A Casebook on Roman Family Law

A Casebook on Roman Family Law

by Bruce W. Frier, Thomas A. J. McGinn

ISBN-10: 0195161858

ISBN-13: 9780195161854

Pub. Date: 10/01/2003

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

The Roman household (familia) was in many respects dramatically different from the modern family. From the early Roman Empire (30 B.C. to about A.D. 250) there survive many legal sources that describe Roman households, often in the most intimate detail. The subject matter of these ancient sources includes marriage and divorce, the property aspects of marriage, the

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The Roman household (familia) was in many respects dramatically different from the modern family. From the early Roman Empire (30 B.C. to about A.D. 250) there survive many legal sources that describe Roman households, often in the most intimate detail. The subject matter of these ancient sources includes marriage and divorce, the property aspects of marriage, the pattern of authority within households, the transmission of property between generations, and the supervision of Roman orphans.

This casebook presents 235 representative texts drawn largely from Roman legal sources, especially Justinian's Digest. These cases and the discussion questions that follow provide a good introduction to the basic legal problems associated with the ordinary families of Roman citizens. The arrangement of materials conveys to students an understanding of the basic rules of Roman family law while also providing them with the means to question these rules and explore the broader legal principles that underlie them.

Included cases invite the reader to wrestle with actual Roman legal problems, as well as to think about Roman solutions in relation to modern law. In the process, the reader should gain confidence in handling fundamental forms of legal thinking, which have persisted virtually unchanged from Roman times until the present.

This volume also contains a glossary of technical terms, biographies of the jurists, basic bibliographies of useful secondary literature, and a detailed introduction to the scholarly topics associated with Roman family law.

A course based on this casebook should be of interest to anyone who wishes to understand better Roman social history, either as part of a larger Classical Civilization curriculum or as a preparation for law school.

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Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
American Philological Association Classical Resources Series, Vol. 5 Series
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.60(d)
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Table of Contents

