Classics Roman Law
by
Paul du Plessis
  • LAST REVIEWED: 20 December 2012
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0031

Introduction

The present understanding of Roman law is essentially as a thought experiment based on the snippets of texts collected in a 6th-century compilation of legal sources known as the Corpus Iuris Civilis, ordered by the Roman emperor Justinian. These snippets, which were stripped of their original context, represent the intellectual pinnacle of Roman legal thought of the first three centuries of the Common Era. Since the rediscovery of this compilation toward the end of the 12th century, this collection of texts has provided jurists with a treasure trove of terms and concepts that have been used with great effect to construct much of the private law of western Europe and elsewhere. Most modern discussions of Roman law employ the following periodization: Ancient Roman law (753–250 BCE); Republican Roman law (250–27 BCE); Classical Roman law (27 BCE-284 CE); Post-classical Roman law (3rd-5th centuries CE); and Justinianic Roman law (527–565 CE).

General Overviews

There are a number of informative introductory studies on Roman law. A good if slightly dated account is Jolowicz 1932. A similar work, though more restricted in scope, is Wolff 1951, which deals solely with the external history of Roman law. The most recent account is Tellegen-Couperus 1993. For Justinian’s role in Roman law, see Maas 2005. See also Roman Law Resources for links to various sources including book reviews, bibliographies, and both primary and secondary sources. When studying Roman law, it is important to appreciate that its academic study has been at the core of legal education since the creation of the first European universities in Italy in the 12th century. Since that time, it has fulfilled a number of functions. For a good survey of this “second life” of Roman law, see Stein 1999. Another interesting, though far more detailed, account may be found in Robinson, et al. 2000.

  • Ius Romanum

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    An interesting website with questions and answers on Roman law; hosted by the University of Saarbrücken.

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    • Jolowicz, H. F.1932. A historical introduction to the study of Roman law. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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      This book provides an overview of the most important periods and corresponding sources in Roman legal history, and also contains some information about selected areas of private law. 3d revised edition, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

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      • Maas, Michael, ed. 2005. The Cambridge companion to the age of Justinian. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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        A comprehensive edited collection about the life and times of Justinian and his importance for the study of Roman law.

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        • Project Volterra

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          “The general aims of the Project Volterra are to promote the study of Roman legislation in its full social, political and legal context.” The website also contains an extensive overview of other online resources for Roman law. This section of the site lists journals fully or partially devoted to Roman law, of which either full-text articles or tables of contents of past issues are available via their websites. It also contains a survey of other websites devoted to Justinianic and post-Justinianic Roman law.

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          • Robinson, Olivia F. 1997. The sources of Roman law: Problems and methods for ancient historians. London: Routledge.

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            Although this work is primarily a survey of the sources of Roman law aimed at ancient historians, it provides a good account of the extant sources, their location, and the complexities involved in their use.

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            • Robinson, Olivia F., T. D. Fergus, and William M. Gordon. 2000. European legal history: Sources and institutions. 3d edition. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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              Essentially a textbook, but highly informative and very well written.

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              • Roman Law Resources

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                A comprehensive website hosted by Ernest Metzger of Glasgow University. This site has a variety of interesting subsections. “Notices” provides information about forthcoming conferences and seminars on Roman law and legal history. “Literature” is devoted to primary and secondary sources on Roman law, as well as teaching materials available online. It also lists many of the current research projects in the field of Roman law as well as book reviews and online bibliographies.

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                • Stein, Peter. 1999. Roman law in European history. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                  A very readable account of the role of Roman law in the creation of law in western Europe since the 13th century.

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                  • Tellegen-Couperus, Olga E. 1993. A short history of Roman law. London: Routledge.

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                    This work, translated from Dutch, provides an eminently clear account of the external history of Roman law and the periodizations commonly used in the discipline. It does not treat individual areas or rules of law, but provides an overview of the main period of Roman legal history.

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                    • Wolff, Hans Julius. 1951. Roman law: An historical introduction. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press.

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                      Reprinted, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1978. The author deals solely with the external history of Roman law.

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                      External History of Roman Law

                      On the external history of Roman law, Tellegen-Couperus 1993 is well worth reading. To this may be added Kunkel 1966 and most recently Mousourakis 2007.

