Roman Law By: Aaron Oberlander
The First Roman Law • Before the Twelve Tables were used in 451B.C. through 387B.C. when they were destroyed by the Celts, the only law used was the Roman civil law. • This law applied only to Roman citizens, was undeveloped, and was used with religion. • This law had many flaws, but was a good basis for the main laws that were to come.
The Twelve Tables • The first legal text is the Law of the Twelve Tables, dating from c.500B.C. • In 451B.C., ten Roman citizens(decemviri) were chosen to record the laws. • One year later in 450B.C., the ten citizens produced the laws on ten tablets. • Another ten people added two more laws to the tablets in 449B.C. • This made the people happy with the new Law of XII Tables.
The Twelve Tables(Cont.) • The first legal profession developed in Rome. • The praetors were the ministers of justice. • The twelve tables also applied just to Roman citizens. • Another law called the law of nations was developed later to rule the conquered people in the Roman empire.
Content of the Twelve Tables • Some of the laws in the Twelve Tables would be considered odd or unacceptable by today’s standards. • For example, Table 2 says,”He whose witness has failed to appear may summon him by loud calls before his house every third day.” • For one more example, in Table 8 it says,” A person who had been found guilty of giving false witness shall be hurled down from the Tarpeian Rock.”
Mos Maiorum • The Roman Republic’s constitution or mos maiorum was an unwritten set of guidelines passed down through precedent. • Concepts that originated in the constitution are still used to this day. • Some examples are checks, balances, separation of powers, vetoes, impeachment and elections. • Mos Maiorum means “custom of the ancestors” • The constitution of the Roman Republic was not formal or official. • Its constitution was largely unwritten, and was constantly evolving throughout the life of the republic.
Questions and Answers • 1.Who did the Roman Civil Law apply to? • 1. Roman Citizens • 2. Name 3 examples of concepts that originated in Mos Maiorum and are used today. • 2. Checks, balances, separation of powers, vetoes, impeachment and elections. • 3. How many tables were there in 450B.C.? • 3. 10 Tables
Thanks to(Biography): • http://www.schoyencollection.com/law.htm • http://www.cnrs.ubc.ca/index.php?id=3493 • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_law • http://www.unrv.com/government/twelvetables.php • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decemviri