This new book by an eminent legal scholar and author can be described in a number of ways: a work of reference; an essay in the study of style; a contribution to the prosopography of the late Roman quaestorship; and a reflection on the fall of the western (and on the survival of the eastern) Roman empire. Using an innovative method of analysis--already successfully employed in his acclaimed Emperors and Lawyers (OUP 1994)--the author examines the laws of a crucial phase of the later Roman empire (379-455 AD), a period during which the west collapsed while the east persisted. He allots the laws to their likely drafters and 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 book includes a Palingenesia--as stored on an accompanying floppy disk--allowing scholars to read the primary texts chronologically and judge the soundness of the arguments advanced.
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