The Romans produced one of the most sophisticated legal systems ever to exist, and its influence can still be felt in modern law. The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the Roman legal mind at work. Using sources in translation, we will study the Roman law of tortious damage to property, with some treatment of the medieval, early modern, and modern extension of the Roman doctrine. We will read the Roman legal texts closely, supplementing our understanding by working out hypothetical cases and discussing scholarly articles. The only assignments consist of the readings and several one-page case analyses. There will be no long paper or exam. The class will meet on alternate Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Because the course will meet only seven times, attendance and participation at each session is mandatory. To be considered for the class, students must submit an application to the instructor, consisting of a resume and a few sentences outlining their interest in the course. This application should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
by 5 p.m. Friday, October 12. The first class will meet on January 17. Other meeting dates are tentatively scheduled for Jan. 31, Feb. 7, Feb. 21, Mar. 20, Apr. 3, and Apr. 17. Completion of the course will be worth two credits, graded on a pass/fail basis, (though interested students may write a paper as a directed study for additional credit). Most of the readings will be provided in a packet, but students will also need to purchase Bruce Frier, Casebook on the Roman Law of Delict (American Philological Association, 2001). This book is cheaply available used.