The Riccobono Seminar of Roman Law in America: The Lost Years

Roman Legal Tradition 14 (2018)

14 Pages Posted: 22 May 2019

See all articles by Timothy G. Kearley

Timothy G. Kearley

University of Wyoming College of Law

Date Written: June 5, 2018


The Riccobono Seminar of Roman Law in America was the preeminent source of intellectual support for Romanists in the United States during the middle of the twentieth century (1930-1956). It was named in honor of the great Italian Romanist Salvatore Riccobono who was a visiting professor at the Catholic University of America (CUA) in 1929. His lectures at the CUA inspired American Romanists to create an organization that would foster the study and teaching of Roman law following his departure. In the course of the Seminar’s existence, many of the era’s greatest Roman law scholars, both foreign and domestic, gave presentations at the Riccobono Seminar. The history of the Seminar after it came under the aegis of the CUA in 1935 has been readily available, but that is not the case for the years 1930-1935 when it moved among several law schools in the District of Columbia. This paper uses archival information and newspaper sources to describe the Seminar’s activities in those “lost” years.

Keywords: Roman law, legal history

Suggested Citation

Kearley, Timothy G., The Riccobono Seminar of Roman Law in America: The Lost Years (June 5, 2018). Roman Legal Tradition 14 (2018), Available at SSRN: or

Timothy G. Kearley (Contact Author)

University of Wyoming College of Law ( email )

Dept. 3035
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WV 82071
United States

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