Roman Law (736 words) Essay

Roman LawRoman Law
Romans did not have very complicated laws
but when they were broken there was very heavy punishment. Roman
laws influenced most of the laws we have now and most of the laws of other
countries. America’s court system was modeled around the Roman court system.

They had upper courts and lower courts and that was what built our strong
court system now. One thing that we did not take from the Romans
is the right to be a Citizen.

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In Rome there were very strict class systems
and they were classified greatly by clothes, shelter, and seating at the
games. The word citizen for them meant that you had to be free and
lived in Rome. The class system was always followed no matter what.

You could move up from your rank in society but then you would have to
work really hard and it was not easy because people would still look at
you as a low class. The class systems from highest to lowest were
the senators, councilmen and their families. Then came the regular
middle class citizens, next were the Plebeians who were very poor but not
slaves and last was the slaves who owned nothing at all not even the clothes
on their back because it all belonged to their master.

Therefore, if slaves were caught running
away they were brought upon charges of theft for stealing themselves and
their masters clothing. Stealing held a very heavy punishment and
that punishment was always upheld. The punishment was capital punishment
and all of this was done to teach them a lesson. Some say the Romans
had a very strange way of doing things but, the way their country was setup
most of their laws were necessary for them.

All of this got started with the Twelve
Tables of Rome. Which were much like the Ten Commandments except
man made them up. They were engraved into Bronze tablets and made
up by ten Roman Magistrates around early 450 BC. The laws were really
made to please the Plebeians because they complained that they didn’t get
any rights because the laws were never written down and were often changed.

After this the Plebeians could no longer be fooled because the Twelve Tables
covered all aspects of the law briefly stating the crime and then the punishment.

This was where the court system came in
because the courts were the ones that had to follow by the Twelve Tables
and there was no way to cheat the Plebeians because the laws were in the
main Forum hanging up for those purposes. Since our court system
was modeled around theirs then it was basically like it is now. They
had upper courts and lower courts and the right to an appeal was very well
granted but only with good reasoning. The only thing about their
court system that we did not take on in a big way is capital punishment.

I say this because the Romans loved to kill any one who broke any of their
laws but we do not kill unless you have killed first.

Another aspect of Roman law is crucifixion,
which was what was done to Jesus Christ. The Romans show very little
mercy on anyone who comes across them. They show even less mercy
to strangers that try to change them because nobody likes change but the
Roman officials despised it because it would no longer make them rich and
powerful to the people. Family laws were less harsh than state laws.

Family law was much different especially
for higher classed people. The children of that time were beat on
occasion when they did something wrong but it was never on a regular basis.

They had hearts when it came to family. The girls still had very
little freedom to choose husbands and to plan their own life and they were
married off very early. To parents it was a relief to finally marry
off their girl child but to marry of a boy child meant more wealth to their

In Conclusion the Romans had a very uncomplicated
legal system and since everything was so easy to comprehend if you broke
one of their laws sixty percent of the time you were sentenced to death
with out thinking but other times you were just banished. Our
laws came straight from out of Rome because the law system worked very
well for them. Only certain aspects of their laws were not adopted
by us because they were thought to be too cruel. But, what could
you say except for “when your in the Romans house do as they do” or you
could get capital punishment for doing what you thing is right.


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