Countless books detail the development of Roman law and explain the laws of the ancient Romans. Similarly, many scholars have traced the law of ancient Athens. Written for both students and educated lay readers, the chapters dealing with ancient Greece focus primarily on the law of ancient Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C.E.
But material relating to other Greek colonies and city states also plays a significant role in the development of ancient Greek law. The Roman law chapters explore both law and legal institutions and emphasize the growth and expansion of legal principles. Roman law still serves as the foundation for the civil laws of many nations today. And given the importance of globalization, Roman law is likely to continue to influence the modern word for the foreseeable future.
Russ VerSteeg is a professor of law at the New England School of Law and a former teacher of classics.