The ancient Romans are famous as creators of law. So, for example, when students all over continental Europe begin their studies of law, their first course provides a solid grounding in ancient Roman law. That is in part so because much of their law is, in fact, grounded in ideas that the Romans developed some 2,000 years ago. European legal training is also done this way because Roman law, for the would-be lawyer, is especially good to think with. In this course, we will not do what the European students do. We will not learn how the ancient Roman lawyers construed sale, or inheritance, or tort, or the like. Rather, we will be interested in something that might better be called Roman legal culture. So, we will be asking questions like these. How did the Romans create law? Who had the right to say what the law was? And then, how effectively was that law enforced on a daily basis? Who, in the vast, and vastly diverse, Roman Empire, was in fact subject to the law created by the Roman jurists? Along the way, we will learn a bit about specific areas of Rome's law -- so, for example, a bit about the criminal law. More directly, however, our questioning will involve what the thing called law was meant, in the broadest sense possible, to be doing for the ancient Roman community.






Spring 2022

Michael Peachin
F: 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM GCASL 261