DE FINIBUS SEMINARII IURIS ROMANI
GOALS OF THE ROMAN LAW CIRCLE AT THE FACULTY OF LAW AT SOFIA UNIVERSITY „ST. KLIMENT OHRIDSKI"
With great joy and satisfaction I proceed to the presentation of the activities of the circle of Roman law. When I started my studies at the Faculty of Law at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ”in 1981, such a circle existed for several years and was led by Assoc. Prof. Rumen Cholov, then still chief assistant in Roman private law. He had taken over the teaching of the discipline after the tragic death of Prof. Mikhail Andreev - an exceptional and charismatic person, a world-class scientist, adored by students and respected by his fellow teachers.
Professor Andreev had made great efforts to keep the discipline of Roman Private Law at an academic level, although for ideological reasons it had been included in the curriculum as elective and an alternative to Political and Legal Doctrine. Its existence in the conditions of the socialist state required the professor to take over and develop basically another basic discipline "History of the Bulgarian state and law" in order to allow him to read "Roman private law" as a compromise.
After the catastrophe that took the life of Prof. Mihail Andreev, Roman law was not taught at Sofia University for a year, and his assistant Rumen Cholov prepared his lecture course in Italy as a scholarship holder and winner of the prestigious Gerard Boulvert novel. When I was in the first year, he gave lectures, seminars, and a Roman law class with inexhaustible energy and personal charm. The meetings of the circle were a place where Rome and law were talked about with enthusiasm and admiration, various theses were presented, cases were discussed, topics for participation in competitions were prepared. The members of the circle were an intellectual core, but also friends who shared their common interests, helped each other with literature, which was especially difficult in those days. Over the years, they were initially joined by a large group of first-year students, some of whom left immediately after taking the Roman Private Law exam at the winter session, but others remained and continued to gather after graduation. From that circle until today, Roman law has found a place in the life and professional destiny of Prof. D.Sc. Ivan Bilyarski from the Institute of History of BAS (http://www.ihist.bas.bg/CV/srednov_IBiljarski.htm) , dots. d-r Kristian Takov ot Yuridicheskiya Fakultet na SU „Sv. Kliment Okhridski“ (http://www.christiantakoff.com/), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantin Tanev from the Faculty of Law of the University of National and World Economy (http://blogs.unwe.bg/ktanev/). Prof. Dr. Maria Kostova has remained an unchanging companion, teacher, consultant and sincere friend of all of us over the years - always ready to help even the most intricate Latin text, with inexhaustible knowledge of Roman literature, culture and law.
A member of the circle was our most beloved, incredibly lively, energetic, encyclopedic and unforgettable colleague Teodor Piperkov, who unexpectedly left us on December 17, 2013, but left the brightest trace in the teaching of Roman law in recent years. Students who listened to his lectures and seminars, touched his extraordinary personality, kept the memory of him. They insisted that "something be done" because it should not be forgotten. They took a number of initiatives, involving their first-year colleagues, who unfortunately did not know him, and it was they who became especially active participants in them.
So far, we have managed to implement two of the many proposals - to restore the activities of the circle of Roman law, which we have repeatedly talked with OUR THEO, and to make a memorial to him in December 2014 - a year after his death, gathering in a modest gift - a collection of articles and essays by his colleagues.
Theo and I were a synchronized work team, but good friends and colleagues. Since 2008, together with Prof. Maria Kostova and our young colleagues, we have implemented several projects that have significantly increased interest in Roman law in the public sphere. We have often talked with him that many students and even graduates and practicing colleagues have a desire to have a place and a way to communicate on the topic of Roman and modern law. In a hurry in lectures and exercises, we still did not find time to do this. His demise should not have acted as an "accelerator" for organizing what we were both ready to do a long time ago. But the students of recent years are also much more active, with greater interest in the ancient tradition and its modern incarnations. This is evidenced by their interest in the international scientific conference "Roman and modern public law" held in 2012 and especially in the new elective course "Roman public law", which started in the academic year 2013/2014 and gathered more than half of freshmen in the audience and in this year.
Thus, after a nearly 20-year break on October 23, 2014, the activity and meetings of the Roman law club at the Faculty of Law of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”. This was especially insisted on by law students, who were first year students in the 2013-2014 academic year. Their initiative was very warmly received among the other courses of the faculty. We have always received the support and assistance of the dean's leadership.
The aim of the circle is to unite the interests of all for whom the law of Ancient Rome in all stages of its development is of special value. It will present:
- presenting topics, connected to current events, for instance anniversaries of important events, concerning the development of the Roman state or Roman law, as well as the present-day relevance of these events;
- discussing topics, connected to Roman law, which are still relevant nowadays due to the reception of Roman law in the Bulgarian civil law system;
- presenting analyses of the works of famous Roman lawyers, orators and politicians, who were somehow connected to the development of law;
- discussing literature and scientific forums, connected to Roman law;
- presenting newly-published textbooks, monographs and compendiums and discussing films and current cultural events, connected to Roman law.
Fascinated by the charm of the work of Roman jurists, by the universal principles of ancient law, which have found application in modern times, by the rhetoric of Cicero and Quintilian, our young colleagues expect much from us.
A new circle, under Roman law, obliges me a lot - both me as a teacher and my young colleagues, Assistant Professor Stoyan Ivanov, Hon. Assistant Professor Metodi Todorov and Hon. Assistant Professor Vasil Alexandrov, who in early 2014 made an unreserved refutation to stay behind the department, where Theo was before them. They, his students and friends, did a lot during the past school year and more confidently entered the second year of teaching at the Faculty of Law at Sofia University in the discipline, even more than the establishment of a faculty - "Roman Private Law". On their immediate search with students, taking into account various interests and desires, organizing the meetings of the circle, determining the most interesting for all topics - very read on all products. And I hope that this circle will become a good school from which to take very well-trained lawyers, who in their profession are always guided by Celsus' "elegant definition" that "law is the art of good and fair."
But most of all, I hope for its participants, because a circle is actually a voluntary association of individuals with the same interests, sometimes with the same psychology and temperament. Let them turn it into a useful and pleasant endeavor for themselves, with which to have the self-confidence, valor and courage of the true Romans.
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