                      • Kunkel, Wolfgang. 1966. An introduction to Roman legal and constitutional history. Translated by J. M. Kelly. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                        An English translation of a respected, if now slightly dated, German account of the external history of Roman law and its relation to the development of the Roman Empire.

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                        • Mousourakis, George. 2007. A legal history of Rome. London: Routledge.

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                          A recent account of the external history of Roman law.

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                          • Tellegen-Couperus, Olga E. 1993. A short history of Roman law. London: Routledge.

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                            This work, translated from Dutch, provides an eminently clear account of the external history of Roman law and the periodizations commonly used in the discipline. It does not treat individual areas or rules of law, but provides an overview of the main period of Roman legal history.

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                            Journals

                            A comprehensive list of journals devoted to Roman law or, more generally, to law in the ancient world is in the Introduction to Kaser 1955. Three online journals that have recently gained prominence are Orbis Iuris Romani, Roman Legal Tradition, and the International Review of Roman Law.

                            Sources

                            The sources of Roman law are limited. The primary source is the Corpus iuris civilis. This compilation contains snippets from legal sources of the first three centuries of the Common Era. Only one (almost) complete legal work from this period has been preserved in its original state, the Institutes of Gaius. For an account of earlier laws (mostly statutes), see Crawford 1996. Many of the Roman legal sources are now also available online, either in Latin or in translation Two of the most useful sites in this regard are the Internet Medieval Sourcebook and the Roman Law Library.

                            The Institutes of Gaius

                            This work is an introductory textbook created by a little-known jurist toward the end of the 2nd century CE. It sets out the law of the period, with frequent references to the history of Roman law. It was discovered in the form of a palimpsest during the 19th century. An easily accessible critical edition of the text with English translation is De Zulueta 1946–1953 and more recently Robinson and Gordon 1997.

                            Corpus iuris civilis

                            The Corpus iuris civilis was created by order of the emperor Justinian during the 6th century CE. In the modern critical edition, this compilation consists of four separate works: the Institutes, the Digest, the Codex, and the Novels. The standard critical edition in Latin is that of Mommsen, et al. 1954. Also worth mentioning is the Bibliotheca iuris antiqui (BIA) 1994, a CD-ROM that allows users to search the Corpus iuris civilis.

                            The Institutes

                            A good English translation of the Institutes, using Mommsen’s Latin text, is in Birks and McLeod 1987. Since the compilers of Justinian’s Institutes drew heavily on a preexisting student textbook from the 2nd century CE, any research into the Institutes must also refer to its predecessor, the Institutes of Gaius. For commentary on the Institutes see Metzger 1998.

                            • Birks, Peter, and Grant McLeod. 1987. Justinian’s Institutes. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                              This critical edition of the text together with a comprehensive English translation is the most reliable modern source. The introduction is particularly informative regarding the extent to which the compilers of Justinian’s Institutes used the Institutes of Gaius as a source. It also contains fascinating insights into the importance of the structure of the Institutes for subsequent legal development.

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                              • Metzger, Ernest, ed. 1998. A companion to Justinian’s Institutes. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                This work contains detailed commentary on individual texts of the Institutes by many of the foremost Scottish Romanists.

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                                The Digest

                                The Digest, an anthology of juristic writing from the classical period by thirty-eight prominent jurists, is available in many translations. The most user-friendly English translation is the two-volume set of Watson 1985. Since the Digest is essentially an anthology of juristic writing, an investigation into any specific text should include an assessment of its original context. This has been done by Lenel 1960. By examining a Digest text in its original context, one can form a greater appreciation of the original author’s train of thought with a specific text. Another important aid is Lenel 1956. This work sets out the Edict of the Praetors in its final form as it was “codified” by the jurist Julian in the early 2nd century CE. The order of the Praetorian Edict is also broadly followed in the Digest, thus making it an important source of reference.

                                • Lenel, Otto. 1956. Das Edictum perpetuum. Aalen: Scientia.

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                                  First published 1907, this represents hundreds of years of organic legal development and is an important reference point for procedural matters in relation to specific legal actions.

