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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter explores the emergence of European legal history in the years after the Second World War through an analysis of Paul Koschaker’s seminal work, Europa und das römisches Recht. Whereas the rise of a European discourse of legal history gels with European integration, the chapter argues that its roots are rather to be found in Koschaker’s attempt to salvage the study of Roman private law from the crisis it had fallen into at German law schools during the interbellum. By highlighting the enduring role of the Roman legal experience for the formation of the European legal tradition, he hoped to give Roman law a new relevance for law students. The chapter further surveys the gradual widening of European legal history towards other subjects than Roman private law, in particular during the 1970s and 1980s.

Keywords: historiography, Roman law, Koschaker, Coing, German Historical School

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