Historical Reprints History Roman Law : The Twelve Tables

Roman Law : The Twelve Tables

Roman Law : The Twelve Tables
Catalog # SKU1394
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name P R. Coleman-Norton & Andrew Stephenson


Roman Law

The Twelve Tables
Public Lands& Agrarian Laws
of the Roman Republic

Two Books Published in One Volume!

P.R. Coleman-Norton
Andrew Stephenson

Patriots and governments of the Western world claim their foundations in Roman Civil Law. Find out exactly what some of those 'Roman' laws were and how they were applied. The legal history of Rome begins properly with the Twelve Tables. It is strictly the first and the only Roman code, collecting the earliest known laws of the Roman people and forming the foundation of the whole fabric of Roman Law.


Its importance lies in the fact that by its promulgation was substituted for an unwritten usage, of which the knowledge had been confined to some citizens of the community, a public and written body of laws, which were easily accessible to and strictly binding on all citizens of Rome.

Till the close of the republican period (509 B.C.-27 B.C.) the Twelve Tables were regarded as a great legal charter. The historian Livy (59 B.C.-A.D. 17) records: "Even in the present immense mass of legislation, where laws are piled on laws, the Twelve Tables still form the fount of all public and private jurisprudence."

This celebrated code, after its compilation by a commission of ten men decemviri, who composed in 451 B.C. ten sections and two sections in 450 B.C., and after its ratification by the (then) principal assembly comitia centuriata of the State in 449 B.C., was engraved on twelve bronze3 Tablets (whence the name Twelve Tables), which were attached to the Rostra before the Curia in the Forum of Rome.

Though this important witness of the national progress probably was destroyed during the Gallic occupation of Rome in 387 B.C., yet copies must have been extant, since Cicero (106 B.C.-43 B.C.) says that in his boyhood schoolboys memorized these laws "as a required formula."4 However, now no part of the Twelve Tables either in its original form or in its copies exists.

The value of the Twelve Tables consists not in any approach to symmetrical classification or even to terse clarity of expression, but in the publication of the method of procedure to be adopted, especially in civil cases, in the knowledge furnished to every Roman of high or low degree as to what were both his legal rights and his legal duties, in the political victory won by the plebeians, who compelled the codification and the promulgation of what had been largely customary law interpreted and administered by the patricians primarily in their own interests.

150+ pages - 5 x 8 inches SoftCover


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