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                                  • Lenel, Otto. 1960. Palingenesia Iuris civilis. Graz: Akademische Druck-U. Verlaganstalt.

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                                    Reprinted, 2006 Frankfurt-am-Main: Vico. Lenel has reconstructed, as far as possible, the original works from which the Digest was compiled.

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                                    • Watson, Alan, trans. 1985. The Digest of Justinian. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.

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                                      There are two versions of this work: a hardback with the Latin text of Mommsen facing the English translation, and a later paperback which contains only the English translation. Since this project was undertaken by a number of scholars, there are some inconsistencies in the language of some of the translations, and users are advised to use the edition with the facing text to check the accuracy, though on the whole the translation is of remarkable quality. Some of the recommended changes to the English translation are listed on Metzger’s website.

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                                      The Codex

                                      Until recently, a trustworthy English translation of the Codex, a collection of imperial decrees extending from the reign of Hadrian to that of Justinian, did not exist. An exciting new online English translation of the Codex has now been made available by the George W. Hopper Library of the University of Wyoming (see Blume 2009) and should be used rather than the flawed version of Scott 1932.

                                      The Novels

                                      The Novels, later imperial rescripts produced during Justinian’s reign and subsequently added to standard editions of the Corpus iuris civilis, were until recently available only in the deeply flawed English translation of Scott 1932. The online Blume 2009 translation is to be preferred. The Greek text of the Novels may also be consulted using the Thesaurus linguae graecae.

                                      The Theodosian Code

                                      The Theodosian Code is a collection of imperial law compiled in the 4th century CE by order of the Western emperor Theodosius II. This code is important for a number of reasons. First, it offers an exciting glimpse of an empire in turmoil and the concerns of the imperial administration. Second, some of the texts contained in the Theodosian Code were absorbed into the post-Roman Vulgar collection of law known as the Edict of Theodoric. At present, the only English translation of this work is Pharr 1952.

                                      • Pharr, Clyde, trans. 1952. The Theodosian Code. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                        This reliable translation of the code is somewhat hampered by lacking the original Latin text facing the translation. This does not detract from the value of the translation. Reprinted, 2006. Union, NJ: Lawbook Exchange.

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                                        Literary and Epigraphic Sources

                                        Over the past fifty years, a number of new sources of legal information have been published. Most of this new material relates to the practice of Roman law rather than legal theory and, as such, provides a fascinating insight into the workings of the Roman legal system. The earliest is Riccobono 1940–1943, a collection of mainly epigraphic material with legal significance. To this may be added Crawford 1996, Camodeca 1999, and Andreau 1999 for those interested in Roman private law. Other works include the Spanish town charter published by Gonzalez 1986 and the Spanish irrigation decree published by Lloris 2006. More generally, epigraphic information may be obtained from the Corpus inscriptionum latinarum and from L’Annee Epigraphique. Other epigraphical databases include Clauss-Slaby and the Epigraphische Heidelberger Datenbank.

                                        Papyri

                                        There is a growing body of papyri that offer unique insights into provincial Roman practice. While not all law in the papyri should be taken to reflect Roman law (since the Romans practiced legal pluralism in Egypt), some papyri can be very useful in corroborating legal practice. For a good survey, see Gagos and Van Minnen 1994, as well as Pestman 1990 for legal texts.

                                        Textbooks

                                        There are a number of excellent textbooks in English on Roman private law. Although some of these are now dated in terms of scholarship, they still provide a valuable resource in range and depth. Arguably the best in terms of sheer intellectual genius is Buckland 1963 (updated from the 1931 edition). Another impressive work is the English translation of the standard German textbook on Roman law, Kaser 1968, which makes Kaser’s ideas accessible, though Kaser was fond of inserting “throw-away remarks” without substantiation, which have subsequently been proven incorrect. Anyone using this book is advised to compare it with the modern rendition updated by Rolf Knütel. Apart from Buckland, arguably the most intellectually superior textbook on the institutions of Roman private law is Nicholas 1962. Another fascinating textbook is Schulz 1951, the scholarship of which is world-class. More recently, Thomas 1976 is an eminently readable account of the main institutions of Roman private law. The most recent English-language textbook on the institutions of Roman private law is Borkowski and Du Plessis 2005, as well as the reprint with some revision of Nicholas 1962. Over the past thirty years, the study of Roman law has also attracted the attention of ancient historians. Examples of their work include Crook 1976, Johnston 1999, and Cairns and Du Plessis 2007.

