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Law and Legality in the Greek EastThe Byzantine Canonical Tradition, 381-883$
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David Wagschal

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198722601

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198722601.001.0001

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The Language of the Law

The Language of the Law

Chapter:
(p.138) 3 The Language of the Law
Source:
Law and Legality in the Greek East
Author(s):

David Wagschal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198722601.003.0004

This chapter explores how the language and literary textures of the canons can be read as evidence for a specific vision of law and legality. The chapter opens with an overview of canonical terminology. Particular attention is devoted to the significance of the term “canon” and the surprising absence of the notion of “canon law.” The chapter then surveys the genres of the canons, the structures of the canons as rules, the legal language of the canons, and the non-legal discourses within the canons. Critical observations of the chapter include the highly rhetorical nature of the canons, the strangely desultory and uneven nature of technical legal discourse, and the strong concern to embed the canons into extra-legal narratives. The vision of law uncovered in this chapter coheres strongly with that observed in Chapters 1 and 2.

Keywords:   canon, canon law, philology, terminology, legal language, rules, genre, civil law, rhetoric

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