Law, Lexica and Libraries: Italy and Francia between the sixth and eleventh centuries (London, UCL, June 20-22, 2013)

Law, Lexica and Libraries: Italy and Francia between the sixth and eleventh centuries

A joint colloquium of the UCL Volterra and Festus projects

Dept of History, UCL, 20-22 June 2013

The projects:




Two AHRC-funded research projects have over the last decade formed a substantial part of the research of the Department of History, UCL, in the areas of antiquity and the early Middle Ages: the Projet Volterra, Law, Empire and after, AD 193-1076; and the Lexicon of Festus.  Among the aims of the first is to promote the study of Roman law and its afterlife in a full social, political, legal and intellectual context, particularly by the analysis of the transmission of legal understanding; of the second to make the mass of information in the Lexicon available to researchers in a useable form, and to stimulate debate on Festus’ own work, on the antiquarian tradition from which he was drawing and on the subsequent history of the text.


As it has turned out, much of the achievement of both projects has been to show that the current scholarly consensus on large parts of the textual tradition of both bodies of material is mistaken; and it has become apparent that work on Festus in the Carolingian period forms an essential part of the story of the transmission of a knowledge of Roman law.  In particular, the Projet Volterra has identified what are probably fragments of the Codex Gregorianus and shown in the case of the Fragmenta Vallicelliana that the transmission of the Codex Justinianus is much more complicated than generally thought; and the Lexicon of Festus project has identified further material in the incunabula of the Epitome of Paul that probably derives from Festus and shown that the current view of the relationship between the apographs of the Farnese manuscript and the editio princeps is certainly wrong.


At the same time, research undertaken by Dr Gutierrez and Professor Calboli in Bologna and by Dr Boumis and Professor De Nonno in Rome has made major advances in renewing our understanding of the study of Festus in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries; and the debate started by the work of Charles Radding and Antonio Ciaralli on the history of Roman law in the Middle Ages shows no signs of subsiding, with crucial ongoing work by Wolfgang Kaiser.


We therefore propose to hold a joint Law, Empire and after and Lexicon of Festus colloquium from Thursday 20 to Saturday 22 June 2013, on the theme ‘Law, Lexica and Libraries: Italy and Francia between the sixth and eleventh centuries’, with as a common theme the interconnectivity between people, libraries, and texts, in order to place the research conducted at UCL in a wider international context and to strengthen the comparative elements in the two projects.


For further information, please contact Dr Simon Corcoran:


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