A Casebook on Roman Family Law (Classical Resources Series, by Bruce W. Frier, Thomas A. J. McGinn

By Bruce W. Frier, Thomas A. J. McGinn

The Roman loved ones (familia) used to be in lots of respects dramatically diverse from the fashionable relatives. From the early Roman Empire (30 B.C. to approximately A.D. 250) there live on many felony resources that describe Roman families, usually within the so much intimate element. the subject material of those old assets comprises marriage and divorce, the valuables facets of marriage, the development of authority inside of families, the transmission of estate among generations, and the supervision of Roman orphans.This casebook provides 235 consultant texts drawn mostly from Roman felony assets, specifically Justinian's Digest. those situations and the dialogue questions that persist with offer a great creation to the elemental felony difficulties linked to the normal households of Roman electorate. The association of fabrics conveys to scholars an realizing of the elemental principles of Roman relatives legislation whereas additionally offering them with the capability to question those ideas and discover the wider felony ideas that underlie them.Included instances invite the reader to combat with real Roman criminal difficulties, in addition to to consider Roman strategies when it comes to glossy legislations. within the technique, the reader should still achieve self assurance in dealing with primary varieties of criminal considering, that have continued nearly unchanged from Roman instances until eventually the present.This quantity additionally includes a word list of technical phrases, biographies of the jurists, simple bibliographies of precious secondary literature, and a close advent to the scholarly issues linked to Roman family members law.A direction in accordance with this casebook might be of curiosity to someone who needs to appreciate larger Roman social background, both as a part of a bigger Classical Civilization curriculum or as a instruction for legislation institution.

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Should we look for countervailing social factors that might have acted to promote marital stability or for indirect legal obstacles to divorce (such as dowry encumbrances, Cases 81–89)? Or are we better advised to accept the possibility that free divorce may not be such a threat to social order as many of us have thought? Second, patria potestas, the enormous power over descendants that Roman law vested in a pater familias, remains an enigma. For instance, in Case 93, the Emperor Alexander Severus apparently tells a man named Artemidorus that if he encounters difficulty in applying corporal punishment to his adult son, he can ask for assistance from a magistrate; and other legal sources suggest that thrashing adult children was a legally acceptable, if not a regular, part of a father’s exercise of parental dominion.

This general situation would be unaffected if either the son or the daughter were married with children prior to their father’s decease, nor would it matter if either one was no longer resident in the father’s home. But what if, for instance, the son had married, had children, and then predeceased his father? His children (unlike those of his sister) would remain in the Basic Concepts 21 household of his pater familias; and even if they were still infants when their grandfather died, each of them would begin to have a separate household.

1) Servitus est constitutio iuris gentium, qua quis dominio alieno contra naturam subicitur. (Gaius in the first book of his Institutes) The foremost distinction in the law of personal status is this, that all human beings are either free or slaves. ) Freedom is the natural ability to do what one wishes, except if it is prevented by coercion or by law. (1) Slavery is an institution of the law of nations, whereby, contrary to nature, a person is made subject to another’s ownership. 1. ” No division is more stark in the Roman world than that which divides free persons (including Roman citizens, but also free noncitizens) from those who are slaves.

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