Conzeptualizing Public Spaces
"Forum complexes and urban transformation in the cities of southern Gaul in late antiquity" by Simon Loseby
To paraphrase Pierre Gros, the forum complexes of Roman cities served as the focus of the markers of municipal dignity around which successive generations acquired or sustained their sense of belonging to a community. The eventual demise of these complexes can therefore offer some particularly suggestive indications of the transformation in ideological and material expressions of urbanism that, sooner or later, affected all regions of the western empire during late Antiquity. This paper looks first at the nature and the timing of the degradation of forum complexes in the cities of southern Gaul, and then situates this phenomenon within the wider context of the radical redefinition of urban communities, public spaces, and built environments that had taken place by the end of the fifth century.
Dr. Simon Loseby completed his doctoral thesis on Marseille in late antiquity and the early middle Ages at Oxford and held research fellowships there before taking up a post at the University of Sheffield in 1995, from which he recently retired. He co-edited Towns in Transition (with Neil Christie), and is the author of various articles on late antique urbanism and interregional exchange, with particular reference to Gaul and the Mediterranean.
"What room for the 'public space' in Islamic law?" by Christian Müller
In a millenarian tradition, Muslim legal thinking (fiqh), commonly called Islamic law, developed detailed rulings on a variety of subjects that ranged from religious obligations to family, commercial and penal law, but did not include a concept of "public space". My talk first dresses a rough inventory of historical phenomena touching upon what we may call "public order in generally accessible spaces" within Muslim societies. It secondly inquires into the particularities of the jurists' law as a sacred rule-system, and thirdly situates the development of law within Muslim history of the caliphate as supreme power during Islam's early centuries. On the basis of these considerations, I then propose a new hypothesis on the treatment of cases linked with public order by the notion of hisba, which was not part of juridical casuistry and outside the realm of the cadi's jurisdiction.
Prof. Christian Müller (PhD Freie Universität Berlin 1997, habilitation Univ. Halle-Wittenberg 2007) is Research Professor (directeur de recherche) at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and responsable of the Arabic Section of the IRHT in Paris. Engaging with the study of Islamic law for over 25 years, his academic interests range broadly across the history of Islamic law from early Islam to the pre-modern period. His publications, mainly in German, English and French, include monographs on 11th-century judicial practices in Muslim Spain based on fatwa-literature (1999), the documents of the Haram al-Sharīf in 14th-century Jerusalem (2013) and the first ever - exploratory - survey on the evolution the jurists’ law within legal orders from the beginning of Islam until the 19th century, embracing juridical thinking on law-rulings and hermeneutics as well as legal documents (2022). He is fondator and head of the ERC project “Islamic Law Materialized” (ILM, 2009-13) focusing on Arabic legal documents dated from the eighth to the sixteenth centuries. ILM produced the database “Comparing Arabic Legal Documents” (CALD), currently available online. He is also editor of “The Documents in Islamic Law in History” (DILiH), a blog hosting publish research data and posts issued from CALD since 2021. One of his hypothesis deriving from his works on documents and relics of legal practices is what he calls the “shariatic turn” in Islamic law taking place during the 13th-century.