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Fall 2020 Course

Roman Law

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

An introduction to Roman law that combines a survey approach with one that focuses in some depth on topics in Roman private law that raise important substantive, comparative, and methodological issues. The emphasis throughout the course is on the relationship between the Roman legal system and the social, economic, and political aspects of Roman life. The course is organized in four large blocks. The first surveys the history of Roman legal institutions, sources of law and procedure from the Twelve Tables (451–450 BC) to Justinian (527–565 AD). The second surveys Roman private law (the law of persons, property, succession, contracts, and delicts) in the classical period (roughly, 100 BC to 240 AD). The third explores law and society in the archaic period (roughly, 500 BC to 250 BC). The fourth explores selected topics in the classical period that illustrate the work of the Roman jurists and their method. All materials will be in English translation. A short paper during the semester will be required and a short ‘take-home’ paper during the reading and exam periods.