Joshua Burrill

Major in Classical Studies, 2012
LL.B. (London, UK; 2015)

Classics has served my academic career more than I had anticipated. I had always had the intention of studying law following my undergraduate degree, and I was aware that Classics would serve as a fascinating basis to this interest. Whether one considers the laws of Ancient Rome, for example the Lex Aquilla, which essentially sets forth ancient tort law, or the earliest known codified laws from Hammourabi, it is plain to see that law had a massive influence in the ancient world. Most important, the lecturers at uOttawa had just as much interest in the legal side of ancient history as I had. This is obvious in Prof. Holden and Prof. Burgess’ Roman history courses and Prof. Djikstra’s course on antiquity Egypt. Studying Classics also forced me to interpret ancient texts within their contexts, since many sources, such as papyri or Herodotus’ historical writings, required a certain degree of skepticism that I find myself using when reading cases and interpreting laws. Overall, the breadth of legal history and the honing of analytical abilities made my time studying Classics more than worth it, as it has proven to be an asset throughout my legal career.

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