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ANCIENT LAW A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW INTRODUCTION The history of Western civilization is a grand but tragic drama The west has brought about the instruments of reason that make possible a rational comprehension of physical nature and human culture It has formed the concept of political liberty and recognized the inherent worth of the individual With this civilization maintaining law and order has always been a struggle The criminal element has long since been a part of all levels and forms of society Over the centuries law has transcended from a brutal military establishment to an accepted and necessary means to maintain order in society It has been influenced by many factors including religion and politics The cultural variances of law and legal institution are vast and always changing This paper will focus on several of these cultures Before analyzing the cultural variances and changes of law and legal institutions there must be an understanding of the meanings of civilization and humanism Civilization as defined by historians first emerged between 5000 and 6000 years ago Humanism has a number of meanings and because there are so many different meanings it can be quite confusing if you dont know what kind of humanism someone is talking about Literary Humanism is a devotion to the humanities or literary culture Renaissance Humanism is the spirit of learning that developed at the end of the middle ages with the revival of classical letters and a renewed confidence in the ability of human beings to determine for themselves truth and falsehood Cultural Humanism is the rational and empirical tradition that originated largely in ancient Greece and Rome evolved through out European history and now constitutes a basic part of the Western approach to science political theory ethics and law Philosophical Humanism is any outlook or way of life centered on human need and interest Christian Humanism is defined by
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