This casebook is designed to introduce the Roman law concerning delicts, private wrongs which broadly resemble torts in Anglo-American law. The Roman law of delict is unusually interesting, since many basic Roman principles of delict are still prominent in modern legal systems, while other Roman principles offer sharp and important contrasts with modern ideas. The influence of Roman law has been especially strong in the Civil Law systems of Continental Europe and its former dependencies, since these systems derive many basic principles from Roman law; but Roman influence on Anglo-American law has also been appreciable in some areas, although not usually in tort.
A casebook relies on direct use of primary sources in order to convey a clear understanding of what legal sources are like and how lawyers work. For Roman law, the primary sources are above all the writings of the early imperial Roman jurists. Almost all their writings date to the classical period of Roman law, approximately 30 B.C. to A.D. 235 The 171 Cases in this book all derive from the writings of pre-classical and classical jurists.
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