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Department of History

Benjamin Straumann

Benjamin Straumann, Prof. Dr.

Benjamin Straumann is ERC Professor of History at the University of Zurich and Research Professor of Classics at New York University. He is also Alberico Gentili Senior Fellow at New York University School of Law. An ancient historian and historian of ideas, he is chiefly interested in ancient political thought and institutions, the history of natural and international law, constitutionalism, and the reception of classical political thought and Roman law in early-modern Europe. 

Benjamin is the author of Crisis and Constitutionalism: Roman Political Thought from the Fall of the Republic to the Age of Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2016); Roman Law in the State of Nature: The Classical Foundations of Hugo Grotius' Natural Law (Cambridge University Press, 2015); and editor, with B. Kingsbury, of Alberico Gentili, The Wars of the Romans: A Critical Edition and Translation of De armis Romanis, (translated by D. Lupher, Oxford University Press, 2011). He co-edits the book series History and Theory of International Law for Oxford University Press. With Clifford Ando (Chicago) and Mirko Canevaro (Edinburgh) Benjamin edits the first volume on the classical world of the five-volume Cambridge History of Rights. Currently he is working on a research project on Cicero’s theory of justice and its reception in the Western tradition. The project is supported by an ERC Consolidator Grant (864309) and will focus on one of the most innovative, and historically most influential, contributions to the Western debate about justice, a contribution that grew out of Cicero’s philosophical works and Roman legal ideas. 

For the ERC project on Cicero’s theory of justice, go to:

For publications, go to:

Weiterführende Informationen


Universität Zürich
Historisches Seminar
Karl Schmid-Strasse 4
CH-8006 Zürich



ERC-Projekt "The Just City"
Culmanstrasse 1

CH-8006 Zurich 


Phone: + 41 44 634 2852