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Orthodoxy and the Courts in Late Antiquity$
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Caroline Humfress

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208419

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208419.001.0001

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Ecclesiastics as Forensic Practitioners

Ecclesiastics as Forensic Practitioners

(p.153) 6 Ecclesiastics as Forensic Practitioners
Orthodoxy and the Courts in Late Antiquity

Caroline Humfress (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter demonstrates the forensic expertise of certain key late Roman ecclesiastics and lay Christians. This expertise was not simply gleaned from a general late Roman legal culture; the biographical evidence suggests a career-orientated education. The training of leading ecclesiastics in forensic rhetoric may provide one explanation as to why canon law was largely developed through similar techniques as late Roman law. The creative elaboration of these two legal systems was thus reciprocal, rather than parallel. In other words, the development of early canon law in late antiquity was framed by a constant case-specific interaction between forensic practitioners within the church and forensic practice outside the church.

Keywords:   late Roman ecclesiastics, forensic expertise, forensic practice, canon law, church, Christians

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