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Of the Roman Civil and Canon Laws, and their authority in England.


I. LAW, in its ordinary signification, denotes CHAP. the rules of human action or conduct. Human nature cannot be considered apart from law. The mere savage is not without the element of laws. His authority over his wife and children, and his property in his rude implements of hunting and weapons of defence, represent the germs of the Civil law of the most complicated societies, and of the wealthiest communities. A system of law existing among a people presupposes an historical period of gradual political advancement and civilization. By comparing systems of law, the Jus Civile of different communities, we come to jurisprudence, which is defined by Ulpian to be "divinarum atque humanarum rerum notitia, justi atque injusti scientia." Jurisprudence is a science; it Jurispru teaches principles, and must be carefully distin- dence. guished from legislation and codification, which

are arts.

It is impossible to study the principles of law without reference to some particular system, and the Roman law as contained in the Corpus Juris Civilis of Justinian, from the circumstance of its being complete, i. e. as it is to-day so we find it tomorrow, without the changes and additions which are going on in modern codes, is the most convenient, as well as the best, which we can use. Before we proceed to examine the contents of the Corpus Juris Civilis, or to study the principles

1 D. I. I. IO. 2.

BOOK which it contains, it is necessary to trace briefly I. the history of the Roman law from its earliest period, and to understand its various changes and developments from the foundation of Rome to the time of Justinian. Modern jurists divide the Roman law historically into four periods. 1. From the foundation of the city to the Twelve Tables. 2. From the Twelve Tables to Augustus. 3. From Augustus to Constantine. 4. From Constantine to Justinian; but the arrangement of Bach' is followed here as the most clear and comprehensive. He makes nine periods from the foundation of Rome to the fall of the Byzantine Empire inclusive.

Periods of the Roman


Sources of

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2. From the expulsion of the kings to the compilation of the Twelve Tables; these together constitute the Jurisprudentia antiqua.

3. From the compilation of the Twelve Tables to Augustus; called the Jurisprudentia media.


From Augustus to Hadrian.

5. From Hadrian to Constantine.

6. FromConstantine to Theodosius the younger.


From Theodosius to Justinian.

8. From Justinian to Basilius Macedo.


From Basilius Macedo to the fall of Constantinople in the year 1453.

The sources of the Roman law are twofold, the Roman I. General. 2. Particular, or technical.



The general sources comprise those circumstances and events which led to its growth and early development, and which will only require a cursory notice.

First. The original founders of the city of Rome settled upon the Tiber among the Etruscans, and others who had their own laws and 1 Historia Jurisprudentiæ Romanæ.

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