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

The Roman family (familia) was once in lots of respects dramatically various from the fashionable kin. From the early Roman Empire (30 B.C. to approximately A.D. 250) there live to tell the tale many criminal resources that describe Roman families, frequently within the such a lot intimate element. the subject material of those old assets comprises marriage and divorce, the valuables points of marriage, the trend of authority inside of families, the transmission of estate among generations, and the supervision of Roman orphans.This casebook offers 235 consultant texts drawn principally from Roman felony assets, in particular Justinian's Digest. those instances and the dialogue questions that stick to offer an outstanding creation to the elemental felony difficulties linked to the normal households of Roman voters. The association of fabrics conveys to scholars an realizing of the elemental ideas of Roman relations legislations whereas additionally delivering them with the potential to question those ideas and discover the wider criminal rules that underlie them.Included situations invite the reader to strive against with real Roman criminal difficulties, in addition to to contemplate Roman options when it comes to sleek legislation. within the method, the reader may still achieve self belief in dealing with primary varieties of criminal considering, that have persevered almost unchanged from Roman instances till the present.This quantity additionally incorporates a thesaurus of technical phrases, biographies of the jurists, simple bibliographies of priceless secondary literature, and an in depth creation to the scholarly issues linked to Roman family members law.A path in accordance with this casebook may be of curiosity to an individual who needs to appreciate larger Roman social background, both as a part of a bigger Classical Civilization curriculum or as a practise for legislation institution.

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10 Introduction CHAPTER I Basic Concepts This brief chapter introduces some central legal concepts that underlie Roman family law. Most of them are related to the legal idea of “family” itself. As it turns out, the Latin word familia is usually better translated into English as “household” rather than “family”—and even this translation is none too accurate. It is easier, perhaps, to begin with the importance that Roman private law attached to the familia as the basic building block of the Roman state, since, metaphorically, the familia is often understood as the state in miniature.

In the Roman world, as in human societies generally, marriage as an institution was deeply saturated with numerous social meanings and uses, which potentially conflict with one another in particular circumstances. First, a wedding between two individuals often served to create a link between their families; and if one or both of the new spouses were in the power of patres familias, a father’s heavy presence is also often detectable in the immediate background of a marriage ceremony. Second, the arrangements leading to a marriage could have major property implications for the two families, since a bride usually required a dowry; and more generally the issue of a couple’s maintenance was important to their marriage’s ultimate success.

1. Agnates. Blood relationship is expressed in Latin by the word cognatio (kinship), which is broad enough to include all those whom we would normally regard today as our relatives. However, the Latin language and Roman law draw a distinction, which we usually do not draw, between blood relatives who are related only through males and those related through either males or females. ” Between any two individuals, an agnate relationship exists if they are descended in the male line from a common male ancestor.

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