                                        • Borkowski, Andrew, and Paul Du Plessis. 2005. Atextbook on Roman law. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                          This work, updated from an earlier edition, has been vastly improved and now contains an account of the most important recent literature on the topic. An online book site has interactive multiple choice questions and links to other sites.

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                                          • Buckland, William Warwick. 1963. A textbook of Roman law from Augustus to Justinian. Revised by P. G. Stein. 3d edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                            Updated version of Buckland 1931 which surveys the main institutions of Roman private law.

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                                            • Cairns, John W., and Paul J. Du Plessis, eds. 2007. Beyond dogmatics: Law and society in the Roman world. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.

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                                              A number of legal scholars and ancient historians debate the relationship between Roman law and society.

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                                              • Crook, John A. 1976. Law and life of Rome. London, UK: Thames and Hudson.

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                                                Reprinted, 1984. This book, ground-breaking for its time, was the first attempt by an ancient historian to integrate Roman law and society. It did not meet with unmitigated praise from the legal scholars studying Roman law, but its insights are startling.

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                                                • Johnston, David. 1999. Roman law in context. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                  A similar work to Crook 1976, though more limited in scope.

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                                                  • Kaser, Max. 1968. Roman private law. Translated by R. Dannenbring. 2d edition. London: Butterworths.

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                                                    An interesting English translation of Kaser’s original text. It should be compared to more recent reworkings of this textbook, since some of Kaser’s ideas have since been discredited; for instance, see Kaser, Max and Knütel, Rolf. 2003. Römisches Privatrecht. 17th ed. Beck: Munich.

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                                                    • Nicholas, Barry. 1962. An introduction to Roman law. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                      Reprinted, 2008. New York: Oxford University Press. This work, though not of the same level of detail as Buckland, contains some startling insights by one of the most gifted English Romanists of the 20th century. It is, however, not the most gripping prose and can really be digested only in small quantities. It has been reprinted with a new preface by Ernest Metzger (2008).

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                                                      • Schulz, Fritz. 1951. Classical Roman law. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                        Reprinted with new preface and index, Aalen: Scientia, 1992. This book is a product of its time, with great emphasis on classical Roman law and the search for textual interpolations.

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                                                        • Thomas, Joseph A.C. 1976. Textbook of Roman law. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

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                                                          Arguably one of the best textbooks in English, though now slightly dated.

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                                                          The Roman Jurists

                                                          There are a number of important studies on the Roman jurists. Arguably the most comprehensive are Kunkel 1952 and Bauman 1983, Bauman 1985, and Bauman 1989. Although the prose is at times dry, these books are well worth reading. To these must be added the growing corpus of books by Tony Honoré on individual jurists, such as Honoré 1962, Honoré 1978, Honoré 1994, and Honoré 2002. These works have sometimes been subjected to savage criticism, especially on the grounds of the methodology used. Honoré 1962 and Honoré 1994 are attempts to assign authorship of individual imperial rescripts contained in the Codex to certain unnamed jurists. The methodology of these works has also been criticized. A growing field in the study of the Roman jurists is the place of orators and their relationship with Roman jurists in the late Republic. The key figure here, Cicero, is the subject of two interesting recent works, Powell and Paterson 2004.

                                                          • Bauman, Richard A 1983. Lawyers in Roman Republican politics. Munich: Beck.

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                                                            Along with Bauman 1985 and Bauman 1989, forms a comprehensive and intensive investigation into the extant bibliographic information about the lives of the Roman jurists.

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                                                            • Bauman, Richard A. 1985. Lawyers in Roman transitional politics. Munich: Beck.

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                                                              Along with Bauman 1983 and Bauman 1989, forms a comprehensive and intensive investigation into the extant bibliographic information about the lives of the Roman jurists.

