25 March 2020

BOOK: Giuseppi DARI-MATTIACCI and Dennis P. KEHOE, eds., Roman Law and Economics, 2 Vol. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020). ISBN 9780198787211, £95.00

(Source: OUP)

Oxford University Press is publishing a new, 2-volume work on Roman Law and Economics.


Ancient Rome is the only society in the history of the western world whose legal profession evolved autonomously, distinct and separate from institutions of political and religious power. Roman legal thought has left behind an enduring legacy and exerted enormous influence on the shaping of modern legal frameworks and systems, but its own genesis and context pose their own explanatory problems. The economic analysis of Roman law has enormous untapped potential in this regard: by exploring the intersecting perspectives of legal history, economic history, and the economic analysis of law, the two volumes of Roman Law and Economics are able to offer a uniquely interdisciplinary examination of the origins of Roman legal institutions, their functions, and their evolution over a period of more than 1000 years, in response to changes in the underlying economic activities that those institutions regulated.

Volume II covers the concepts of exchange, ownership, and disputes, analysing the detailed workings of credit, property, and slavery, among others, while Volume I explores Roman legal institutions and organizations in detail, from the constitution of the Republic to the management of business in the Empire. Throughout each volume, contributions from specialists in legal and economic history, law, and legal theory are underpinned by rigorous analysis drawing on modern empirical and theoretical techniques and methodologies borrowed from economics. In demonstrating how these can be fruitfully applied to the study of ancient societies, with due deference to the historical context, Roman Law and Economics opens up a host of new avenues of research for scholars and students in each of these fields and in the social sciences more broadly, offering new ways in which different modes of enquiry can connect with and inform each other.


Edited by Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, Alfred W. Bressler Professor of Law, Columbia Law School, USA, and Dennis P. Kehoe, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities (Classical Studies), Tulane University, USA

Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci is an Alfred W. Bressler Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. His research currently focuses on the theory and historical emergence of business organizations, the network structure of codes and constitutions, the economics of shareholder lawsuits, standard form and relational contracts, and carrots versus sticks.

Dennis P. Kehoe is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities (Classical Studies) at Tulane University. His research interests centre on Roman social and economic history and Roman law, with his current work focusing on the role of legal institutions in shaping the economy of the Roman Empire.


List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Contributors
1: Rome and the Economics of Ancient Law I, Geoffrey Parsons Miller
I. Institutions
2: What Can the Endogenous Institutions Literature Tell Us About Ancient Rome?, Robert K. Fleck, F. Andrew Hanssen, and Dennis P. Kehoe
3: The Constitution of the Roman Republic, Eric A. Posner
4: Law-Making and Economic Change during the Republic and Early Empire, Luuk de Ligt
II. Markets and Trade
5: Setting the Rules of the Game: The Market and its Working in the Roman Empire, Elio Lo Cascio
6: Statistics in Ancient History: Prices and Trade in the Pax RomanaPeter Temin
7: The Organization of India-to-Rome Trade: Loans and Agents in the Muziris Papyrus, Ron Harris
III. Organizing Business
8: Incomplete Organizations: Legal Entities and Asset Partitioning in Roman Commerce, Henry Hansmann, Reinier Kraakman, and Richard Squire
9: Roman Business Associations, Andreas Martin Fleckner
10: Agency Problems and Organizational Costs in Slave-Run Businesses, Barbara Abatino and Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci
11: Mandate and the Management of Business in the Roman Empire, Dennis P. Kehoe

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Contributors
12: Rome and the Economics of Ancient Law II, Geoffrey Parsons Miller
IV. Slavery and the Roman Economy
13: Law, Slaves, and Markets in the Roman Imperial System, Aldo Schiavone
14: The Practice of Manumission through Negotiated Conditions in Imperial Rome, Egbert Koops
V. Credit
15: Banking, Money-Lending, and Elite Financial Life in Rome, Jean Andreau
16: Secured Transactions in Classical Roman Law, Hendrik L. E. Verhagen
VI. Property
17: Ancient Rome: Legal Foundations of the Growth of an Indispensable City, Robert C. Ellickson
18: Land Demarcation in Ancient Rome, Gary D. Libecap and Dean Lueck
19: The Institutions of Roman Markets, Benito Arruñada
VII. Dispute Resolution and Remedies
20: One Step at a Time in Roman Law: How Roman Pleading Rules Shape the Substantive Structure of Private Law, Richard A. Epstein
21: Private Prosecution and Enforcement in Roman Law, David Friedman
22: Deterrence of Wrongdoing in Ancient Law, Francesco Parisi, Daniel Pi, Barbara Luppi, and Iole Fargnoli
23: Collective Responsibility, Thomas J. Miceli
24: The Dual Origin of the Duty to Disclose in Roman Law, Barbara Abatino and Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

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