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 family (familia) was once in lots of respects dramatically assorted from the fashionable kinfolk. From the early Roman Empire (30 B.C. to approximately A.D. 250) there continue to exist many felony resources that describe Roman families, frequently within the such a lot intimate aspect. the subject material of those historical resources comprises marriage and divorce, the valuables points of marriage, the development of authority inside families, the transmission of estate among generations, and the supervision of Roman orphans.This casebook offers 235 consultant texts drawn principally from Roman criminal assets, particularly Justinian's Digest. those instances and the dialogue questions that stick to supply a superb advent to the fundamental criminal difficulties linked to the standard households of Roman voters. The association of fabrics conveys to scholars an figuring out of the elemental principles of Roman kin legislations whereas additionally offering them with the capacity to question those principles and discover the wider felony rules that underlie them.Included instances invite the reader to combat with real Roman felony difficulties, in addition to to consider Roman suggestions in terms of glossy legislation. within the procedure, the reader should still achieve self assurance in dealing with basic different types of felony considering, that have endured almost unchanged from Roman instances till the present.This quantity additionally includes a word list of technical phrases, biographies of the jurists, simple bibliographies of important secondary literature, and a close creation to the scholarly themes linked to Roman kin law.A direction in line with this casebook may be of curiosity to somebody who needs to appreciate higher Roman social heritage, both as a part of a bigger Classical Civilization curriculum or as a practise for legislation institution.

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A good, if perhaps rather horrifying, example is Case 56, a legal problem resulting from the amalgamation of a husband’s and a wife’s slaves within a single dwelling. But Roman masters also commonly freed their urban slaves, which led to fresh problems; for instance, an ex-master might wish to marry his freedwoman (Case 14). The presence of slaves is not always obvious in the sources; still, it repays the effort to bear their presence in mind, since slaves were a major capital asset in the Roman world.

Why might the Romans have been so grudging about marital rights? Do you see a relationship to the Roman principle of “divide and conquer”? 3. Following the Status of the Mother. Where a couple did not have conubium, the general result in Roman law (with some exceptions, one of which is noted in this Case) was that children acquired their mother’s status and that their father did not have patria potestas over them; that is, the children were treated, to some extent, like bastards for purposes of Roman law (although the word “bastard” carries moral baggage that is not always appropriate in a Roman context).

These ages are bound to seem young in a modern setting. What are the likely social implications? 2. ” A surprisingly large number of Roman legal sources suggest that in the case of women the minimum age was not always observed; see also, for instance, Case 26 below. In the present Case, a girl younger than twelve has been “led” (deducta) in a wedding procession to the home of a man; such a “leading” from the home of the girl’s father into her husband’s is one common form of marriage ceremony (see Case 20).

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