The work is based on an earlier Fifth Annual Rare Book Lecture, "Musing on Clio and Legal History: Some Whys & Whats," delivered in February 2009 by Rose, a Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar at the College of Law.
In the article, Rose discusses his own interest in legal history, using his individual experience as a scholar to explore the field itself. He notes the existence of two broad groups pursuing the study of legal history -- scholars trained as historians, with an interest in law, and scholars trained in law, with an interest in history. Drawing on the most recent writing on the field, Rose scrutinizes the literature and historical trends in the legal history, considers the evolution of the field in the university setting, and discusses regional variations. He observes that scholars' approach to legal history is somewhat dependent upon their original training, regional differences, and the period in which they wrote.
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After spending most of his career focusing on antitrust, regulation and legal ethics, Rose changed direction. His primary scholarly interests now involve medieval and early modern English legal history, and his research focuses on the history and regulation of the legal profession and the operation of the medieval legal system. He has also written on early defamation law, medieval prisons, and the historiography of legal history. Rose, who joined the faculty in 1968 and was an Associate Dean from 1987-90, teaches Legal History, Antitrust, Contracts and Legal Ethics, and has received numerous teaching awards. He also is a Faculty Affiliate of the Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at ASU. Rose is the author of numerous articles on legal history, antitrust, economic and occupational regulation, and legal ethics.