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1. Introduction:  

Rome—a historical sketch

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provide an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter provides a historical sketch of Rome. The history of Rome is traditionally divided into three main periods based on the dominant constitutional structure in Roman society during these three periods. These are the Monarchy (eighth century bc–510 bc), Republic (509–27 bc), and Empire (27 bc–ad 565).

Chapter

This chapter provides a historical sketch of Rome. It has been written to provide a contextual basis for the study of Roman private law. The history of Rome is traditionally divided into three main periods based on the dominant constitutional structure in Roman society during these three periods. These are the Monarchy (eighth century bc–510 bc), Republic (509–27 bc), and Empire (27 bc–ad 565). Scholars of Roman law tend to refine this division even further. Thus, to the scholar of Roman law, the period from the founding of Rome in the eighth century bc–c. 250 bc is regarded as the ‘archaic’ period of Roman law. The period thereafter, from c. 250 bc–27 bc, is generally described as the ‘pre-classical period’ of Roman law.For scholars of Roman law, the ‘classical’ period, c. first three centuries AD, and the Justinianic period, c. sixth century AD, are the most important, owing to the compilation of ‘classical’ Roman law by order the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian, in the sixth century.

Chapter

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provide an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter discusses the sources of Roman law. It covers sources of law in the archaic period; sources of law in the Republic; sources of law in the Empire; the post-classical era; and Justinian's codification of Roman law.

Chapter

This chapter discusses the sources of Roman law. It covers sources of law in the archaic period; sources of law in the Republic; sources of law in the Empire; the post-classical era; and Justinian’s codification of Roman law. It is difficult to provide a comprehensive and finite list of the sources of Roman law, since the Roman jurists never defined the term ‘source of law’ and different sources were emphasized at certain periods in the history of the Roman legal system to reflect their prominence as instruments of legal reform. There are three statements in which the sources of Roman law are listed, seemingly without any specific order. The earliest is by Cicero in the first century BC. The second is a comment by the second-century jurist Gaius in his Institutes. The latter was adopted and amended in Justinian’s Institutes of the sixth century AD.