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date: 19 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the idea of doctrine as a focus of historical scholarship, asking how the doctrinal mentality arose, and how historical approaches to doctrine emerged strongly in both common-law and civilian or Romanistic legal cultures. It first defines the meaning of ‘doctrine’, and sets out a guiding thesis. It argues that an important dimension of doctrine is communication; and jurists become fascinated by the history of doctrine when social and political conditions necessitate an expansion or transfer of the legal system, with concomitant transfers of doctrinal thought. The chapter then traces the development of doctrinal history from Gaius to the common law tradition.

Keywords: legal history, doctrinal history, doctrine, historical scholarship, doctrinal mentality, Gaius, common law

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