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Musing on Clio: Why Study the Past, History, and Legal History

University of Texas Tarlton Law Library Legal History Series, 2009

45 Pages Posted: 30 May 2009  

Jonathan Rose

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law Arizona State University College of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2009

Abstract

This paper pursues two themes. First, it argues that there is a commonality between the general interest in the past, the interest of historians, and interest of legal historians. Second, it shows that several ideas about the past commonly appear in all three contexts. In pursuing this themes, the paper begins by reviewing the initial study of past and the emergence of history and legal history in academia. It explores the various reasons that the early historians and later academic historians and legal historians studied the past and the different ways in which they used it. The paper then pursues in more detail the development of Anglo-American legal history as a scholarly tradition. It identifies three types of academic legal history: classical, liberal, and critical and discusses their natures and different uses of the past. Finally, the paper explores the substantial legal history scholarship and its relevance to scholars who are not legal historians. The paper concludes by stressing the importance of studying the legal past.

Keywords: legal history, legal education, historiography

Suggested Citation

Rose, Jonathan, Musing on Clio: Why Study the Past, History, and Legal History (May 1, 2009). University of Texas Tarlton Law Library Legal History Series, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1411875

Jonathan Rose (Contact Author)

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law Arizona State University College of Law ( email )

Mail Code 9520
111 East Taylor St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4467
United States
480-965-6513 (Phone)

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