Jonathan Ainslie

Thesis title: Legal and Economic Fragmentation in the Roman Mediterranean, 235-312 CE


I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an LLB (First Class Honours) in 2016 and completed an LLM (Merit) at Edinburgh in Comparative and European Private Law in 2017. I have been a PhD researcher attached to the Centre for Legal History at the Edinburgh Law School since September 2017. I am also involved with the Henry Goudy Seminar. In addition to my PhD research I work for the University of Edinburgh as the Warden at Robertson's Close, a first year undergraduate hall of residence with 220 students. I grew up in Perthshire. 

I am a recipient of the Modern Law Review Scholarship for 2018-20. 

Undergraduate teaching

I am a tutor for Civil Law (Ordinary) LAWS08104. 

Research summary

My PhD thesis focuses on the third century, a time when the Roman Empire was coming under immense political, military and economic strain. I explore how Roman law responded to these difficulties and the implications of this for the Roman legal inheritance of later jurisdictions. My research combines new archeological evidence on the Roman standard of living with legal sources from the third century, including the Severan jurists as well as the Gregorian and Hermogenian Codes. A key theme in my thesis is the applicability of approaches from New Instititional Economics, such as transaction cost analysis, to the Roman pre-industrial economy. 

Affiliated research centres