A Legal History of Rome

A Legal History of Rome

A Legal History of Rome

A Legal History of Rome

Synopsis

This book equips both lawyer and historian with a complete history of Roman law, from its beginnings c.1000 BC through to its re-discovery in Europe where it was widely applied until the eighteenth century.

Combining a law specialist's informed perspective of legal history with a socio-political and cultural focus, it examines the sources of law, the ways in which these laws were applied and enforced, and the ways the law was influenced and progressed, with an exploration of civil and criminal procedures and special attention paid to legal science. The final chapter covers the history of Roman law in late antiquity and appraises the move towards the codification of law that culminated in the final statement of Roman law: the Corpus Iuris Civilisof Emperor Justinian. Throughout the book, George Mousourakis highlights the relationship between Roman law and Roman life by following the lines of the major historical developments.

Including bibliographic references and organized accessibly by historical era, this book is an excellent introduction to the history of Roman law for students of both law and ancient history.

Excerpt

From the vantage point of history, Roman law is one of Rome’s most remarkable and enduring contributions to civilization. in no other field of human endeavour have the Romans a greater claim to lasting fame than in the creation of a sophisticated legal system that constantly adapted itself to an ever-changing and developing society. the Western world derived from Roman law most of the basic norms and institutions concerning the organization and regulation of socio-economic life that are essential for guaranteeing the ideal that we refer to as the ‘rule of law’. As Roman law constitutes an important part of the intellectual background of contemporary law, the study of its history is a valuable component of a sound legal education. Without the knowledge derived from such study it is impossible to fully understand the evolution and functioning of contemporary legal systems and institutions rooted in Roman law. From the perspective of the historian of civilization, the study of Roman legal history can provide valuable insights into the origins and progress of law as a social and cultural phenomenon.

The history of Roman law is divided into two periods. the first period spans more than a thousand years, from the formation of the city-state of Rome to the codification of Justinian in the sixth century ad. the second period, although beginning in the sixth century, did not really become important until the eleventh century, when Roman law was ‘rediscovered’ in the West and made the object, first of academic study and then, in the course of time, of far-reaching reception in large parts of Continental Europe. the present work focuses on the history of Roman law in antiquity. It examines the nature and development of law-making and the sources of law, the mechanisms whereby the diverse sources were effectuated, and the way each legal source influenced the progress of the law. Special attention is accorded to the development of Roman legal science, which emerged as the most productive element in Roman legal life by the end of the first century bc. and since the Romans tended to shape their legal rules in terms of procedural techniques, rather than in terms of general and abstract norms, the book also explores the evolution and main features of civil and criminal procedure, and elucidates the implementation of legal judgments. the last chapter of the book covers the history of Roman law in late antiquity and appraises the move towards the codification of law that culminated in the final statement of Roman law: the Corpus Iuris Civilis of . . .

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