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Fall 2023 Course

Comparative Law: Ancient Law

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: In Class

The focus of the class will be on comparing various ancient and modern approaches to problems faced by all legal systems. Topics covered include ancient approaches to crime and punishment, the regulation of sexuality, the trial jury, court procedure, international law, and commercial law. The main focus will be on the legal systems of classical Athens and Rome. We will also look to other ancient legal systems where relevant to a particular topic. Prior knowledge of ancient history or ancient languages is not required; the course is designed to be of interest to those without a background in the ancient world. Grades will be based on 2 short response papers, a 1-hour in class exam, and class participation.

Students can register for an additional independent writing credit and write a research paper in lieu of the response papers to use toward the law school writing requirement. Students looking to satisfy the law school writing requirement who do not want to write a research paper may write 2 additional short response papers (4 total) to satisfy half of Option 2 (“substantial course writing”) of the writing requirement.