A Casebook on the Roman Law of Contracts

Michigan Law Authors
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Book, Whole

Roman contract law has profoundly influenced subsequent legal systems throughout the world, but is inarguably an important subject in its own right. This casebook introduces students to the rich body of Roman law concerning contracts between private individuals.

In order to bring out the intricacy of Roman contract law, the casebook employs the case-law method--actual Roman texts, drawn from Justinian's Digest and other sources, are presented both in Latin and English, along with introductions and discussions that fill out the background of the cases and explore related legal issues. This method reflects the casuistic practices of the jurists themselves: concentrating on the fact-rich environment in which contracts are made and enforced, while never losing sight of the broader principles upon which the jurists constructed the law.

The casebook concentrates especially on stipulation and sale, which are particularly well represented in surviving sources. Beyond these and other standard contracts, the book also has chapters on the capacity to contract, the creation of third-party rights and duties, and the main forms of unjustified enrichment. What students can hope to learn from this casebook is not only the general outlines and details of Roman contract law, but also how the jurists developed such law out of rudimentary civil procedures.