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This subject provides an introduction to Roman law (no prior knowledge of Roman history, of Latin, or of law is required) in which legal developments are linked to the social, cultural, and historical realities of the classical period over more than a millennium. The main legal sources will be considered and the legal institutions, particularly the law of persons, will be examined in the context of their historical and social contexts. Students will deal with ancient legal sources in translation (such as Justinian’s Corpus Iuris Civilis), will gain knowledge of legal structures that have influenced modern legal systems, and will study the realities of life for the millions of people who lived under the umbrella of Roman law.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Analyse critically the content, form, conventions, and background of Roman law
- Carry out independent research, manage the information obtained, and communicate findings in a coherent and scholarly way, and develop critical skills in dealing with primary sources and solving the problems presented by such material
- Participate in activities which involve group discussion as well as individual effort
- Identify and comprehend legal debates in pre-classical and classical antiquity
- Understand and illustrate the influence of Roman law on later history and legal structures and systems
- Apply legal theories to social realities and understand the interaction of legal and social phenomena.
The subject involves a large number of important generic and employment skills, most notably:
- An ability to analyse and examine a large amount of often difficult information
- An ability to see both sides of an argument
- The ability to synthesise an argument in a cogent form
- The ability to retrieve information from complex sources and present it in a compelling and cogent fashion.
Last updated: 20 February 2024