A Short History of Roman Law

Olga Tellegen-Couperus

Routledge 1993
A book review by Danny Yee © 2002 https://dannyreviews.com/
A Short History of Roman Law is written for students of law rather than of classics: almost half of it is devoted to general social and political history, pitched at readers completely unfamiliar with Roman history. The approach is chronological, with sections on the early republic (to 367 BC), the late republic (to 27 BC), the principate (to 284 AD), and the dominate (to 565 AD). Each section starts with a survey of sources, territory, population, and economy, followed by an overview of state structures and relevant political history. A chronological table and some maps will also be useful aids for newcomers to the era.

The treatment of law in each period covers legislation, criminal and civil procedures, the administration of justice, and the development of legal science. There is no attempt to cover the substance of the law, though specific laws and cases feature as examples. On the other hand, there is reasonable coverage of the sources for our knowledge of Roman law and some attempt to indicate where reconstructions are contested or conjectural. If it is not entirely satisfying in itself, A Short History of Roman Law should work nicely as an introductory overview for those planning further study.

July 2002

External links:
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Related reviews:
- Alan Watson - Roman Law and Comparative Law
- books about Rome + Roman history
- more ancient history
- books about law
- books published by Routledge
%T A Short History of Roman Law
%A Tellegen-Couperus, Olga
%I Routledge
%D 1993
%O paperback, notes, bibliography, index
%G ISBN 0415072514
%P 174pp