Courses 2010 - 2011
LAW B 555 Roman Law
This course will provide a basic introduction to Roman law from preclassical times to the compilation of the Code of Justinian at the beginning of the Byzantine Empire (450 B.C.-565 A.D.) The purposes of the course are (1) to give students some background in the technical aspects of one of the world's greatest legal systems, one which has had a profound impact on Anglo-American common law and which continues today in many civil code countries; and (2) to focus on comparisons between classical Roman and modern American law to gain an understanding of how separate legal cultures approach similar questions. The course will cover in varying detail the constitutional and historical background of Roman law as it changed over 1,000 years: the law of persons (marriage, families, slavery); the law of property and inheritance; the law of contracts; the law of crimes and delicts (torts); and public law including municipal law. Knowledge of Latin is not necessary.