By John W. Cairns, Paul J. du Plessis

This ebook is a vital contribution to the present energetic debate concerning the courting among legislation and society within the Roman international. This debate, which was once initiated by means of the paintings of John criminal within the 1960's, has had a profound effect upon the research of legislations and historical past and has created sharply divided evaluations at the quantity to which legislations should be stated to be a made from the society that created it. This paintings is a modest try to supply a balanced evaluation of some of the issues of view. The chapters inside of this e-book were particularly prepared to symbolize the talk. It comprises an introductory bankruptcy via Alan Watson, whose perspectives at the courting among legislations and society have brought on a few controversy. within the last chapters a exceptional foreign staff of students handle this debate by way of concentrating on reviews of legislation and empire, codes and codification, loss of life and economics, trade and strategy. This ebook doesn't purport to supply a whole survey of Roman deepest legislations in gentle of Roman society. Its fundamental objective is to handle particular parts of the legislation that allows you to contributing to the bigger debate.

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1 on the relevant actions, has fifty-five texts. But now we come to the final indignity. 1, also from Paul, gives us for the first and only time, the text of Homer used by the Proculians for their argument that sale and barter were different arrangements: And now, Jupiter, son of Saturn, so deranged the mind of Glaueus that he exchanged his armour with Diomedes, son of Tydeus. But what on earth has this got to do with the issue of whether barter was the same thing as sale? 72 The Proculian text had lost its last phrase, “giving gold for χαλκ bronze”.

This for political reasons particular to conditions of the time. And interpretation – only interpretation – was granted to the College of Pontiffs, whose direct successors were the great jurists. Hence, the dominant interest of the jurists in interpretation of private law, scarcely any in criminal law, even less in administrative or constitutional law. The starting-point was law in context, the finish-line was not so. The Roman jurists stopped writing around ad 235. Hence no post-classical law in the Digest.

The texts are survivors. They once referred to “a god”, some pagan deity, now to “the God” of the Christians. The texts reveal nothing of the characteristics of pagan religion or of Christianity. They exist only because they are so antiseptic. Prime examples of this can be chosen from judicial oaths, which were a device to shorten lawsuits. At any point one party to a dispute could tender an oath to the other on a disputed matter. If that party swore the oath, the issue was regarded as settled in his favour.

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