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32 - The Dissemination and Appropriation of Legal Knowledge in the Age of Justinian

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2023

Lewis Ayres
Affiliation:
University of Durham and Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
Michael W. Champion
Affiliation:
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
Matthew R. Crawford
Affiliation:
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
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Summary

This chapter examines the ideological, political, and cultural significance of law in the East Roman empire in the ‘Age of Justinian’. It argues that imperial legislation was at the forefront of the political struggles and debates that characterised the era and suggests that knowledge of the law circulated much more rapidly and widely than has often been supposed, even reaching elements of the peasantry. The evidence for the circulation and dissemination of legal knowledge, it is suggested, raises important issues concerning the possible circulation and dissemination of political and religious ideas amongst non-elite strata of East Roman society at this time, and thus may be important for how we think about the broader reception of religious and doctrinal disputes.

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The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity
Reshaping Classical Traditions
, pp. 608 - 625
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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