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Classical Roman Law

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  1. Introduction
  2. The themes highlighted
  3. Attitudes of the characters and mafia
  4. Sequence analysis

During the classical period, certain profound changes that occurred in Roman society caused the modification or creation of many legal rules. This new period was marked by the Hellenization of the law and extended to both the Roman Republic and Imperial Rome. This happened in the second century BC to the late third century AD.

New sources of the law:
?senatus consultum':
Literally, senatus consultum means "opinion of the Senate. " In the Republican era, the senatus consulta were recommendations that were addressed to the magistrates. These were not binding but under the Principate, the Senate's opinion gradually became mandatory.

The edicts of the magistrates:
An edict is a public statement that is made in oral form and includes promises of action. It lists a number of specific situations which may give rise to legal action. This proclamation may be made by any citizen but it is a source of law only if it emanates from one of the magistrates who takes up the situation and fights for it in court. However, these rules are only valid for the term of office of the magistrate who took them on.

The edict became an essential source of law at the end of the Republic. It made it possible to meet the changing needs of the Roman society that transformed at the end of the Republic. During this time, there was an influx of foreigners and these laws applied to them as well.

Gradually, the edicts were challenged by two other legal institutions: the imperial constitutions and jurisprudence.

The Emperor Hadrian entrusted a lawyer called Salvius Julianus with the task of fixing the edicts and making them more dynamic. Praetorian functions lost their novelty and under Severi, the edicts came to be described as ?monotonous'.

The imperial constitutions:
The imperial constitutions were normative texts that came from the Emperor. These were of four kinds - edicts, decrees, mandates and re-scripts.

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