By George Mousourakis
This ebook equips either legal professional and historian with an entire background of Roman legislation, from its beginnings c.1000 BC via to its re-discovery in Europe the place it used to be commonly utilized till the eighteenth century.
Combining a legislation specialist’s proficient viewpoint of felony background with a socio-political and cultural concentration, it examines the resources of legislations, the ways that those legislation have been utilized and enforced, and the methods the legislation was once inspired and stepped forward, with an exploration of civil and felony systems and specified cognizance paid to criminal technology. the ultimate bankruptcy covers the background of Roman legislation in overdue antiquity and appraises the circulation in the direction of the codification of legislation that culminated within the ultimate assertion of Roman legislations: the Corpus Iuris Civilis of Emperor Justinian. through the e-book, George Mousourakis highlights the connection among Roman legislations and Roman existence by way of following the traces of the main old developments.
Including bibliographic references and arranged accessibly by way of historic period, this booklet is a superb advent to the background of Roman legislations for college students of either legislation and historical heritage.
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Extra info for A Legal History of Rome
Although legislation introduced 27 T H E M O N A R C H Y A N D E A R LY R E P U B L I C some new rules, interpretation was the chief means of changing the law (especially in the field of private law). Through skilful interpretation of the provisions of the Twelve Tables and later statutes, the Roman jurists filled the gaps in the law and also succeeded in infusing the old rigid rules with new substance, thus adapting them to changed conditions. As archaic formalism excluded any change in the letter of the law, these jurists endeavoured to derive new law by extending the meaning of the words within existing legal provisions beyond their literal sense, and thus produced effects that advanced beyond their original purpose.
From this viewpoint, the word iniuria signified any infringement of the law comprised of an act performed ‘contra ius’. Furthermore, the application of a lex was typically strict, as an act or dispute was tackled according to the letter of the law without reference to the circumstances of the individual case. On the other hand, the norms of ius were construed as flexible and thus adaptable to the circumstances of each particular case. 9 A characteristic feature of early Roman law was its extreme formalism, indeed ritualism, manifesting the religious origin and character of many legal rules and institutions.
Citizens and magistrates alike were subject to the sovereignty of the law and the members of the plebeian class were no longer exposed to the vagaries of customary rules administered by patrician magistrates. At the same time, the process towards the secularization of the law accelerated: conduct patterns formerly shrouded in religious ritualism were rationalized by general rules of substantive and procedural law in a written form, and thus ascertainable by all people. As the law was now publicized, it began to lose the immutable quality of a religious mystery, becoming conventional, human and therefore subject to change.