00942 - History of Roman Law

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course is intended to present an effective instrument for the comprehension of the basic notions of Roman public law; these are important concepts to understand the history of national and supranational law which refers to the complex experience of Roman law.

Course contents

The course is divided into three parts: the Roman legal history in the period of Monarchy and Republic and Principate; the legal history included in the period between the last decades of the century III and the end of the V century A.D.; the events accrued in the Age of Justinian.

  1. The Monarchy and its history;
  2. The leges regiae;
  3. The transition from Monarchy to Republic;
  4. The plebs and its institutions;
  5. The Twelve Tables;
  6. The leges Valeriae-Horatiae, the lex Canuleia and the creation of the military tribune;
  7. The institutional compromise of 367 BC and its developments;
  8. The comitial laws and the plebiscita;
  9. The Edicts issued by magistrates and the ius honorarium;
  10. The ius civile and the ius gentium;
  11. The juridical science;
  12. The Roman constitution in the judgment of Polibius
  13. The Gracchus brothers and the agrarian reform;
  14. Sulla’s dictatorship;
  15. Caesar and the Civil war;
  16. The augustan principate;
  17. The lex de imperio Vespasiani and the Flavian dinasty;
  18. Adrian’s politics of law;
  19. The enlightened monarchy of the Antonine dinasty;
  20. The military monarchy of the Severan dinasty;
  21. The sources of law in the classical period;
  22. The normative activity of the princeps;
  23. The normative senatusconsulta;
  24. The latest normative activity of the comitia;
  25. The protoclassic jurisprudence and the Sabinians and Proculians;
  26. The medioclassic jurisprudence and the interest for legal history;
  27. The jurisprudence of the late-classical period;
  28. The constitutio antoniniana;
  29. The Diocletian era: between restoration and innovation;
  30. The Constantinian era: the final break with the past;
  31. The late Roman Empire: lines of historical and social development until the fall of the West Roman Empire;
  32. The jurisprudence of the Late empire: the “simplification” of classical texts, the problem of “fakes” and the Law of citations;
  33. Imperial legislation: new typologies and requirements for certainty;
  34. The compilations of the roman law made by the barbarian kings: the so-called Leges romanae barbarorum;
  35. The justinian’s age;
  36. The Novus Iustinianus Codex, a. 528-529;
  37. The project of a collection of iura (Digesta seu Pandectae) and its fulfillment (a. 530-533);
  38. The Digest compilation method and the problem of the interpolations;
  39. The Institutiones Iustiniani sive Elementa (and the reform of legal studies), a. 534;
  40. The Novellae constitutiones (with particular reference to the period 535-541 [-42]);
  41. The last normative activity by Justinian, a. 543-565.

For students who need to integrate 1, 2, or 3 CFU

Students who need to integrate one CFU must study the first chapter of the volume G. Luchetti, Materiali per un corso di storia del diritto romano, III, Dominato, Pàtron, Bologna, 2004.

Students who need to integrate two CFU must study the first two chapters of the volume G. Luchetti, Materiali per un corso di storia del diritto romano, III, Dominato, Pàtron, Bologna, 2004.

Students who need to integrate three CFU must study the first three chapters of the volume G. Luchetti, Materiali per un corso di storia del diritto romano, III, Dominato, Pàtron, Bologna, 2004.

For Erasmus students

The Erasmus students’ exam program will be agreed upon with the holder of the course.

For students who intend to obtain recognition of examinations abroad (Erasmus, Overseas or other exchange programs)

The holder of the course will evaluate from time to time the congruity of the proposed content with the study subject of the discipline.


A. Schiavone (a cura di), Storia giuridica di Roma, G. Giappichelli Editore, Torino, 2016.

F. Mattioli, Ricerche sui capita geminata. 1. I digesta di Giuliano e i libri ad edictum di Ulpiano, Bologna, 2019.

For Students who attend materials will be indicated in class.

Teaching methods

Lessons will be held through the examination and discussion in the classroom of the main juridical and literary sources

There are no preparatory courses for this course.

Assessment methods

Attending students will be able to undergo intermediate trials.

The final exam will consist of verbal examination on the entire program of the course.

The evaluation of the examination will be carried out taking into consideration:

- the knowledge of institutional profiles;

- the ability to analyze the decisions of the courts and the opinions of academic commentators;

- the ability to make connections among the different parts of the program;

- the ability to develop critical arguments;

- the articulation of the exposure;

- the accuracy of the exposure.

Registration for the final exam will have to be done using the Almaesami platform (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm).

Bachelor’s Thesis

The Bachelor's thesis project will be discussed and agreed upon with the professor from time to time.

Seminars will be organized for the Bachelor’s candidates to illustrate the main tools of historical-legal research and their correct use for writing the thesis.

Teaching tools

The teaching materials will be made available through the "Insegnamenti OnLine" platform (https://iol.unibo.it/).

Students which need compensatory tools for reasons of disability or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) will communicate to the teacher their needs so as to be directed to the dedicated person and arrange on the adoption of the most appropriate measures.

Office hours

See the website of Giovanni Luchetti