By George Mousourakis
This booklet equips either attorney and historian with a whole background of Roman legislation, from its beginnings c.1000 BC via to its re-discovery in Europe the place it was once largely utilized till the eighteenth century.
Combining a legislation specialist’s knowledgeable standpoint of criminal heritage with a socio-political and cultural concentration, it examines the resources of legislation, the ways that those legislation have been utilized and enforced, and the methods the legislation was once motivated and improved, with an exploration of civil and felony approaches and targeted cognizance paid to criminal technology. the ultimate bankruptcy covers the heritage of Roman legislations in past due antiquity and appraises the circulate in the direction of the codification of legislations that culminated within the ultimate assertion of Roman legislations: the Corpus Iuris Civilis of Emperor Justinian. in the course of the ebook, George Mousourakis highlights the connection among Roman legislations and Roman existence via following the strains of the foremost old developments.
Including bibliographic references and arranged accessibly through ancient period, this booklet is a wonderful advent to the historical past of Roman legislations for college kids of either legislation and historic background.
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Extra info for A Legal History of Rome
The law of the Twelve Tables and the emergence of legislation The earliest document of Roman law and the first true legislation was the Law of the Twelve Tables, which dates from the middle of the fifth century BC. This legislation emerged from the struggle between patricians and plebeians. The Roman historical tradition, enveloped by ambiguity, records the events leading to its enactment: in 462 BC Terentius Harsa, a tribune of the plebeians, requested that the rules of customary law be recorded and made publicly available to halt its arbitrary application by the patrician magistrates who controlled the administration of justice.
30 On the third occasion, if no one elected to release the debtor by paying the debt he was reassigned to the creditor. 31 The legis actio per pignoris capionem (action in the law by the seizure of a pledge) was also designed for the execution of a judicial decision. 34 The legis actio procedure gradually fell into disfavour, as its archaism and exaggerated formalism rendered it unsuitable for the needs of a rapidly advancing society. The progressive complexity of social and economic life induced the praetor to devise new forms of action and new procedural formulae to accommodate ad hoc controversies arising from novel socio-economic situations.
However, certain wrongful acts that directly threatened the state’s existence and security, such as treason (perduellio)36 and homicide (parricidium: the unlawful killing of a free man)37 were punished as offences against the general community from a very early period. These offences were too grave to be atoned for by pecuniary compensation or, in fact, by any penalty short of death. Besides the aforesaid wrongs, the early law regarded certain violations of religious norms as crimes liable to provoke the gods’ wrath against the entire community; this was only averted by the appropriate punishment and atonement for the violations.