Talk:Law school of Beirut

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I'm very happy to see this article, and did a little copyediting (all I have time for at present). Quick question: in the first paragraph, what does 'utmost' mean? I'm not sure, and the usage seems slightly non-idiomatic, but I'm going to try replacing it with 'preeminent': please change if that isn't what's meant. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:26, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank YOU for your interest and much needed help. I used the term utmost because the sources i found refer to Beirut's school as "Most famous", "Distinguished", "Beacon", "Most celebrated school" etc. all of connote puffery and are inadmissible here, please feel free to substitute it with any other word that you find fitting and that accurately convey the prominence and importance of the law school. -Eli+ 20:55, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Could we please reinsert the deleted bit about students from noble background traveling to Beirut to study, this factoid really underlines the schools importance. Eli+ 21:05, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
My concern was that it linked to nobiles, which doesn't describe social class in the Empire during this period. I'm not aware of any good place to link (social class in ancient Rome is currently both unreliable and uninformative about this period of Roman history). Presumably the source means young men of the senatorial and equestrian ordines? I'll try to check on that, unless you can provide a more specific phrase from the source. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:08, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

Notes on edits to Background section[edit]

Just explaining some edicts that I hope don't seem heavy handed. I changed "right" to "prerogative" because in Roman law it often means a special privilege to a select group, not an inherent right in the modern sense (for example, the ius trium liberorum is a privilege of distinction and an exemption from some restrictions against women, not "the right of [having] three children") . I may be wrong; "privilege" may be the better word, if anyone wants to check. I'm no law scholar, so my edits may need further tweaking.

"Imperial constitutions" is probably better as "imperial edicts" (for an example, see Constitutio Antoniniana), since it doesn't mean constitution in the modern sense, or the sense in which WP uses it as Constitution of the Roman Empire. Cynwolfe (talk) 17:13, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

You're probably right, the terms I used may be misleading, I'm very pleased with your clarifications and insight. On a second note, in the history section, what Bremmer said and I failed to rephrase is that the school was already open and operational around 200 CE. Thanks for taking the time to review this and if you feel there are some key points I missed please let me know, i will consult my sources to see if they can add to the article. Eli+ 21:28, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
So did Bremer then just say noncommitally that it must've been open by 200? He didn't give bracket dates "no earlier than/ no later than"?Cynwolfe (talk) 21:54, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Bremer used Gregory's 239 AD text to conjecture that the law school was operating shortly after 200 AD. In another passage Bremer suggests that the school may be older because he believed that Gaius _the second century jurist_ taught in Beirut. The latter claim is not supported by any ancient source. Sorry for the late reply, hectic day -Eli+ 09:14, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
So we could say that Bremer thought it opened around 200 or earlier? Cynwolfe (talk) 22:11, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
BTW, please don't think I'm nitpicking this! I'm just interested in it. I mentioned the school in the main Roman Empire article, because I thought it was mind-expanding in regard to cultural exchange, and hoped I might have time someday to learn more about it. So I'm thrilled to have the article. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:59, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
NOT AT ALL! Your feedback is more than welcome and please, do not hesitate to change whatever you see fit and refer to me in case you have any doubts about the intent of the passages. Concerning our friend Bremer, he didn't use the term "opened" so let's omit this altogether. He concluded that since Gregory was writing about the school in his adult age then it must've been operational at least after 200AD. There's no way to pinpoint the exact date of establishment with the current ancient sources. And BTW I have a feeling that you will be really interested in next article on my "to be created list".. the Baalbek temple complex (not sure about the name but it deserves a separate article of its own), that is if i manage to find reliable sources to support the creation of the new article. -Eli+ 10:32, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Law School of Beirut/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 02:13, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

I'll be glad to take this review. Initial comments to follow in the next 1-3 days. Thanks in advance for your work on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 02:13, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Initial comments[edit]

Two small concerns at a glance:

