Prof. Dr. Jakub Urbanik
© khk
Prof. Dr. Jakub Urbanik
Käte Hamburger Kolleg "Legal Unity and Pluralism"
Servatiiplatz 9
48143 Münster

Jakub Urbanik was a Fellow of the Kolleg from September 2022 to September 2023.

  • Vita

    Jakub Urbanik, born 1975 in Warsaw. Legal historian specialising in legal awareness in Antiquity and legal tradition of marriage and family in the past and modern era. He especially focuses on juristic papyrology in the broadest sense combined with the elements of social history and the history of mentality (and within this sphere particularly interested in the phenomena of legal pluralism and multi-normativism in the Roman and Byzantine Antiquity). Professor at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw, Head of the Chair Roman Law and the Law of Antiquity. Co-editor of The Journal of Juristic Papyrology and the of the series of its supplements. Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute. Studied and taught in Naples, Cologne, San Sebastian, Palermo, and Zürich. A legal activist, part-taker of a number of strategic litigations focusing on LGBTQ+ rights, chair of the Board of Advisors of Law Does Not Exclude Fund within the Love Does Not Exclude Association.

  • Research Project

    Law Application in Roman Egypt: Towards Standardisation of a Plurality

    Under the auspices of Käte Hamburger Kolleg I would like to study particular aspects of law application in Roman Egypt attempting to prove my view on the problem of law-application. My focus shall be on the so-called Gnomon of the Idios Logos: excerpts from the imperial instructions on the applicable norms issued for the supervisor of the Private Domain. On this material I would like to conduct two case-studies.

    One would focus on the traces of senatus consulta in the Gnomon. It can be presumed that the senatorial decrees, which became the source of generally binding legal innovations in the imperial era, could also play a unifying role in the recently acquired province of a rich legal heritage. The Gnomon does not expressively cite senatorial decrees, yet my preliminary research has allowed me to identify many more than hitherto established. At the same time there exist lacunae in the documentation for some norms theoretically in force, as well as some surprising attestations of the abolished ones. All this may be extrapolated to more generic considerations on law functioning in Roman Egypt.

    The second case are the norms concerning the Egyptian temple staff in the Gnomon. This research will complete my present investigation on the later second-century CE applications for permission to circumcise boys from the priestly families. The mechanism therein applied could also be seen as exemplary for law-application problems, since the Romans granting the requests actually applied the local law, which, moreover, was contrary to their public policy.

    Both of these case-studies deal with the issue of standardisation: how the new authority deals with the local legal orders and how it attempts to systemise and standardise them. They also entertain a broader research question: how did the Romans actually apply the local orders, upkeeping the plurality of laws in action in Egypt.

  • Selected Publications

    Urbanik, Jakub, Józef inter gentes. On status and law between the centre and periphery, in: The Journal of Juristic Papyrology 49 (2019), 289–345.

    Urbanik, Jakub, Husband and wife, in: Du Plessis, P. J./Ando, C./Tuori, K. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Roman law and Society, Oxford 2016, 473–486.

    Urbanik, Jakub/Marcisz, Paweł, Juristocracy Rainbow-Tested. The Case of Poland, in: Περιμένοντας τους Bαρβάρους. Law in a Time of Constitutional Crisis. Studies Offered to Mirosław Wyrzykowski, München 2021, 705–742.

    Urbanik, Jakub, Dissolubility and Indissolubility of Marriage in the Greek and Roman Tradition, in: Benincasa Z./Urbanik, J., Mater Familias. Scritti romanistici per Maria Zabłocka, JurP Supplement 29, Warsaw 2016, 1039–1068.

    Urbanik, Jakub, On the Uselessness of it all:
 the Roman Law of Marriage and Modern Times, Fundamina 2014, 937–951  (Editio specialis: Meditationes de iure et historia. Essays in honour of Laurens Winkel).

    Urbanik, Jakub, Tapia’s Banquet Hall and Eulogios’ Cell. Transfer of Ownership as Security for Debit in Late  Antiquity, in: Du Plessis, P. J. (ed.), New Frontiers: Law and Society in the Roman World, Edinburgh 2013, 151–174.