Research interests and projects


My main fields of interest are European studies, legal history, legal anthropology, jurisprudence, Roman law, classical archaeology and ancient history, though the order of these things varies. Much of what I have written revolves around ancient history and law and their implications in modern, nineteenth and twentieth century intellectual history.  Currently I am Associate Professor of European Intellectual History at the University of Helsinki. My latest books are Lawyers and Savages (Routledge 2015), a study of how the Classical tradition influenced the study of indigenous cultures and their laws during the nineteenth century, and Emperor of Law (OUP 2016), which explores how the Roman emperors became judges. Right now I am finishing a large ERC Starting Grant project (2013-2018) on the idea of the common European legal tradition (Reinventing the Foundations of European Legal Culture 1934-1964, more on the project here) and frantically writing my own book about the theme. The work of this project has been expanded into a new project which begins in January 2018, the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence for Law, Identity and the European Narratives ( We are also mopping up an archaeological project called Public and Private in the Roman House, which studies the use of space and public functions in the Roman house. More on that here. This line of inquiry is now going to be expanded in a new project on Roman Republicanism and the spaces of administration, but more of that later.