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date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys Roman law as an important influence upon the development of law in the European legal tradition. Starting with the origins of the Roman state in the myth of Romulus and Remus, it provides an account of the main constitutional structures of the Roman state across time. These structures provide the backdrop for a larger discussion of the nature of Roman law, the sources of law, and the changes to the Roman legal order. The chapter ends with the ‘fall’ of the Western Empire in the fifth century ad and leaves the discussion of Justinianic Roman law to another chapter elsewhere in this volume.

Keywords: Roman law, ius commune, civil law, Roman jurisprudence, sources of law

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