Thursday, 5 February 2015

Ian Balfour: Tertullian and Roman law - what do we (not) know?

Whether Tertullian of Carthage was a professional lawyer before his conversion to Christianity, or whether he was a lawyer only in the sense that Cicero and Quintilian were lawyers (rhetoricians), has been widely debated since 1735. There is no dispute that Tertullian used legal terminology to create Christian Latin and to formulate Christian doctrine, but no one has yet explored whether Tertullian chose some legal words and rejected others, because they had special significance at Carthage. This paper explores what we know about Roman law at Carthage at the end of the second century, and Tertullian's use of it.

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