Ancient Roman Legal System

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The ancient Greeks and Romans had very particular legal systems that provided rules and guidelines for everyday life. These legal systems are similar in their key points and major concerns, their views of social classes and the social order, and their views of women in society and their legal rights. From these systems, we can get a glimpse at what life was like for these people and compare and contrast it with today’s society. By using these originals as blueprints to build off of, modern society has created its own code of laws, both moral and legal. Ancient Greece Ancient Greek code was largely concerned with “Who should rule and how” (Cartwright). Cartwright quotes Pericles regarding democracy in Athens, stating, “Athens’ constitution is called a democracy because it respects the interests…show more content…
It placed a heavy emphasis on ritual. The first known source of Roman law was the 12 tables. It included damage to property, slavery, citizenship and crime and punishment among many other matters. These laws were established using statutes, decisions by the magistrates, assembly votes, and considerations of expert legal council. Cartwright explains that “Roman law was cumulative in nature, i.e. a new law could be added to the legal corpus or supersede a previous law.” “Social class in ancient Rome was hierarchical, but there were multiple and overlapping social hierarchies, and an individual's relative position in one might be higher or lower than in another.” (Class Structure in Ancient Roman) Status could be determined using citizenship, census rank, ancestry and attainment of honors. Slaves in ancient Rome were considered to be property and were given no rights as citizens. Citizenship was considered a privilege and was only given to freeborn individuals. Men who were the head of their household maintained special legal rights and powers that gave them authority over all members of their

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