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Rediscovering the hidden structure: A new appreciation of juridical texts and patterns of thought in Late Antiquity (REDHIS)

The REDHIS project explores the persistence of classical jurisprudential thought in Late Antiquity, along two research axes.

In an era that produced few new legal works, the widespread survival of jurisprudential thought is attested primarily by the copying and use of the works of classical jurists, and it is therefore the study of the circulation of these manuscripts that yields evidence of the contemporary legal culture. A first aim of the project is therefore to provide for the census, publication and evaluation of the works of classical jurists on papyrus and parchment, and thereby development of knowledge on how jurists of the 4th and 5th centuries AD maintained intellectual and practical relations with the jurisprudential thought acquired in previous centuries.

Late Antiquity is considered the era of imperial legislation, as opposed to the previous era dominated by private jurists. A second aim, however, is to pursue analytical lines showing that the motivations of imperial constitutions continued in close relation with the mentality and thought forms of classical legislators and jurists.

The project is carried out by three multidisciplinary teams operating under the direction of a principal investigator. A first stage provides for the editing and publication of a collection of papyri and parchment documents, serving as the basis for the second stage re-evaluation of late antique legal culture.

The five-year project, launched in February 2014, is the recipient of a European Research Council IDEAS Program Advanced Grant, for which the UNIPV serves as host Institution. Principal investigator Professor Dario Mantovani; Senior team member Professor Luigi Pellecchi.