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Marie Theres Fogen - Balsamon on Magic (Byzantine Magic Excerpt) (1.1 MB)

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This is an extract from: Byzantine Magic edited by Henry Maguire.Magic andrelated techniques of interpreting the world and handling the heavens became objects of aparticular and broad interest in secular as well as canon law at about the same time, the fourth century A.D. In order to provide a short survey of what happened to this law--and what this law made happen--during the Byzantine era,1 I would like to discuss a single text: Theodore Balsamon's twelfth-century commentary on canon 61 of the Council in Trullo in the year... More >>>
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Author:      Marie Theres Fogen
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This is an extract from: Byzantine Magic edited by Henry Maguire.

Magic andrelated techniques of interpreting the world and handling the heavens became objects of aparticular and broad interest in secular as well as canon law at about the same time, the fourth century A.D. In order to provide a short survey of what happened to this law--and what this law made happen--during the Byzantine era,1 I would like to discuss a single text: Theodore Balsamon's twelfth-century commentary on canon 61 of the Council in Trullo in the year 691/92.2

Paraphrasing this commentary, I shall focus on three points:

(1) the description of the culprits,

(2) the topic of religion and magic, and

(3) the question of conscience and guilt. What Balsamon tells us in these three respects I shall compare with the views of the fourth century.

About Author:

Marie Theres Fogen (born October 10, 1946, Ludinghausen, West Germany; d. January 18, 2008, Zurich, Switzerland) was a German jurist and historian. She taught Law at the University of Zurich and Harvard University (as visiting Professor) and was Director of the Max Planck Institute for European History of Law in Frankfurt am Main.

Marie Theres Fogen studied law at the Universities of Munich and Frankfurt. In 1970 she graduated from the course with the First State Exam. In 1973 she received a doctorate in Frankfurt as a student of Dieter Simon with the work The fight to court public. 1975 put Fogen from the Second State Examination. She was then admitted to the bar and at the same time remained scientifically active. At first she was five years assistant Simons at the University of Frankfurt and worked in a research project funded by the DFG with the Byzantine legal history. Between 1980 and 1995 she did research as a researcher at Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt. From 1980 to 1994 Fogen taught additionally as part-time lecturer for private and business law at the EBS University of Business and Law in Oestrich-Winkel.

1993 Marie Theres Fogen habilitated at the Faculty of Law at the University of Frankfurt with a work to prohibit the activities of soothsayers and astrologers in the late ancient Roman Empire. Fogen indicated this prohibition as a measure to enforce an "imperial monopoly on knowledge" (the subtitle of the published 1993 book). The Emperor banned the activities of soothsayers and astrologers to control the circulating in the realm ideas and worldviews can, by established a "imperial Knowledge Management" (Chapter VIII 4).

Two years after her habilitation was Marie Theres Fogen Professor of Roman Law, and Comparative Law in Zurich. In 2001 she was also appointed by the Max Planck Society as a director at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt. Both offices as Zurcher HochschullehrerIn and Frankfurt Institute director she fulfilled simultaneously with impressive commitment. In autumn 2007, she announced her resignation as a director at the Max Planck Institute of health reasons as of March 31 of 2008. Your professorship in Zurich retained Marie Theres Fogen in until her death in January of 2008.

Marie Theres Fogen completed research stays at the University of Vienna (1979-80) and at the Research Library of Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C. (1993), and a visiting professor at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, Paris, and at the Department of History at Harvard University (1995).

The focus of research by Marie Theres Fogen lay in the Roman and Byzantine legal history. They also discussed in numerous studies with the history of science of law.

Fogen turned against the widespread notion from knowledge of Roman law immediate practical applications could be obtained for the present civil law. Your thinking contradicts an idea of the history of law as organic, certain internal laws following development. Instead of a logical, logically evolving Roman legal history they wanted many "Roman Law Stories" (the title of a book of 2002, which caused a sensation and was translated into several languages) tell. For Fogen a scientific examination of the Roman law in the way was possible that its history can be understood as "evolution of a social system". The idea that doctrine of Roman law can be updated to the present and the view, the Roman law could be the basis for a new common European Ius Commune, she doubted.

Marie Theres Fogen to stimulate research into legal history with interesting ideas as a scientific writer and provoke understood.

In his obituary Jurgen Kaube writes (FAZ) in Frankfurt Marie Theres Fogen was "the disciple of Byzantinists Dieter Simon, whose polemical scholarly style Ideal she used in many reviews, took no prisoners". At the end it says: "The European Legal History has lost one of its most original and sharpest minds."

After Uwe Justus Wenzel (NZZ) she succeeded joining of "scholarship, philological meticulousness and venturesome interpretation"; he appreciates Marie Theres Fogen as "a wonderful scientist, a gifted university teacher and a brilliant author".

Marie Theres Fogen's partial bibliography:

- The battle for the court public. Berlin 1974, ISBN 3-428-03034-6.
- The expropriation of the soothsayers. Studies imperial monopoly of knowledge in late antiquity. Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp 1993. ISBN 3-518-58155-4.
- Roman law stories. About the origin and evolution of a social system. Gottingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2002 (Italian: Bologna 2006), ISBN 3-525-36269-2.
- Legal History - history of the evolution of a social system, in: History of Law 1 (2002), pp 14-19, ISBN 978-3-465-04025-5. on-line
- The song of the law (Extended version of a lecture on 14 March 2006). Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation, Munich 2007. In the series: IDEAS - Publications of the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation, Volume 87. ISBN 978-3-938593-07-5, ISBN 978-3-938593-07-3 corrected.
Opuscula. Zurich 2009 posthumously edited. Andrea Buchler, ISBN 978-3-03751-149-7.

Source: wiki