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                                                              • Bauman, Richard A. 1989. Lawyers and politics in the early Roman Empire. Munich: Beck.

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                                                                Along with Bauman 1983 and Bauman 1985, forms a comprehensive and intensive investigation into the extant bibliographic information about the lives of the Roman jurists.

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                                                                • Honoré, Anthony Maurice. 1962. Gaius: A Biography. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                                  An interesting attempt to extract information about this little-known jurist from his writings. Some of the findings are controversial.

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                                                                  • Honoré, Tony. 1978. Tribonian. London: Duckworth.

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                                                                    Focuses on Tribonian, Justinian’s “minister of justice” and an influential figure behind the creation of the Corpus iuris civilis.

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                                                                    • Honoré, Anthony Maurice. 1994. Emperors and lawyers: With a palingenesia of third century imperial rescripts, 119–305 AD. 2d completely rev. ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                                      Toward the end of the 3rd century, no further named jurists are mentioned in the sources. This has led scholars to believe that the profession became linked to the imperial bureaucracy, in which the emperor was the sole source of law. This book is an attempt to explain aspects of this new linkage between jurists and emperors. When it was first published, its methodology came in for severe criticism. This updated version was published in an attempt to address some of the critics’ concerns.

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                                                                      • Honoré, Tony. 2002. Ulpian: Pioneer of human rights. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                        Focuses on Domitius Ulpianus, the most frequently cited jurist in the Digest of Justinian. This book came in for extensive criticism and was updated from the 1982 version in an attempt to answer some of the critics. Focuses on Domitius Ulpianus, the most frequently cited jurist in the Digest of Justinian. This book came in for extensive criticism and was updated from the 1982 version in an attempt to answer some of the critics.

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                                                                        • Kunkel, Wolfgang. 1952. Herkunft und soziale Stellung der römischen Juristen. Weimar: Böhlau.

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                                                                          Reprinted as Die römischen Juristen: Herkunft und soziale Stellung (2001. Cologne: Böhlau). A comprehensive study of Roman jurists in German.

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                                                                          • Powell, Jonathan, and Jeremy Paterson, eds. 2004. Cicero the advocate. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                            A fascinating edited collection in which various aspects of Cicero’s advocacy are investigated.

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                                                                            Philosophical Works

                                                                            These works, though mainly devoted to the institutions of Roman private law, have a different focus: they do not focus on the institutions of Roman law, but on the manner in which Greek philosophy may be said to have affected the development of Roman law. To Schiller 1978 and Schulz 1946 may be added Daube 1969, a fascinating book with startling insights into the development of Roman law.

                                                                            • Daube, David. 1969. Roman law: Linguistic, social and philosophical aspects. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.

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                                                                              A wildly imaginative and original account of the development of Roman law with some surprising insights.

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                                                                              • Schiller, A. Arthur. 1978. Roman law: Mechanisms of development. New York: Mouton.

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                                                                                This book poses certain interesting questions concerning the reasons for the sometimes idiosyncratic development of Roman law.

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                                                                                • Schulz, Fritz. 1946. History of Roman legal science. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                                                  This book focuses on the Roman jurists and the extent to which their conceptions of the law may have been colored by Greek philosophy.

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                                                                                  Roman Private Law

                                                                                  Roman private law can be broken down into the law of persons, the law of things, and the law of actions.

                                                                                  The Law of Persons

                                                                                  The standard work on the law of persons is Watson 1967. Modern English-language scholarship on the Roman law of persons has focused predominantly on the family, women, children, and slaves.

                                                                                  • Watson, Alan. 1967. The law of persons in the later Roman Republic. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                                                    An interesting account of the main institutions of the Roman law of persons. Watson’s interpretations of legal texts can be surprisingly original.

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                                                                                    Family Law

                                                                                    On the subject of the family, interesting works include Dixon 1992, Rawson 1986, and Rawson and Weaver 1997. To this could be added Frier and McGinn 2004, Gardner 1998, and Evans Grubbs 1995. The Roman law of the family is one area where ancient historians have made significant contributions, especially in the past fifty years. Most of these studies have taken a context-based approach whereby Roman law is viewed in relation to Roman society.

