Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Review of Czajkowski, Localized Law

Kimberley Czajkowski, Localized Law: The Babatha and Salome Komaise Archives. Oxford studies in Roman society and law. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xii, 240. ISBN 9780198777335. $105.00. Reviewed by Tristan Taylor, University of New England (tristan.taylor@une.edu.au)

Localized Law seeks to analyze the famous Babatha and Salome Komaise archives using a different approach than one centered on the oft-examined question of what legal systems are present in the documents. Rather, in a revised version of her doctoral thesis, Czajkowski builds on developments in the analysis of legal pluralism in the Roman empire to consider the ‘varying contributions, considerations and influences that led to the papyri being written the way that they were’ (p 23). As such, the work offers a stimulating study that embraces the legally heterogeneous nature of the documents and highlights the multiplicity of potential influences in their formation—both in terms of individuals and systems—even though the documents rarely provide straightforward answers to the questions asked of them.

Cross-file under New Book.

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