Classics for All Reviews

edited by David Johnston

CUP (2015) p/b 551pp £23.99 (ISBN 9780521719940)

It is rare to read a book on Roman law which is difficult to put down, but this is such a book. The Companion is a collection of twenty essays by scholars, which guide the reader through the history and development of Roman law from the early days of the Republic through the Principate, the Dominate, the Byzantine Empire and beyond.

Parts 1 and 2 (chapters 1-4) set the scene. They provide the background history and explain the amphibious role of the jurists. They identify the sources of Roman law. The most important sources are the Twelve Tables (now lost), the Institutes of Gaius, the Digest and the Institutes of Justinian.

Part 3 (chapters 5-8) deals with the evidence which is available to the modern scholar. In addition to well-known texts, such as Cicero and the jurists…

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