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Law in the Crisis of Empire 379-455 AD The Theodosian Dynasty and its Quaestors by Tony Honore

Law in the Crisis of Empire 379-455 AD The Theodosian Dynasty and its Quaestors


Law in the Crisis of Empire 379-455 AD The Theodosian Dynasty and its Quaestors by Tony Honore

This is a new book from an eminent and well-respected scholar. A work of reference; an essay in the analysis of style; a contribution to the prosopography of the late Roman quaestorship; a reflection on the fall of the western and the survival of the eastern Roman empire: the book combines all four. Using his innovative and controversial method of analysis, already successfully employed in his highly-acclaimed Emperors and Lawyers (2nd edn 1994, OUP), the author examines the laws of a crucial period of the late Roman empire (379-455 AD), a time when the West collapsed while the East survived. Wherever possible, he assigns each law to the likely imperial quaestor who drafted it. This approach yields a novel type of list of office holder (Fasti), in which each quaestor is associated with the laws he drafted. The author shows why the eastern Theodosian Code (429-438 AD), intended to restore the legal and administrative unity of the Roman empire, came too late to save the West. The accompanying Palingenesia on an accompanying disk will enable scholars to read the texts chronologically and to judge the soundness of the arguments advanced. This book will be welcomed as a significant advance in our understanding of a fascinating period of late antiquity.


Although this erudite book appeals to specialists, it also contributes significantly to the understanding of late Roman society./ K. W. Harl, Tulane University, Choice, May 1999, Vol 36, no 9 Not only should copies be found on the bookshevles of prosopographers and legal experts, but it is useful and valuable for any scholar interested in the late Roman or early Byzantine Empire. * C.Wade Meade, American Hist.Rev.June 2000. * The research conducted for this work is of the highest quality ... The style of the author is very readable. * C.Wade Meade, American Hist.Rev.June 2000. * His contribution to the prosopography is of top quality. As an essay on the analysis of style of the quaestors who drafted the laws, Honores work is outstanding. The palingenesia (found on two disks in the back) listing all the laws of the Theodosian age certainly makes this a work of reference ... This allows scholars to study each individual law in minute detail. * C.Wade Meade, American Hist.Rev.June 2000. * another triumph for H., providing important new insights. * R.W. Benet Salway, The Classical Review. * the culmination of over a decade's work. * R. W. Benet Salway, The Classical Review. * Now the second part of Honore's magnum opus on imperial legislation has also appeared. * Detlef Lieb Savigny Zeitschrift *

About the Author

Tony Honore was Regius Professor of Civil Law, University of Oxford, 1971-88; Fellow, 1971-89, Acting Warden, 1987-89, All Souls College, Oxford. Former Delegate of the Press, eminent and well-respected author.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 1998


Tony Honore

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Clarendon Press an imprint of Oxford University Press


336 pages


Roman law
European history
Ancient history: to c 500 CE



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