Dylan Bryen's Argumentative Analysis

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I gift you all with a short response this week, your move Dylan.
Bryen is essentially arguing that historians should read petitions as very pointed documents with an inherent bias. The quote, “petitions must not be read as form letters drafted mechanically and sent off to whichever official was available. They are conscious and calculated attempts to frame individual complaints in legal language, and petitioners chose the language they used with care” (155-56), just about sums up his argument. Petitions are in his eyes biased and must be read with that in mind, it is almost a sort of historical sensitivity toward Mary-Engle’s idea of “Forum Shopping.” Because the considerations of where to take the petitions to was made by the petitioner for
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The quote for this particular inclusion comes to us as, “of course arguing that they are to use Robert Cover's terminology, through their ‘jurisgenetic’ impulses communities create law as a "bridge" which links normative commitments, historical experiences, and collective narratives to what could, should, or might be” (142). He also discusses how on the other hand states and empires are “jurispathic” and block or kill normative orders through judicial violence. This seems similar to Scott’s “Seeing Like a State” approach as well; however, he merely comments rather than heavily critiquing the state and its…show more content…
While it may be very wordy, somewhat tangential, and altogether somewhat of a regurgitation of past works it is nevertheless a compelling compilation.
Robert Cover’s work is in its most basic and obvious, an argument for pluralism. If we inhabit a “nomos” that is a normative universe and prescribe meaning to law with narrative an the two are intrinsic and inseparable, then by definition the world is legally pluralistic.
The primary sources, from the Tebtunis Papyri are very interesting in their own right. “Petition 304” is a sort of call to arms for the local leader to hold a man accountable for an alleged attempted murder of a priest’s brother. I suppose the priest was likely “forum shopping” bringing this claim to the decadarch, but I am reluctant to apply Bryen and Cover’s categories to this immediately. As for “Petition 331,” the petitioner is certainly using the strategic language of Bryen to paint a vivid picture for the strategus. He even goes into detail about what exactly he was carrying I suppose to likely show how well he remembered the event but also to impart vivid imagery to the strategus to attempt to put him in his
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