Dissertation: Die Rechtsansichten des Licinius Rufinus

Die Rechtsansichten des Licinius Rufinus

Rechtsgeschichtliche Studien, volume 65

Hamburg , 192 pages

ISBN 978-3-8300-7476-2 (print)
ISBN 978-3-339-07476-8 (eBook)

about this book

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This book aims to enable the reader to better understand an ancient Roman jurist who has been widely ignored by scholars of the legal history. Marcus Gnaeus Licnius Rufinus who originates from Asia Minor is known through seventeen fragments which have been included in Justinan‘s Digests and through one source in which the jurist Paulus reports a correspondence he had with Licinius Rufinus. Little is known so far about the person and personality of Licinius Rufinus. By chance an inscription was excavated in the 1990s which displayed the cursus honorum of Licinius Rufinus. This happenstance opened up the possibility to draw a more comprehensive picture of the Roman jurist. Modern scholars have not focussed on Licinius Rufinus‘ legal opinions which have been conveyed via the Digests because they do not stem from one of the famous names of Roman legal history. The new information we received from the inscription enables us to better understand Licinius Rufinus‘ opinions because it is getting clearer, who the person behind these opinions was:

Licinius Rufinus was a careerist in turbulent times. He outlasted five emperors in prominent positions of the imperial administration. It did not only require a significant amount of legal understanding to achieve this, but also a clear view for what is feasible and appropriate in the current situation. In this book a man is introduced who was a pragmatic, gifted with extraordinary skills. His career brought him to different positions in the imperial administration, even into senatorial rank as amicus caesaris and, finally, 238 AD, into the council of twenty men (XXviri rei publicae curandae) who directed the fortune of the realm. To underestimate the legal opinions of such a person cannot be appropriate since his social status alone is likely to award a lot of esteem to his legal opinions among the contemporary population.

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