The Robbins Collection welcomed Dr. Laura Velázquez Arroyo in October 2022 for her research fellowship. Dr. Velázquez Arroyo is a researcher in Roman Law, Civil Law, and the Law of Antiquity and Philosophy at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City. She is also the coordinator of the research areas of Roman law, civil law, and the Romanist tradition at the Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas at UNAM, and teaches courses in Roman law and property law at the Faculty of Law.
Dr. Velázquez Arroyo is using the resources at the Robbins Collection to conduct research on possession and property in the classical and medieval worlds. “How did possession and property evolve, and how can this evolution let us know the relationship between the concepts of possession and property,” she asks. The ideas of possession and property were once distinct concepts, but in classical Roman law they became linked. While her main interest is in the classical and medieval era, she is also interested in seeing how the full development of possession and property has conditioned our modern institutions. “In the past, possession and property were dramatically reconceptualized in three distinct periods: the classical period, the medieval period, and codification. Maybe we’re in a new period where possession and property are being changed by technology,” she said.
Some of the materials she is using from the Collection include Digestum novum cum Glossa ordinaria Accursii (Robbins MS 270), and two texts by medieval Roman Law jurist Bartolus de Saxoferrato: iure consultorum facile principis In secundam Digesti veteris partem commentaria and In secundam Digesti noui partem commentaria.
While at the Robbins Collection, Dr. Velázquez Arroyo finished an article, “Criptomodedas. Pecunia y bienes virtuales. Análisis desde la perspectiva romana de res” that will be published by the Università di Padua. She has also written an article about possession and property and a book about possession in Roman classical law, called La possessio. Una investigación sobre su origen, concepto y clases en el derecho romano clásico, both to be published by UNAM.