New Aid for Roman Law Research

By | 6 June 2008

The Law Library has recently acquired FIURIS (2nd ed., 2003) the Archivio elettronico per l’interpretazione delle fonti giuridiche romane.  FIURIS applied Index verborum quae in rubricis Corporis Iuris Civilis continentur to a corpus of some 31 Roman law sources (including those used in the construction of Vocabularium Iurisprudentiae Romanae), identifying all instances where the words are used. Then it searched through 40 years of Roman Law scholarship, picking up instances of discussion or reference to its lexicon of headwords.
The principal secondary sources  FIURIS indexed were the 12 European law journals which follow (bracketted details are the years of the title covered by FIURIS, and then each journal’s Bodleian shelfmark): AHDE (1965-2000; Spain 300 A40);  BIDR (1965-1996; Roman 300 B20);  BZ (1965-2000; Lower RR (NB in the Old Bod)); INDEX (1970-2000; Roman 300 I20); IURA (1965-1996; Roman 300 I40); LABEO (1965-2000; Roman 300 L10); RHDFE (1965-2000; France 300 R210); RIDA (1965-2000; Ancient Gen 300 R20 + e-journal); RJ (1982-2000; Bookstack – order via ASR); SDHI (1965-2000; Roman 300 S40); TR (1965-2000; Netherlands 300 T50), ZSS (1965-1999; Roman 300 Z20).  The result is over 300,000 citations from some 7,000 journal articles.
But, as if these were not riches enough,  FIURIS also indexed 11 pertinent Festschriften, published between 1965and 2000.  The Bodleian Law Library has copies of 8 of these volumes: namely, for Biondo Biondi (General 510 B615b), Giuffre (Italy 510 G537.3), Grosso (Roman 680 G878y), Scaduto (Italy 510 S277y), Volterra (Roman 680 V937), Scelerillo (Roman 680 S326y), Kaser at 60 (Roman 680 K19a) and Kaser at 70 (Roman 680 K19y). (Should anyone care to donate the volumes we do not have – two in honour of Wieacker (his 60th and 70th), and for Alvares Suarez – the Law Library would be very grateful!)

FIURIS
is not overly helpful to a linguistically challenged user – explication/help is given down the left hand side of the screen without your having to ask for it – but in Italian only. However, experience with searching other databases makes much relatively intuitive (nobody need know how many experimental clicks you made either!). Note that once you have made a successful search and clicked  Visualizza i risultati, double clicking an individual title within the results will get you even more detail: the actual page within the book or article where the reference to your search lemma occurred, and whether it was in the main text or merely cited in a footnote. Results can be printed via the STAMPA button – but remember printing via the Law Library facilities will incur a charge for you.

A quirk with FIURIS is that, after you have double-clicked the shortcut on the desktop, a title screen appears, but hovering your mouse over it results in an egg-timer, suggesting that you should wait – in fact you don’t have to, simply click anywhere on the image on the screen, click on the next (acknowledgements) screen, and you’re through to the business end of the database.

Unfortunately, the terms of its licence means that it cannot be networked, please ask a member of staff for assistance if you need to use it. It will be available between 9am and 5pm Mondays to Fridays.

Pre-announcement: the Bodleian Law Library has also purchased BIA (2000) –  once a technical complication has been overcome, it will be blogged.

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