This chapter examines the history of the chthonic legal tradition. Chthonic law is inextricably interwoven with all the beliefs of chthonic and indigenous peoples and is inevitably, and profoundly, infused with all those other beliefs. Chthonic law cannot be understood without understanding other things. There is no separation of law and morals, no separation of law and anything else.
This chapter examines the history of the civil law tradition. The role of civil law first expanded in Rome. From a time of very rigid and formalistic procedures in the early empire, with essentially only chthonic law to be applied, the civil law grew, both substantively and procedurally, until it became substantively adequate to deal with an entire range of societal problems. From the time of its rediscovery, Roman law continued to expand, from its established positions in universities and in central political authority.
This book offers a major new means of conceptualizing law and legal relations across the world. National laws are placed in the broader context of major legal traditions, those of chthonic (or indigenous) law, talmudic law, civil law, Islamic law, common law, Hindu law, and Confucian law. Each tradition is examined in terms of its institutions and substantive law, its founding concepts and methods, its attitude towards the concept of change, and its teaching on relations with other traditions and peoples. Legal traditions are explained in terms of multivalent and non-conflictual forms of logic and thought.