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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The aim of the chapter is to investigate how theories on the early stages of Roman law have been used to support the construction of a unitary Western legal tradition. These theories appear as projects of cultural hegemony through the pursuit of genealogies. The chapter proceeds by reconstructing the historical consciousness of the Western legal tradition, showing the emergence of a model based on the more or less explicit assumptions of Roman legal originalism and supremacy, and of its capacity for survival and renewal. The chapter concludes by jeopardizing these strategies and the project of a cultural dominance of the West in legal matters, and tries to undermine, or at least to raise a strong suspicion about, the standard received approach used to explain Roman institutions.

Keywords: origin, West, Egypt, jurist, civil, genealogy, Africa, transplant, evolution, critique

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