A short history of Roman law by Olga Tellegen-Couperus

By Olga Tellegen-Couperus

An important production of the Romans was once their legislation. during this booklet, Dr Tellegen-Couperus discusses the best way the Roman jurists created and constructed legislation and how within which Roman legislation has come right down to us. certain consciousness is given to questions reminiscent of `who have been the jurists and their legislation colleges' and to the shut connection among jurists and the politics in their time.

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Sicily and Asia Minor. 6 There was considerable discussion in the senate concerning what policy should be pursued. The majority of the senators, who were known as the optimates (literally, ‘the best’), were opposed to any radical changes. A minority then tried to force through some changes with the help of the assembly. 7 When Tiberius Gracchus served as a tribune in 133 BC he introduced a bill in the assembly whereby the small rural proprietors would be reinstated and— indirectly—the power of the Roman army would be restored.

To what extent do the clauses of the XII Tables restate existing customary law and to what extent do they represent innovations? A large number of clauses probably incorporated norms that already existed; but the law must have been adapted in those areas where social life had changed. 3 the pater familias was given the power to dispose of his property by means of a will. g. 3 relating to penalties for causing hurt or injury to another person). The XII Tables remained relevant for a long period.

At that time the position of the equites became stronger than that of the senators in many respects. The equites formed a very diverse group from all layers of society: they were made up of officers, large land-owners, publicani, members of leading families in the municipia, etc. Because the equites were allowed to serve as magistrates it was relatively simple for them to become members of the senatorial class; therefore most of the homines novi in the senate had first belonged to the class of the equites.

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