  • The lead should be no more than four paragraphs per WP:LEAD.
  • A few terms need disambiguating; you can do that manually or via the link in the upper right-hand corner (disambig links). -- Khazar2 (talk) 02:15, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for addressing the above so quickly. I've now given it a top-to-bottom review, and I think the article looks strong overall; your research on this appears very thorough and impressive. I've raised a few issues below for your consideration, many of them quibbles. One broader issue I wanted to mention is that the article at times feels subtly promotional of its topic, directly making the case for the subject's importance and preeminence rather than letting the facts speak for themselves. The subject clearly is important, so this isn't a big deal in most places. But I made a few tweaks as I went to tone this down, and I have a few more suggestions below. Let me know your thoughts, and thanks again for all your work on this topic! It was fascinating reading.

  • I've made some minor tweaks as I went. Please feel free to revert any with which you disagree.
  1. Check mark 2.svg "The Law School of Beirut was one of the most significant law schools of classical antiquity." -- this feels like a peacock term under WP:PEA. Could we just say "was a law school of classical antiquity"? The "preeminent center of jurisprudence" in the next sentence probably states its importance clearly enough.
  2. Check mark 2.svg " law school of Beirut" -- capitalization changing here-- is this generally "Law School of" or "law school of" in sources?
  3. Check mark 2.svg "when Byzantine Emperor Justinian I shut down other provincial law schools." -- is it possible to give the year, or year range, that this happened?
  4. Check mark 2.svg In the second paragraph of "History", it would be helpful to give year contexts for the different proposed founding dates--the reign of Augustus or Septimus Severus or Hadrian, the year of the Battle of Actium, etc. (You can just put this in parenthesis, or if necessary in an explanatory footnote.) Most readers won't know these off the top of their heads.
  5. Check mark 2.svg "Justinian I closed those of Alexandria, Caesarea Maritima and Athens" -- it'd be helpful to give a year or year range here, too.
  6. Check mark 2.svg "Ecumencial Masters" is inconsistently capitalized--it is on first use, but not later.
  7. Check mark 2.svg "The school professors who were contemporary to Justinian I" -- this phrase implies they were the only professors active during his reign; maybe say "Three school professors who were..."
  8. Check mark 2.svg "the use of legal vocabulary in favor of that of the Bible" -- this sentence isn't fully clear to me. Is this to say that Triphyllius preferred using the vocabulary of the Bible or the law?
  9. Check mark 2.svg Huffington Post is generally not considered a reliable source. What part of this sentence relies on this reference?
  10. Check mark 2.svg "A degree in law became highly sought after, an edict of Emperor Leo I" -- should this comma be replaced by a semicolon (i.e., is this two separate sentences)? Or is it just there by mistake?
  11. Check mark 2.svg "The Beirut law school remained, along with the schools of Rome and Constantinople as an official center for the teaching of jurisprudence when emperor Justinian I ordered all the other provincial law schools to be closed.[27]" -- this is the third time this has been mentioned in the article (once in the lead and once in the body); this sentence can probably just be cut.
  12. Check mark 2.svg "the imperial laws of the late fifth and sixth centuries were more cognizable and of a superior style " -- the "superiority" opinion should be attributed to an author in-text for NPOV reasons. "According to legal historian Janet Jones, ..."
  13. Check mark 2.svg "Two school professors, Dorotheus and Anatolius were summoned by the emperor to collaborate with Tribonian in compiling the Codex of Justinian, the empire's body of civil laws that was issued between 529 and 534 CE.[27][29]" -- this is also appearing for the second time in the body and should probably be cut, unless there's more to add here about the significance of their achievement.
