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This chapter surveys teaching and learning connected with Digest 9.2 against the background of the changing place of Roman law in the Oxford curriculum over the course of the twentieth century. The chapter considers five snapshots, taken at twenty-year intervals from 1920 to 2000, chosen for consistency and convenience but also because they roughly sample the tenures of the twentieth-century Regius Professors of Civil Law in Oxford. While Henry Goudy demitted in 1919, a year before the date of the first snapshot, the picture revealed in 1920 is still broadly representative of his period (1893–1919). The year 1940 falls in the last third of Francis de Zulueta's era (1919–48); 1960 elides the relatively brief tenure of Herbert Jolowicz (1948–54) with that of David Daube (1955–70); 1980 is midway through Tony Honoré's stint (1971–88); and the final snapshot, taken in 2000, falls a little over ten years into Peter Birks's professorship (1989–2004). Each snapshot indicates where Digest 9.2 fits into the curriculum, who was teaching the subject, what books students used and what types of questions they were asked in their examinations.
1920: AN ADVANCED UNDERGRADUATE PAPER
Harold Hanbury, a staunch defender of Roman law, though himself later Vinerian Professor of English Law, took the Second Public Examination in the Honour School of Jurisprudence in Trinity Term 1920. While he was to be the Vinerian Scholar – the top Bachelor in Civil Law (BCL) student – in 1921, in the Final Honour School (FHS) in 1920, the examiners placed him in the second class, along with ten others. There were five in the first class, four in the third class and two in the fourth class. Sixty-nine other can-didates satisfied the examiners that year, out of a total cohort of 101, the number reflecting the fact that jurisprudence was then regarded as one of the ‘softer honour schools’. The examiners were the still relatively new Regius Professor of Civil Law, Francis de Zulueta; Sir John Miles (Chairman of the Faculty, Merton College); and William Stallybrass (Brasenose College). The exam the students sat was called the Second Public Examination but it might well have been their first examination in law. For example, Hanbury came up to Oxford on a classical scholarship, so would have taken Honour Moderations in classics for his First Public Examination, rather than the Preliminary Examination in jurisprudence.
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