“Darkening the Fair Face of Roman Law”: Austin and Roman Law
The chapter shows that Austin’s grasp and interest in Roman law was considerable, going beyond what might have found elsewhere in England at the time. Contrarily to the idea that reference to Roman law in Austin locates him in a bygone age – following the spirit in which the study of Austin’s work is too often approached nowadays – Lewis shows how subtle Austin’s understanding of Roman Law actually is by reconstructing the sources he used, as well as the kind of uses he made of these. His ideas about law are illustrated as much by Roman as English example. He is not afraid to engage with his authorities, whether modern or ancient and demonstrates a clear appreciation of the merits of the traditional Roman analysis whilst remaining free to advance beyond it.