                                                                                    Women and Children

                                                                                    On women, the main book in English is Gardner 1986. To these may be added the following on Roman marriage law: Rawson 1991 and Treggiari 1991. Two further works on the Roman law of persons are Gardner 1993 and McGinn 1998.

                                                                                    Slaves

                                                                                    Literature on slavery in Roman law is vast. The two seminal works are Buckland 1908 and Watson 1987.

                                                                                    • Buckland, William Warwick. 1908. The Roman law of slavery: The condition of the slave in private law from Augustus to Justinian. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                      Reprinted, 1995. Holmes Beach, FL: William M. Gaunt. An encyclopedic account of Roman slave law, still regarded by many as the last word on the topic.

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                                                                                      • Watson, Alan. 1987. Roman slave law. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

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                                                                                        An intelligent reposte to Buckland.

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                                                                                        The Law of Things

                                                                                        This is the main division in Gaius’s and Justinian’s Institutes.

                                                                                        The Law of Property

                                                                                        The most important English-language contribution on the Roman law of property is Watson 1968, a useful survey of the most important aspects of the Roman regime of property law. To this should be added Diósdi 1970, a very interesting account of the lines of development in the law of property. Nicholas and Birks 1989 is an edited collection dealing with specific aspects of the Roman law of property.

                                                                                        • Nicholas, Barry, and Peter Birks, eds. 1989. New perspectives in the Roman law of property. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                          An edited collection dealing with specific newer insights into Roman property law.

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                                                                                          • Diósdi, Gyorgy. 1970. Ownership in ancient and pre-classical Roman law. Budapest: Akademiae Kiado.

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                                                                                            An insightful, if difficult, text on the evolution of the concept of ownership in Roman law.

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                                                                                            • Watson, Alan. 1968. The law of property in the later Roman Republic. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                                                              An interesting, if now slightly dated, account of the main Institutions of Roman property law in the first century BCE.

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                                                                                              The Law of Contract

                                                                                              The main English-language textbook on the subject is Watson 1965, a groundbreaking work for its time. Another important work is Diósdi 1981, particularly useful for its critique of Levy 1956, one of the few books to deal with the law of contracts in the post-classical period. Another important work on this area is Zimmermann 1996, a very useful diachronic comparison between modern law and Roman law.

                                                                                              • Diósdi, Gyorgy. 1981. Contract in Roman law from the Twelve Tables to the Glossators. Budapest: Akademiae Kiado.

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                                                                                                This is arguably one of the best overviews of the historical development of the Roman law of contracts.

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                                                                                                • Levy, Ernst. 1956. Weströmisches Vulgarrecht: Das Obligationenrecht. Weimar: Böhlau.

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                                                                                                  Although now dated, this account of the changes in Roman contract law in Late Antiquity remains an indispensable work.

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                                                                                                  • Watson, Alan. 1965. The law of obligations in the later Roman Republic. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                    Reprinted, 1984. Aalen: Scientia. This in-depth account of the development of the Roman law of obligations during the Republic is full of unique Watsonian insights.

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                                                                                                    • Zimmermann, Reinhard. 1996. The law of obligations: Roman foundations of the civilian tradition. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                      A remarkable summary of points of view and academic discussions on a variety of issues.

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                                                                                                      Stipulatio

                                                                                                      On stipulatio, see the interesting yet slightly controversial work of Meyer 2004. There has been little else written on this topic in recent years in the English language.

                                                                                                      • Meyer, Elizabeth A. 2004. Legitimacy and law in the Roman world: Tabulae in Roman belief and practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                        Overview of the fate of the stipulatio in the classical and post-classical period.

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                                                                                                        The Contract of Loan for Consumption

                                                                                                        On the contract of loan for consumption, see Daube 1979.

                                                                                                        • Daube, David. 1979. Money and justificiability. Zeitschrift Der Savigny Stiftung (römanistische Abteilung) 96: 1–16.

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                                                                                                          This interesting article deals with the introduction of coined money in Roman law and its effect on the law and on commerce.

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                                                                                                          Contract of Deposit

                                                                                                          On the contract of deposit, the most recent comprehensive survey is Jung 2002. This should be read in conjunction with older works on this topic, such as Gandolfi 1971.

