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date: 25 October 2020

(p. xvii) A Note on Terms and Translations

(p. xvii) A Note on Terms and Translations

Instead of a conventional glossary of terms, we have opted to explain Latin and Greek technical terms in the text where they appear. It is our belief that this mode of explanation is more useful than a voluminous glossary added at the front or the rear of a volume of this size. For those wishing to delve deeper into Roman legal terms, we recommend Adolf Berger’s 1953 Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law (Philadelphia), a book that despite its age has stood the test of time. It is also now available via JSTOR.

As is the convention for handbooks of this kind, many chapter authors have chosen to produce their own translations of passages from legal and other works from the Graeco-Roman world. Where published translations have been used, these have been clearly signposted. In addition, citations to the Digest are to that text alone and include neither reference to the work whence the Justinianic editors excerpted the text nor fragment numbers in Lenel. The editors acknowledge the difficulty of this decision. However, that information is most useful in connection with palingenetic research, and our system will allow those conducting such inquiries to pursue their projects without undue inefficiency.

Finally, readers of this work will notice certain Anglo-American legal terminology such as “distraint”, “bailment”, “lien” and “personal injury” in some of the chapters. This is a testament to the diversity of scholarship and of the legal traditions represented by the chapter authors. These terms have been employed with due sensitivity to the concepts that they seek to describe. It is also an acknowledgement that all engagement with classical Antiquity is mediated and accomplished by acts of conceptual and linguistic translation. The dangers of misapprehension are greatest not when translation is explicit, but when the distance between ourselves and Antiquity is naturalised and effaced. (p. xviii)