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On-line version ISSN 2411-7870
Print version ISSN 1021-545X


BABUSIAUX, Ulrike. Fundamina (Pretoria) [online]. 2014, vol.20, n.1, pp.39-60. ISSN 2411-7870.

Etymologies tended to be neglected by Romanists. In recent philological research they have been proven to be a characteristic of scientific works („Fachtexte"). In order to clarify their significance it is important not only to analyse their structure, but also the context in which the etymology serves as an argument. In doing this research, one may distinguish etymologies as historical arguments (in Gaius' commentary on the Twelve Tables and Pomponius' enchiridion), etymologies as a didactical means (in Institutiones and introductions to monographs) and finally as a means of presentation (in edictal commentaries). The aetiological aspects of etymologies make them comprehend both - the teleological and the historical argument - depending on the author's intentions. This is why we need to take them, for what they are, namely neither proof of historical development, nor a weakness of juristic thought, but an argument.

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