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Borkowski's Textbook on Roman Law

Borkowski's Textbook on Roman Law (5th edn)

Paul du Plessis
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date: 24 September 2021

4. Status, slavery, and citizenshiplocked

4. Status, slavery, and citizenshiplocked

  • Paul du PlessisPaul du PlessisSenior Lecturer in Civil Law and Legal History, University of Edinburgh


Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provide an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. Status lay at the heart of the law of persons. Rome developed into a highly stratified society in which the different gradations of status were reflected in a myriad of detailed rules. So the law of persons describes the various categories and degrees of status in Roman law, and how status could be acquired or lost. Issues such as slavery and citizenship are fundamental, but the bulk of the law is concerned with the family. This chapter first considers the question of legal personality. It then discusses the rules on status; freedom and the law of slavery; and the legal position of free persons: citizens and non-citizens.

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