Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ancient Law” as Want to Read:
Best known as a history of progress, Ancient Law is the enduring work of the 19th-century legal historian Henry Sumner Maine. Even those who have never read Ancient Law may find Maine's famous phrase "from status to contract" familiar. His narrative spans the ancient world, in which individuals were tightly bound by status to traditional groups, and the modern one, in whic ...more
Paperback, 460 pages
Published May 31st 2001 by Routledge
(first published August 15th 1822)
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Start your review of Ancient Law
Henry Sumner Maine was an English chap of the High Victorian era, i.e. the late 19th century. His Popular Government, a book discussing the properties and deficiencies of broad-suffrage democracy, is often recommended by reactionaries in the vein of Mencius Moldbug. Moldbug, in particular, included Popular Government in a list of three books constituting the canon of the so-called “Froude Society” (of which I am apparently a deacon). But while Maine’s work has reactionary implications, it is nev ...more
Possibly the best researched book I've ever read which also makes for compelling reading. Maine turns an obscure subject, the development of ancient Roman law (and in particular the role of fictitious constructs within this jurisprudence) into a fascinating and thoughtful dialogue. Many of the topics are so obscure and yet Maine, with his diligent approach and enthusiasm, handles them with ease. While constantly referring back to the ancient sources, Maine at the same time keeps a subtle eye on ...more
I discovered Sir Henry James Sumner Maine and his work "Ancient Law" when it was referenced in an Explanatory Note on Chapter 4, p.68 of Sir James George Frazer's "The Golden Bough". Frazer in particular makes a reference to "The Hindoo (Hindu) law-book of Manu" when writing about the subject of human gods, and the Explanatory Note accompanying this explains that The Laws of Manu are one of the oldest-surviving Brahminical codes. They had been the object of some interest in Europe ever since Sir ...more
Feb 23, 2020 Donald Trump rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Sir Pollock's notes are indispensable and extremely valuable for they clarify many confusions in Sir Maine's text, especially those regarding natural law. Do not miss it. For instance, Maine overlooks the influence of Aristotelian tradition to natural law theory and Pollock correctly points it out. ...more
Sir Henry James Sumner Maine, KCSI, was an English comparative jurist and historian. He is famous for the thesis outlined in Ancient Law that law and society developed "from status to contract." According to the thesis, in the ancient world individuals were tightly bound by status to traditional groups, while in the modern one, in which individuals are viewed as autonomous agents, they are free to ...more
News & Interviews
Kazuo Ishiguro insists he’s an optimist about technology. “I'm not one of these people who thinks it's going to come and destroy us,” he...
190 likes · 22 comments