7 ago. 2018

Paul Koschaker (1879–1951)

Tommaso Beggio
Paul Koschaker (1879–1951)
Rediscovering the Roman Foundations of European Legal Tradition
Heidelberg: Universitäts verlag C. Winter, 2018, 332 pp.
ISBN: 9783825368845

The aim of this book is to investigate the life and work of Paul Koschaker (1879–1951), who was one of the most prominent legal historians in the first half of the 20th century. From the 1930s onwards, Koschaker is renowned for having attempted to reaffirm the authority of Roman law, which was experiencing a major crisis at German universities at the time, mainly due to the Nazi regime’s disdain for this subject. Above all, he sought to emphasise the role Roman law played as the cornerstone of European legal tradition, as was masterfully depicted in his book ‘Europa und das römische Recht’. Yet Koschaker also had many other areas of interest throughout his career, including cuneiform law and comparative legal history.
More specifically, this book attempts to provide the first comprehensive study of Koschaker’s biographical experiences, as well as his scientific and academic stances, which have come to light as a result of the discovery and analysis of numerous previously unpublished archival sources



1 Introduction

1.1 A study on Paul Koschaker
1.2 A question of method
1.3 State of the studies on Paul Koschaker
1.4 Research questions and outline of the book

2 From Graz to Leipzig (1897-1936)

2.1 The first steps of the “founder of cuneiform law”
2.2 The call to Leipzig
2.3 Dogmatic approach and comparative method: Koschaker’s two souls?
2.4 On Koschaker’s methodological issues
2.5 Koschaker’s final years in Leipzig and the road to Berlin in 1936

3 Koschaker in Berlin (1936-1941)

3.1 A short premise
3.2 Savigny’s Chair in Berlin
3.3 The new co-editor of the Savigny-Zeitschrift and member of the Akademie
für Deutsches Recht
3.4 The unpleasant period in Berlin
3.5 Life at the University in Berlin
3.6 The affair of the Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Legal history
3.7 Students and the teaching of Roman law
3.8 Leaving Berlin

4 1941-1951: the years in Tübingen and after WWII

4.1 Introduction
4.2 The call to Tübingen
4.3 Negotiations and his arrival in Tübingen
4.4 The time in Tübingen: research and teaching
4.5 Koschaker’s pupils in Tübingen: Below, Wesenberg and Pescatore
4.6 The last years in Tübingen and the Emeritierung
4.7 Koschaker as visiting professor in Germany and abroad

5 Roman law at the time of the crisis: from Die Krise to Europa und das römische

5.1 Introduction
5.2 The crisis of Roman law
5.3 Koschaker’s criticism of the Historisierung of Roman law
5.4 Koschaker’s proposal
5.5 The reactions to Die Krise des römischen Rechts und die
romanistische Rechtswissenschaft
5.6 Final remarks on Die Krise des römischen Rechts und die
romanistische Rechtswissenschaft5.7 An up-to-date mos italicus
5.8 A reform proposal
5.9 Koschaker and Point 19 of the NSDAP program
5.10 Koschaker’s masterpiece: Europa und das römische Recht
5.11 Juristenrecht and relative natural law

6 Koschaker’s legacy

6.1 The European message and its narrative
6.2 European narrative and methodology
6.3 An unpublished textbook on Roman law

7 Conclusions

List of archival sources


Table of Names
Table of Places
Table of Pictures


Paul Koschaker (1879–1951)
Europa und das römische Recht, Biederstein: München, 1947, xii, 378 pp.

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