I studied at the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, and Balliol College, Oxford, and worked at Wadham and New College before joining St John’s as a tutorial fellow in 2012.
I work on Roman legal and institutional history, particularly in the eastern provinces, epigraphy of the Roman world (both Latin and Greek), and on institutional developments in the Greek poleis of the Hellenistic and Roman period, especially in Asia Minor and the Black Sea region. I am also interested more broadly in comparative legal history and anthropology.
I am preparing for publication a monograph on Law in Roman Asia Minor (133 BC–AD 212), somewhat loosely based on my doctoral thesis, and have published on a range of related topics, including a survey chapter on 'Greek Law under the Romans' in the Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Law. A more distant plan is to work on social and institutional history of the province of Lycia-Pamphylia (an exciting region in the south-west of Asia Minor) to the beginning of the fourth century AD. With Hannah Skoda and Tom Lambert, I have co-edited Legalism: Property and Ownership, the fourth volume in a hugely exciting interdisciplinary series (Oxford University Press, 2017).
I am also an associate editor of the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum with responsibility for the Black Sea and Danubian regions, and serve on the editorial board of the Vestnik drevnej istorii (journal of ancient history of the Russian Academy). Occasionally I blog on research-related topics at https://georgykantorblog.wordpress.com/.
Roman legal history, comparative legal history,Roman epigraphy, Roman provinces, Greek city under Rome, Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor, Black Sea in antiquity.
Recently supervised MPhil work includes dissertations on the archive of the Sulpicii from Pompeii, and on female petitions about violence in Roman Egypt. I am currently supervising DPhil theses on law and citizenship in the provinces of Macedonia and Achaia, and on the development of Roman administration in Asia Minor in the first century BC.
I shall be on sabbatical in the academic year 2018/19.
The book is in many ways the product of wonderfully stimulating weekly discussions and papers at the Oxford Legalism seminar, now in its ninth year .
<p>Beginning with theories of absolute property, this introduction considers the merits of a more composite view, namely the ‘bundle of rights’ concept. Anthropologists discuss the relationships between people at the heart of property regimes, but personhood must also be seen as embedded in the things owned. The ideas of rules and control are key, and the concept of control at a distance provides useful conceptual purchase. Property is a complex idea to articulate, and natural law, religious and political frameworks of property are interwoven. Moreover, property is shaped by economic prerogatives, and its management shapes the relationship between the individual and the community, and the preservation of common resources. Property is, then, thoroughly embedded in social contexts, which in turn can render property highly unstable and contingent. It is precisely because of these kinds of tensions that legalism is so often invoked in order to manage and even create property relations.</p>
<p>In this volume, ownership is defined as the simple fact of being able to describe something as ‘mine’ or ‘yours’, and property is distinguished as the discursive field which allows the articulation of attendant rights, relationships and obligations. Property is often articulated through legalism as way of thinking which appeals to rules and to generalising concepts as a way of understanding, responding to, and managing the world around one. An Aristotelian perspective suggests that ownership is the natural state of things and a prerequisite of a true sense of self. An alternative perspective from legal theory puts law at the heart of the origins of property. However, both these points of view are problematic in a wider context, the latter because it rests heavily on Roman law. Anthropological and historical studies enable us to interrogate these assumptions. The articles here, ranging from Roman provinces to modern-day piracy in Somalia, address questions such as: How are legal property regimes intertwined with economic, moral-ethical, and political prerogatives? How far do the assumptions of western philosophical tradition explain property and ownership in other societies? Is the ‘bundle of rights’ a useful way to think about property? How does legalism negotiate property relationships and interests between communities and individuals? How does the legalism of property respond to the temporalities and materialities of the objects owned? How are property regimes managed by states, and what kinds of conflicts are thus generated?</p>
The date and circumstances of Quintus Iulius Vestalis