Lands, Laws, and Gods


Book Details

Author  Daniel J. Gargola
Publisher  The University of North Carolina Press
Publication Date   December 11, 1995
ISBN  0807822337
Pages  280

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In Lands, Laws, and Gods, Daniel Gargola examines the formulation and implementation of laws regulating the use of public lands, including the establishment of colonies, in Republican Rome (509-27 B.C.). During this period of territorial expansion, the Romans developed the basic legal forms by which they governed captured land, and they constructed the processes and ceremonies by which those forms were translated into practice. Using agrarian law as a case study and focusing especially on rituals that both validated and gave structure to the administrative process, Gargola demonstrates the fundamental connections between religion, law, and government. Essential acts in the administration of agrarian legislation, such as the transfer of land from one party to another and the granting of contracts for public works, depended upon ritual formulas and gestures, often within the context of religious ceremonies. By recovering these formulas and their larger significance, Gargola reconstructs an important dimension of Roman life.

Originally published in 1995.

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