The Making of Modern Property: Reinventing Roman Law in Nineteenth Century Europe and its Periphery
In this original intellectual history, Anna di Robilant traces the history of one of the most influential legal, political, and intellectual projects of modernity: the appropriation of Roman property law by liberal nineteenth-century jurists to fit the purposes of modern Europe. Drawing from a wealth of primary sources, many of which have never been translated into English, di Robilant outlines how a broad network of European jurists reinvented the classical Roman concept of property to support the process of modernisation. By placing this intellectual project within its historical context, she shows how changing class relations, economic policies and developing ideologies converged to produce the basis of modern property law. Bringing these developments to the twentieth century, this book demonstrates how this largely fabricated version of Roman property law shaped and continues to shape debates concerning economic growth, sustainability, and democratic participation.
- Introduction: The Romanist-bourgeois property culture: dominium, the social function and resources
- 1. What Roman antiquity had to offer: a scientific method and a vast inventory of property concepts
- 2. The foundations of Romanist-bourgeois property: Robert Joseph Pothier and the transition from medieval 'divided dominium' to modern absolute dominium
- 3. Crafting Romanist-bourgeois property: Roman antiquity, political reaction, a rising bourgeoisie and scientism
- 4. Reform, not revolution: modernizing property in Germany
- 5. The tensions of absolute property
- 6. Roman dominium in the republics of Latin America: property, nationhood, race and economic development
- 7. The social critics: the critique of absolute dominium and the retrieval of the Roman social doctrines
Cambridge University Press
property, Roman property law, law history
Law | Property Law and Real Estate
di Robilant, Anna, "The Making of Modern Property: Reinventing Roman Law in Nineteenth Century Europe and its Periphery" (2023). Books. 265.
Forthcoming July 2023