and expertise. As with other forms of investment, a costly and time-consuming effort in gaining specialized know-how and expertise was economically only viable in conditions of sufficient - and sufficiently stable - demand. The ways in which knowledge and expertise were disseminated in pre-modern societies has been used as a marker of the economic development of such societies. In concrete terms, how did servile and freeborn workers and artisans acquire the knowledge they needed? To what extent did this stimulate or constrain economic development? In which ways was professional education embedded in the social and domestic context of business, agriculture, and industry? How is education of labor related to the control of capital and other means of production? Who had what interest in the acquisition and dissemination of expertise and know-how among the free and servile population.

Some questions that we will discuss are:
•What forms of investment in agriculture and other sectors of the economy are visible in the archaeological and written sources?
•What conditions stimulated or constrained investments in the various economic sectors? To what extent did imperial and local taxation stimulate and restrain capital investment? To what extent did investment opportunities stimulate the development of financial institutions?
•What is the relation between capital investment and productivity? Is capital investment related to economies of scale?
•To what extent did investments in agriculture lead to an increase in available animal energy and higher labor productivity? To what extent did a fall in demand cause a reversal of this development?
•How was knowledge and expertise acquired and disseminated in various sectors? What is the relationship between the acquisition of specialized knowledge and capital investment in equipment and infrastructure?

As with investment, incentives to modernize methods of production in agriculture or other economic sectors can be seen as stemming from the rise in urban markets and the increase of rural industries as much as causing economic growth in the first place. In many societies, capital investment went hand in hand with innovation. The investment in expertise and know-how does not only concern the dissemination of existing knowledge, but also provides the starting point for the creation of new technologies and methods. Innovation in the Graeco-Roman world not only consisted of the introduction of new cash and fodder crops and new agricultural techniques, but also of the introduction of new forms of equipment and technologies, and of the application of existing methods on a vastly larger scale. A fundamental question concerns the goals of innovation, i.e. whether innovation was intended to overcome the constraints of production (as in irrigation in agriculture or the application of new technologies in industry), to introduce new sources of energy, or to reduce the input of labor. Available energy was a constraining factor in pre-industrial economies, which makes energy-enhancing innovations of vital importance for economic growth. Of equal importance for the allocation of production factors, however, is the extent to which such sources of energy could be concentrated or transported (such as coal was from the 18th century onwards).

Some questions that we will discuss are:
•What forms of innovation occurred in agriculture, transportation, and industry, and what caused these innovations? To what extent did the costs involved and the risks inherent in novelty cause an aversion to innovation?
•What is the relation between innovation and technological change? To what extent do we see investment in larger installations?
•To what extent is the model of the 'low equilibrium trap', which is seen as limiting the need or drive for innovation, a valid model for the Roman world?
•Which goals determined these innovations? What is the relation between the nature of the workforce and the production process?
•In what ways is investment and innovation related to the increase in the availability of new sources of energy?
Programme:
Koen Verboven & Paul Erdkamp, Introduction

Part 1. Capital
•K. Gunnar Persson, Capital, labour, and income estimates in the Roman world
•Wim Broekaert / Arjan Zuiderhoek, Capital goods in the Roman economy
•Norman Underwood, Laboring for God: The Clergy and Human Capital in the Later Roman Empire
•Leonardo Gregoratti, Temples and traders in Palmyra
•Koen Verboven, Credit institutions and financial capital in the Roman world
•Marguerite Ronin, Cooperative investment in rural communities of the Roman Empire

Part. 2. Investment
•Christiano Viglietti, Pecunia adpensa. Capital, investment, and  innovation in an uncoined-money economy: Rome c. 700-350 BCE
•Jean Andreau, Capital and investment in the Campanian tablets
•Sitta Von Reden, Credit and Investment in Roman Egypt
•G. Minaud, Chiffre d'affaires, bénéfice et capitalisation
•Mick Stringer, Impensae, operae and pastio uillatica. New venture investments in the Roman agricultural treatises.
•Annalisa Marzano, A story of land and water: Capital and Investment in large-scale fishing and fish-salting operations
•Tim Clerbaut, The Roman villae: new beacons of capital production, capital management and Romanization in the Roman North

Part. 3. Innovation
•Paul Erdkamp, Malthusian constraints on the Roman economy. A critique of the ‘low equilibrium trap’
•Helmuth Schneider, Technical innovations in the Roman world

•Robin Veal, Forest resources and technical innovation in the Roman economy
•Andrew Wilson, Concluding remarks
Abstracts can be found on the conference website.