Major Jurists Cited in This Casebook
Introduction to Roman Family Law3
Ch. IBasic Concepts
Case 1Freedom, Citizenship, and Household12
Case 2Slavery and Freedom14
Case 3Agnatic Relationship16
Case 4The Household (Familia) and the Pater Familias18
Case 5Sui Iuris and Alieni Iuris21
Case 6The Age of Majority23
Ch. IIMarriage
Case 7Less Than Minimum Age27
Case 8The Ability to Procreate29
Case 9Conubium31
Case 10Legal Impediments34
Case 11Incestuous Marriage36
Case 12Incentives to Marry and Reproduce39
Case 13The Requirement of Agreement41
Case 14A Freedwoman's Agreement43
Case 15Not Standing on Ceremony45
Case 16What the Neighbors Know47
Case 17Marital Affection49
Case 18A Wife or a Concubine?51
Case 19An Archaic Wedding Ceremony54
Case 20Leading a Bride into the Home56
Case 21The Significance of Ceremony58
Case 22Cohabitation and Marriage60
Case 23The Man Who Died beside the Tiber62
Case 24Arranging a Betrothal65
Case 25Agreement to Betrothal67
Case 26Betrothal and Marriage68
Case 27An Affront to the Fiancee70
Case 28Jilting Your Intended71
Case 29Marriage, Dowry, and Public Policy72
Case 30Giving the Dowry75
Case 31The Bride Gets Cold Feet78
Case 32The Duty to Provide a Dowry79
Case 33Appropriate Dowries81
Case 34The "Dowered" Wife83
Case 35The Burdens of Marriage84
Case 36Appraising the Dowry85
Case 37Filiae Loco89
Case 38The Wife's Property91
Case 39Acquisitions by a Wife in Manus93
Case 40Can a Wife in Manus Divorce?94
Case 41Free Marriage: The Principle of Noninterference96
Case 42Sharing Status97
Case 43Showing Reverence99
Case 44An Affront to a Spouse100
Case 45No Infamy101
Case 46An Unknown Son104
Case 47Notice of Pregnancy105
Case 48Protecting the Unborn Child108
Case 49Custody of Children109
Case 50Adultery and Marriage110
Case 51Killing the Adulterer...112
Case 52...But Not His Own Wife114
Case 53Pandering116
Case 54The Necessity of Divorce118
Case 55A Double Standard?120
Case 56Separate Estates122
Case 57Managing His Wife's Property124
Case 58What the Woman Brings with Her125
Case 59Q. Mucius's Presumption127
Case 60Maintenance128
Case 61No Gifts130
Case 62A Fake Sale133
Case 63Making Clothes134
Case 64Exceptions135
Case 65Severan Reforms137
Case 66Equitable Ownership?140
Case 67Fruits and Capital Gains143
Case 68A Dowry Allowance to the Wife145
Case 69Tying the Dowry to the Wife's Maintenance147
Case 70Diligence149
Case 71Necessary Expenses151
Case 72Statutory Limits on a Husband's Power153
Case 73Captured156
Case 74A Daughter Is Deported158
Case 75Free Divorce160
Case 76Divorce by Remarriage?161
Case 77The Mental Element163
Case 78Formal Requirements?164
Case 79Free-Form Divorce167
Case 80Amicable Divorce169
Case 81A Wife Dies170
Case 82Divorce and the Dowry173
Case 83Retention on Moral Grounds174
Case 84Retaining Necessary Expenses177
Case 85Reducing the Dowry by Law179
Case 86Useful Expenses181
Case 87Opening a Quarry183
Case 88Luxury Expenses185
Case 89Gaius Gracchus and Licinia's Dowry186
Ch. IIIPatria Potestas
Case 90The Consilium I: Almost the Entire Senate193
Case 91The Consilium II: The Quality of Mercy196
Case 92A Hunting Accident?199
Case 93Disciplining a Troublesome Son202
Case 94An Offense Related to Public Pietas204
Case 95An Adulterous Daughter205
Case 96Limitations on Killing a Daughter207
Case 97A Son and the State210
Case 98Who Consents212
Case 99Compelling a Child's Consent214
Case 100A Father's Consent215
Case 101Impaired Consent: Madness218
Case 102Impaired Consent: Captivity219
Case 103Parental Consent and Public Policy221
Case 104Divorce: The Ernperor Pius Intervenes222
Case 105A Father Changes His Mind223
Case 106Disposition of Gifts224
Case 107Breaking Up Is Hard to Do226
Case 108Stealing a Child229
Case 109Mother versus Father230
Case 110Deciding on Custody231
Case 111Self-Custody234
Case 112Maintenance of Relatives235
Case 113Owning and Possessing Nothing240
Case 114Through Whom Do We Acquire?241
Case 115Ownership and Possession244
Case 116The Father's Knowledge246
Case 117Acquiring a Debt248
Case 118The Uniqueness of the Son-in-Power251
Case 119As Though He Were a Pater Familias253
Case 120Suing the Son254
Case 121The Father's Order255
Case 122Turned to the Father's Benefit256
Case 123Obtaining a Daughter's Dowry258
Case 124Business Managers260
Case 125The Nature of the Fund265
Case 126The Contents of a Peculium267
Case 127Constituting a Peculium269
Case 128Slave Women and Daughters271
Case 129Acquiring Property272
Case 130Free Administration274
Case 131Gifts from a Peculium277
Case 132Lending Money278
Case 133Defending the Peculium280
Case 134Computing the Balance282
Case 135Deductions from the Peculium285
Case 136The Deceitful Pater288
Case 137Alternative Remedies289
Case 138The Camp Peculium290
Case 139Noxal Actions292
Case 140Liability and Status294
Case 141Defending the Son295
Case 142Wrongs against Children-in-Power296
Case 143Paternal Power and Status298
Case 144Presuming a Father299
Case 145Periods of Gestation300
Case 146Strange Bedfellows?302
Case 147A Divorced Wife Takes Vengeance303
Case 148Adrogation304
Case 149The Adoption Process306
Case 150Age Requirements309
Case 151Family Ties310
Case 152Adoption and Adrogation of Women311
Case 153Adoption by Women312
Case 154The Imitation of Nature313
Case 155The Decision to Emancipate315
Case 156Study Abroad317
Case 157Emancipated versus Freed318
Case 158The State Intervenes319
Ch. IVSuccession
Case 159Rules of the fus Civile323
Case 160An Unwilling Heir326
Case 161The Praetor's Rules328
Case 162Emancipated and Disinherited330
Case 163A Legal Puzzler331
Case 164The Third Praetorian Class (Unde Cognati)333
Case 165Illegitimate Children334
Case 166Son-in-Power as Cognate335
Case 167Husbands and Wives337
Case 168Mothers Inherit from Children339
Case 169Children Inherit from Mothers340
Case 170Disqualifications341
Case 171The Mancipatory Will344
Case 172Common Substitution347
Case 173Pupillary Substitution348
Case 174The Causa Curiana349
Case 175Who's on First?351
Case 176Two Wills352
Case 177Privileged Heirs353
Case 178Defective Wills354
Case 179Name Games356
Case 180Disinheritance as an Advantage358
Case 181Partial Disinheritance359
Case 182Providing for Postumi360
Case 183Postumi and the (Un)married Man361
Case 184Subfecundity363
Case 185Twins365
Case 186The Challenge of the Emancipatus367
Case 187Adopted Children369
Case 188Passing Over Sui Heredes371
Case 189The Son of an Adopted Child373
Case 190Adopting a Son as a Grandson375
Case 191Adopting a Grandson as a Son376
Case 192Complaints about the Will377
Case 193Duty and Sanity378
Case 194Evil Stepmothers379
Case 195A Mother's Mistake381
Case 196Multiple Claims383
Case 197Procedural Alternatives384
Case 198The Lex Falcidia387
Case 199Legacy of a Dowry389
Case 200Legacy in Place of a Dowry390
Case 201Generic Legacies392
Case 202Things Acquired for a Wife394
Case 203Legacy of a Usufruct397
Case 204Legacy of a Peculium400
Case 205Release from Liability402
Case 206Inheritance by Another Name?404
Case 207Fideicommissum or Not?406
Case 208The Gargilian Farm408
Case 209Legacy and Fideicommissum410
Case 210Bad Blood412
Case 211Motives and Reasons413
Case 212Just Like a Legacy416
AppA Specimen Roman Will418
Ch. VTutelage and the Status of Children and Women
Case 213Defining Tutelage425
Case 214Appointing a Tutor426
Case 215The Tutor as Owner428
Case 216Authorization430
Case 217Welfare of the Child432
Case 218Pitfalls of Tutelage434
Case 219Liability for Alienating Property437
Case 220Making Whole: Restitutio in Integrum438
Case 221The Appointment of a Curator441
Case 222Paying a Debt443
Case 223Parting Lunatics and Prodigals from Their Property445
Case 224A Worried Mother447
Case 225The Weaker Sex?450
Case 226The Tutor's Authorization453
Case 227Escaping a Tutor454
Case 228Women's Wills455
Case 229Where the Boys Are457
Case 230Order in the Court460
Case 231Male Jobs461
Case 232Ignorance of the Law463
Case 233The Credit of Women464
Case 234Protecting Women in Financial Matters467
Case 235Sexual Harassment468
AppBiographies of the Major Roman Jurists471
Glossary of Technical Tems479
Suggested Further Reading489
Bibliography on the Roman Family491
Index of Sources495

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