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The history of romans development of government and law

The Romans had a complex system of government and laws. Many of the basic systems and ideas that we have about laws and government today comes from Ancient Rome.

  1. Despite these changes, though, the patricians were still able to use their wealth to buy control and influence over elected leaders.
  2. The first stage required that set forms of words be spoken by the parties and, sometimes, by the magistrate.
  3. The emperors, viewing the collegia with some suspicion, enacted from the beginning that no collegium could be founded without state authority and that their rights of manumitting slaves and taking legacies be closely regulated. Delict and contract Obligations were classified by classical jurists into two main categories, according to whether they arose from delict or contract.

Who made the laws? Laws were made a number of different ways.

  • The Romans had a complex system of government and laws;
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The primary way of making official new laws was through the Roman Assemblies. Laws were voted on by citizens who were members of the assemblies. There were other ways, however, that laws were implemented including the Plebeian Council, decrees by the senate, decisions by elected officials magistratesand edicts by the emperor. Who enforced the laws?

6a. The Roman Republic

The laws were enforced by an official called the praetor. The praetor was the second highest ranking official in the Roman republic after the consuls. The praetor was responsible for the administration of justice.

To keep the laws in the city, the Romans had a police force called the Vigiles.

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The Vigiles dealt with petty criminals like thieves and runaway slaves. When more force was needed, like during riots or against gangs, other more military groups were used such as the Praetorian Guard and the urban cohorts.

Roman Constitution The Roman Constitution was an agreed upon set of principles that was followed by the Roman government. It wasn't written down in one place, but was established through tradition and individual laws. Law of the Twelve Tables by Silvestre David Mirys The Law of the Twelve Tables Because many of the laws were unwritten or unavailable for the people to see, there was much room for corruption by public officials. The people eventually revolted against the leaders and, in 450 BC, some laws were written on stone tablets for everyone to see.

These laws became known as the Law of the Twelve Tables.

Written and unwritten law

Roman Citizens Many of the protections and rights given to people under Roman law only applied to Roman citizens. It was a big deal to be a full Roman citizen. There were even different levels of Roman citizenship, each one having more or less rights than the next. Punishment and Prisons The punishment for committing a crime in Rome was not the same for everyone. What punishment you received depended on your status. If you were a wealthy patrician you would receive far less punishment than a slave would for the same crime.

Ancient Rome

Punishment could include beatings, lashings, exile from Rome, fines, or even death. The Romans generally didn't send people to prison for crimes, but they did have jails to hold people while their guilt or punishment was determined. These include concepts like checks and balancesvetoes, separation of powers, term limits, and regular elections.

  • Family The chief characteristic of the Roman family was the patria potestas paternal power in the form of absolute authority , which the elder father exercised over his children and over his more remote descendants in the male line, whatever their age might be, as well as over those who were brought into the family by adoption—a common practice at Rome;
  • The full citizen could vote, marry freeborn persons, and practice commerce.

Many of these concepts serve as the foundations of today's modern democratic governments. Interesting Facts About Roman Law The Romans had three branches of government including the legislative assemblies branch of the peoplethe senate branch of the nobles and patriciansand the consuls executive branch.

Roman women had limited rights as citizens. They could not vote or hold public office, but they could own property and businesses. Emperor Justinian I had the laws of Rome written down and organized.

These laws became known as the Justinian Code and were used throughout the empire. Activities Take a ten question quiz about this page. Listen to a recorded reading of this page: Your browser does not support the audio element. For more about Ancient Rome:

  • The old law comprised 1 all of the statutes passed under the republic and early empire that had not become obsolete; 2 the decrees of the Senate passed at the end of the republic and during the first two centuries of the empire; and 3 the writings of jurists and, more particularly, of those jurists to whom the emperors had given the right of declaring the law with their authority;
  • In marriage without manus, the property of the spouses remained distinct, and even gifts between husband and wife were invalid;
  • When Cincinnatus stepped down from the dictatorship and returned to his farm only 15 days after he successfully defeated Rome's enemies, the republican leaders resumed control over Rome;
  • Who enforced the laws?