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Introduction to Early Roman Law: Comparative Sociological Studies

    Naturevolume 135page939 (1935) | Download Citation



    IN this volume–a memorial volume to Sir Henry S. Maine—the author reviews two aspects of the family as an institution in the life of early Rome in so far as it is reflected in early law. In type it conforms to the pattern of the Indo-European joint family. It is compared here with the family as it is found in the records of, or in survivals among, the Indo-European peoples, Teutons, Celts, Slavs and Indians. The controlling factor in both family organisation and inheritance of property was first the necessity for ensuring the continuance of the family cult and secondly the desire to preserve property as a group possession. The latter in the mind of the practical Roman was the more important binding force in securing the perpetuation of the family tie, centring in the inheritance by the eldest son as the controlling power in the group, but without the right of absolute possession or disposal. The author here examines in detail the modifications of the type which were introduced in Roman practice and traces the course of development in the idea of the family and family property under the influence of various factors, of which in the main the growth of the concepts of the individual family and individual property were the most decisive.

    Introduction to Early Roman Law: Comparative Sociological Studies.

    C. W.


    By. The Patriarchal Joint Family. 2: Joint Family and Family Property. Pp. iii + 192. (Copenhagen: Levin and Munksgaard; London: Oxford University Press, 1934.) 12s. 6d. net.

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