The Roman empire was legally pluralistic. But what exactly does this entail in concrete terms? With the growth in historical studies of legal pluralism in the Roman empire, some significant differences in approach have emerged. This article tests and clarifies some of the limits in the current ‘legal pluralism’ conceptual landscape, focussing on disputes and dispute resolution. It is argued that a clearer distinction should be drawn between ‘normative’ and ‘jurisdictional’ pluralism, though both approaches still raise certain conceptual problems. [---]