’s Ministry of Education and the project “Interpretation of the Khitan Scripts and Study on the Khitan Vocabulary” (13YJA740059) of the Humanities and Social Science Fund of China’s Ministry of Education, and the youth programme of Philosophy and Social
The essay reflects upon the debate over intentionalism about statutory interpretation, and argues for a moderate version of intentionalism. It argues that the debate over intentionalism cannot be sorted out without establishing a viable conception of legislative authority. The outlines of such a conception are put forward by throwing some light on the concept of “representational authority”. The essay also argues that the problem of legal interpretation touches upon issues of sovereignty. It implies that some important issues of the normative theory of legal interpretation are linked to substantive political philosophical problems.
“Red Apple” is an Armenian marriage tradition. In Armenia newlywed couples used to make love for the first time on the night after the wedding. The woman is expected to have her first sexual experience at that time only. Following the First Night, proof of the bride’s virginity was given in the form of a blood spot on the bed-sheet.If the bride is a virgin, the main ceremony of the “Red Apple” is performed. Several married women — relatives of the man — prepare a tray of red apples and take it to the home of the bride’s parents. This visit is to show appreciation and praise for the bride’s parents.If the bride is not a virgin, she is judged strictly. She might be publicly shamed and divorced.Up to now this tradition has been generally observed. However, contemporary social changes are influencing the “Red Apple” tradition as well. Various transformations can be seen both in the tradition’s interpretation and in the way it is observed.This article is based on field research. It consists of two parts. In the first part the contemporary interpretations of the requirement of a woman’s virginity are presented. In the second part an attempt is made to outline the main levels of the observance and transformation of the tradition.
The allegorical interpretations of pagan gods flourished in late Antiquity. They were the work of the pagans, who thus sought to spiritualize their religion, but also of some Christians, who thought that the pagan fables were hiding truths they needed to discover.
The goddess Hera-Juno has not escaped the phenomenon. Here we consider, taking as one basis the works of Fabius Planciades Fulgentius, African writer of the fifth-sixth century, what these interpretations are and what they tell us both about this goddess and the mentality of late Antiquity.
Interpretation based on maxims of legal logic occupies an honourable place among the possible methods of legal interpretation; this being done most frequently using basic concepts originating from the classical period of Roman law, which faciliate orientation among contradictory decrees and help to clarify the meaning of legal rules. The following principles belong hereby, widely known in Modestinus's formulation but dating from the period of the leges XII tabularum: "lex posterior derogat legi priori",the Papinian "lex specialis derogat legi generali", and the "lex primaria derogat legi subsidiariae". It is a basic interpretive principle, that the legal rule should be interpreted in its integrity, not by extracting certain parts of it. The following the letter of the law often leads to its evasion. During the interpretation one should take into account the legislator's intention. If this is doubtful, the more lenient solution should be preferred. All these ideas can be traced back into a highly philosophical, Celsian principle, which is-also widely accepted in contemporary legal thinking. It-declares the vocation of the Law to implement Justice, according to which "ius est ars boni et aequi", the Law is an art of the Good and the Just. Out of these, the procedure called in fraudem legis is connected to the statement that enforcing the letter of the law often leads to inequity contradictory with the spirit of the law, i. e. injustice. Cicero also quotes this proverbium, already widely spread in the age of the Republic, which remained in use in his formulation until today: "summum ius summa iniuria", i. e. the utmost enforcement of the law leads to the greatest injustice. The present paper has a modest aim. It does not offer a general survey, but rather an introspection into the problem. First it enumerates the occurences of this proverb in the sources of Roman literature (I.), then it sketches the development and semantic changes of the concept of interpretatio (II.), next it investigates the meaning of summum ius in the relation of the ars boni et aequi principle and the concept of Justice in legal sources and Cicero's works (III.), in the end it will consider the further reaching consequences of this proverbium in Adagia by Erasmus of Rotterdam, one of the most important humanists (IV.).