                                                                                                          Contract of Sale

                                                                                                          On the contract of sale, a valuable albeit slightly dated work is Daube 1959, a collection of articles, which should be read in conjunction with more recent contributions on individual aspects of the contract of sale, such as Ernst and Jakab 2007.

                                                                                                          • Daube, David, ed. 1959. Studies in the Roman law of sale: Dedicated to the memory of Francis de Zulueta. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                            This is an edited collection dealing with various aspects of this contract.

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                                                                                                            • Ernst, Wofgang, and Eva Jakab, eds. 2007. Kaufen nach römischem Recht: Antikes Erbe in den europäischen Kaufrechtsornungen. Heidelberg: Springer.

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                                                                                                              An interesting new edited collection that examines both Roman and recent European developments in the law of sale.

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                                                                                                              Contract of Letting and Hiring

                                                                                                              On the contract of letting and hiring, much has been written in recent years, but a comprehensive overview of this topic is yet to be done. A valuable recent contribution is Fiori 1999.

                                                                                                              • Fiori, Roberto. 1999. La definizione della ‘locatio conductio’: Giurisprudenza romana e tradizione romanistica. Naples: Jovene.

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                                                                                                                This book investigates the trichotomy in the contract of letting and hiring in Roman law and its impact on the development of modern law.

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                                                                                                                Contract of Mandate

                                                                                                                On the contract of mandate, see Verboven 2002 for an excellent account of the motives behind the gratuitous nature of this contract in Roman law. The standard albeit slightly dated work in English is Watson 1961. A valuable recent contribution with references to modern law is Nörr and Nishimura 1993. Students may also wish to consult Aubert 1994 for an interesting perspective on the commercial aspects of the Roman contract of mandate.

                                                                                                                • Aubert, Jean-Jacques. 1994. Business managers in ancient Rome: A social and economic study of Institores, 200 B.C.-A.D. 250. Leiden: Brill.

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                                                                                                                  A fascinating study of the idea of business managers in its legal and social context in Roman law.

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                                                                                                                  • Nörr, Dieter, and Shigeo Nishimura, eds. 1993. Mandatum und Verwandtes: Beiträge zum römischen und modernen Recht. Berlin: Springer.

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                                                                                                                    An edited collection containing insights into this area of law both in Roman and modern law.

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                                                                                                                    • Verboven, Koenraad. 2002. The economy of friends: Economic aspects of amicitia and patronage in the late Republic. Brussels: Latomus.

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                                                                                                                      An interesting account of the origins of this contract and its relation to aspects of Roman society.

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                                                                                                                      • Watson, Alan. 1961. The contract of mandate in Roman law. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                        Reprinted, 1984. Aalen: Scientia. A standard if now dated survey of the main aspects of this contract in Roman law.

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                                                                                                                        Contract of Partnership

                                                                                                                        Much has been written on the contract of partnership, but many of these articles appear specialized. The standard modern survey of this contract is Santucci 1997. A good survey in English is Földi 1996.

                                                                                                                        Innominate Contracts

                                                                                                                        On the subject of innominate contracts, the most recent comprehensive survey is Kremer 2000. A good survey in English may be found in MacCormack 1985

                                                                                                                        • Kremer, Andrzej. 2000. Die verhältnisse “do ut facias und facio ut des” als ausgewählte Beispiele der Innominatkontrakte im klassischen römischen Recht. In Au-dela des frontieres: Mélanges de droit romain offerts a W. Wolodkiewicz. Edited by Maria Zablocka, 409–427. Warsaw: Liber.

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                                                                                                                          The newest survey of this area of law.

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                                                                                                                          • MacCormack, G. D. 1985. Contractual theory and the innominate contracts. Studia Et Documenta Historiae Et Iuris 51: 131–152.

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                                                                                                                            A very original account of the relationship between this problematic category and the general idea of Roman contract law.

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                                                                                                                            Unjustified Enrichment

                                                                                                                            On the subject of unjustified enrichment, much has been written since Diósdi’s brief overview in 1981 (see The Law of Contract), but many of these contributions are specific and do not alter the broad historical outline that he provided. The standard modern survey of this topic is Saccoccio 2002. A good English-language survey is Liebs 1986.