  14. Check mark 2.svg "The repute of Beirut as "mother of laws" reemerged in modern times." -- do you have a source that says this directly? This seems like a generalization that could use citation.
  15. Check mark 2.svg "In 1913, Paul Huvelin the first dean of the newly established Université Saint-Joseph's faculty of law dedicated the inaugural speech to the school of Beirut in an effort to confer legitimacy to the new academy" -- since this includes an interpretation of Huvelin's actions, this should be sourced.
  16. Check mark 2.svg seems unlikely to be a reliable source (footnote 61). It also may be a copyrighted image that's being linked here, meaning we shouldn't link to it. Is it possible to find another source for this? -- Khazar2 (talk) 13:44, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Hello and thanks for your time and thorough review, I was overwhelmed lately and I missed it! Your comments and suggestions are eye-opening and helpful and I will fix the issues starting now. Thanks again. Eli+ 11:06, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, Eli. Would you mind checking off or otherwise indicating which you've completed as you go? Cheers, -- Khazar2 (talk) 01:02, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Thank you! and sorry for the delay, I will adress the other issues whenever i find a little time, in the meantime I have followed your suggestions for issues # 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-10 and 11. Concerning the date of Emperor Justinian's action against the schools of alexandria, anthens and caesarea, i only added the date to the first passage in the body mentioning the closure (in the passage "after Justinian I closed those of Alexandria, Caesarea Maritima and Athens in 529 CE" - issue #5). I withheld stating the date in the lead (issue#3) do you think i should state it there too?
I also rephrased the passage where Saint Spyridon criticizes his student for not using religious terms in his writing; does my intervention make the saint's intentions clearer(issue #8)
I will remove the reference to, would the posted image of the flag of Beirut substitute for the reference? the website does not own the rights to the coat of arms anyway but im not very good at interpreting publishing/ownership rights so I'm relying on you to guide me through this too.
I deleted the repeated passage mentioned in issue# 11
I used the news article from the Huffington post to corroborate the information taken from other sources, namely the archaeological conference. Magda is a good journalist and i thought the more varied the sources the better. If you think I should remove the reference altogether please let me know. (issue# 9)
Please let me know if my interventions are clear so far, i will tend to the others ASAP. THANKS a lot :) -Eli+ 07:51, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Your changes look good!
Re #3, I do think it's worth giving that date in the lead for a bit of context; I had to look up when Justinian reigned, and I think that would be case for some others, too.
Re #8, much clearer, thanks.
Re #9, yeah, the Huff Post reference should probably just be deleted even if it's only corroboration.
Re vectorimages, linking directly to the city site is a good idea and resolves the issue.
Thanks again! Just let me know when you've finished with the above points and I'll do some last checks on the article. Cheers, -- Khazar2 (talk) 02:00, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
Hi Eli, you've added checks to some of the above like #12, 13, 14, and 15, but these don't appear to have been changed in the article. Am I just missing it? -- Khazar2 (talk) 15:40, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I've seen you've done it now. I'll take a look at this in more detail later on today--thanks for the revisions! -- Khazar2 (talk) 15:41, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Hey and thanks for your swift response. i had a connection error saving the page :S please let me know if there's anything else i can do... Eli+ 16:46, 23 June 2013 (UTC)


Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well-written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct. Spotchecks show no evidence of copyright issues. One minor issue I saw in revising further is that the "Notes" section is punctuated inconsistently; some fragments have periods, while others do not, and some fragments start with a capital letter, while others don't.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline.
2b. it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). The references to Dorotheus still seem to me mildly repetitive, but within GA bounds.
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
7. Overall assessment. Pass

I've noted a small spelling/grammar point above, but this otherwise looks just about ready for promotion. Cheers, -- Khazar2 (talk) 12:34, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

I have used a uniform citing template across the article and fixed the comments in category 1.a , thank you -Eli+ 08:32, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't explain clearly enough--I meant the section titled "Notes". There's six explanatory footnotes there (a-f) that need attention for punctuation and capitalization. Also, is it correct for nothing in "de iudiciis (books 5 to 11) and the de rebus (books 12 to 19) and the libri singularis" to be capitalized? Thanks, -- Khazar2 (talk) 13:20, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought I got these covered, looks like I didn't save my changes earlier. Eli+ 05:52, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
No problem. You're all set now. -- Khazar2 (talk) 11:28, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Peer review bot !!![edit]

Why on earth is peer review bot archiving new and empty peer review requests? -Eli+ 10:36, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Law School of Beirut - a proper name?[edit]

As I understand it, one of the proper names of the subject of this article is "Law School of Beirut". If that is so, then "school" should be capitalized as it is in the article title. This was recommended as a change in the GA review but appeared not to have been implemented. My recent attempt to correct that was reverted with the comment that it is not a proper name. Is it the proper name of the school or not? If it's not a proper name why is the"school" capitalized in the title? (Also, if someone would explain what "FAC1" is, I'd appreciate it.) Jojalozzo 02:44, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Hello and thanks for your time in reviewing this. During the GA review, the reviewer asked to change the caps for the sake of uniformity so i went with the capitalized form but a later review of the sources instigated by a note from user:Cynwolfe brought to my attention that most scholars do not treat the appelation as a proper name. I agree with Cynwolfe's remark and it would be better to move the page altogether to "Law school of Beirut" for the sake of accuracy and uniformity. Let me know if you think I should proceed with the move.
As for the comments I referred to earlier they can be found here, in the archived FAC review. -Eli+ 04:30, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
I'll move the page. Please take care regarding ownership issues. Cheers. Jojalozzo 02:39, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand the ownership warning. Elie has shown a great deal of commitment to this article, and a lot of that has been sheer stamina in responding to suggestions and criticisms over the course of months now. "Ownership" implies defensiveness or unwillingness to make changes. I don't think that's a fair characterization. As for the move, I might've preferred a formal move proposal, as I wonder whether "Roman" should be included in the title. Cynwolfe (talk) 03:20, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't see a need for a formal move proposal for basic MOS compliance. Adding Roman might be considered more than that, though it would be fine with me. Jojalozzo 01:23, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Jojalozzo I'm disregarding your accusation of ownership and I don't feel the need to justify myself anyway but just because I happen to be almost the sole editor of the article doesn't mean I calim ownership over it. On the other hand I hold every right to revert unhelpful edits such as yours when these compromise the article's quality especially that you have chosen to omit reading the constructive notes left on the article's FA nomination. Cynwolfe, if adding "Roman" to the title makes things clearer then I support you. -Eli+ 04:40, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm sorry I only read through the GA review notes that are in plain sight here and missed the FA notes hidden in the talk page header. I stand by my suggestion to watch for ownership issues since you are the main editor here, are clearly invested in the article (which is not necessarily a bad thing) and pushing for its recognition (also ok but another possible sign of ego involvement). I had meant it as a friendly suggestion but clearly have hit a nerve. My apologies for that. I came here because I received a request on my talk page to help out. I am definitely not invested in this page and will stop bothering you. Cheers. Jojalozzo 01:23, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

latest peer review[edit]

The link to the latest peer review was broken due to page move. Here's the link -Elias Z 16:00, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Date style[edit]

was changed by the article creator [1], shortly after the creation, thus WP:RETAIN does not apply. Materialscientist (talk) 03:16, 6 December 2013 (UTC)


The hyperlink to precedent under the Background section appears (as far as I can tell) to be incorrect. It points to common law legal precedent. My understanding of Roman law is limited, but I am under the impression that it was much closer to civil law than common law. If there was some form of legal precedent (or judge made law), perhaps the link can be removed while (a softer form of the word) "precedent" can be retained? Gulbenk (talk) 06:19, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

  • Agreed, i have removed the wikilink since no other alternatives exist so far. -Elias Z 06:45, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
    • Perhaps this? precendent Not a perfect fit. It is a more modern concept. It comes closest to the type of principle discussed in this article. Gulbenk (talk) 07:05, 6 December 2013 (UTC)