                                                                                                                            • Liebs, Detlef. 1986. The history of the Roman condictio up to Justinian. In The legal mind: Essays for Tony Honoré. Edited by Neil MacCormick and Peter Birks, 163–183. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                              An interesting article with some surprising insights.

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                                                                                                                              • Saccoccio, Antonio. 2002. Si certum petetur: Dalla condictio dei veteres alle condictiones giustinianee. Milan: Giuffrè.

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                                                                                                                                The most recent survey of the Roman law of unjustified enrichment.

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                                                                                                                                The Law of Inheritance

                                                                                                                                Aspects of the Roman law of inheritance have been treated by Gardner 1991, discussed above in relation to women, in as much as it concerns the position of women. Other important studies include Manfredini 1991.

                                                                                                                                The Law of Actions

                                                                                                                                On Roman civil procedure, see the dated yet indispensable Greenidge 1902 and Kelly 1966, for a comprehensive survey of the Roman law of procedure. These works should be read in conjunction with more recent contributions, Metzger 1997 and 2005. For the use of documents in Roman courts, see Meyer 2004. On the fairness of the Roman legal system, see Garnsey 1970. On the Roman advocate, see Kennedy 1972; Crook 1995 addresses the rhetorical aspects of Roman advocacy. Arguably the most interesting recent work on this area is Bablitz 2007, a fascinating investigation into the types of courts, their set-up, and the main functionaries.

                                                                                                                                • Bablitz, Leanne E. 2007. Actors and audience in the Roman courtroom. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                  This fascinating new study looks at various aspects of the Roman civil trial such as court location, structure, and composition as well as the interaction among the litigants, lawyers, and audience. It is well worth reading.

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                                                                                                                                  • Crook, John Anthony. 1995. Legal advocacy in the Roman world. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                    This study examines the Roman advocate in his many contexts in Roman society.

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                                                                                                                                    • Garnsey, Peter. 1970. Social status and legal privilege in the Roman Empire. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                                                                                                      The author examines the hypothesis that the Roman legal system favored the interests of the upper classes.

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                                                                                                                                      • Greenidge, A. H. J. 1902. The legal procedure of Cicero’s time. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                                                                                                        Reprinted, 1999. Union, NJ: Lawbook Exchange. A very informative work on the law relating to civil procedure in the late Republic.

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                                                                                                                                        • Kelly, J. M. 1966. Roman litigation. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                                                                                                          A well-respected study of the pitfalls and perils associated with litigation in Roman law. This should be read in conjunction with A companion to Roman rhetoric. 2007. Edited by William Dominik and Jon Hall. Oxford: Blackwells.

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                                                                                                                                          • Kennedy, George Alexander. 1972. The art of rhetoric in the Roman world 300 B.C.-300A.D. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                            This study examines the importance of rhetoric in civil trials.

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                                                                                                                                            • Metzger, Ernest. 1997. A new outline of the Roman civil trial. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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                                                                                                                                              A fascinating new study on the nature and structure of the civil trial in Roman law.

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                                                                                                                                              • Metzger, Ernest. 2005. Litigation in Roman law. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                A more specialist work on specific aspects of Roman civil procedure such as adjournment of cases in light of new epigraphic material.

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                                                                                                                                                • Meyer, Elizabeth A. 2004. Legitimacy and law in the Roman world: Tabulae in Roman belief and practice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                  A comprehensive account of the importance of writing in the Roman legal process.

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                                                                                                                                                  Roman Public Law

                                                                                                                                                  Traditionally, this branch of law has not been studied by scholars of Roman law as the public law of the Roman Empire had less of an impact on the development of private law in western Europe. The standard work in this area remains the magisterial Mommsen 1887. To this could be added various more specialist works on the functioning of the Republic and the Empire such as Lintott 2003.

                                                                                                                                                  Criminal Law

                                                                                                                                                  This has been an area of interest to historians even if it does not attract much attention from Romanists. Good starting points would be Riggsby 1999 and Robinson 2000. The standard work remains Mommsen 1899.

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