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Roman Law was the law that was in effect throughout the age of antiquity in the City of Rome and later in the Roman Empire When Roman rule over Europe came to an end Roman law was largely--though not completely--forgotten Ancient Rome Comptons 96The earliest code of Roman Law was the Law of the Twelve Tables It was formalized in 451-450BC from existing oral law by ten magistrates called decemvirs and inscribed on tablets of bronze which were posted in the principal Roman Forum According to tradition the code was drawn up to appease the plebs who maintained that their liberties were not adequately protected by the unwritten law as interpreted by patrician judges Ancient Rome Comptons 96 Originally ten tablets of laws were inscribed two more tablets were added the following year The tablets were destroyed in the sack of Rome by the Gauls in 390BC but a number of the laws are known through references in later Latin literature The Twelve Tables covered all categories of the law and also included specific penalties for various infractions The code underwent frequent changes but remained in effect for almost 1000 yearsIn the 6th century a commission appointed by the Roman emperor Justinian consolidated all the sources of law resulting in the Corpus Juris Civilis Body of Civil Law The Corpus Juris had no immediate effect in Western Europe but in the second half of the 11th century it was rediscovered in Italy The study of law based on the Corpus Juris was instituted at European universities and the Corpus Juris became an important part of Continental law Ancient Rome Comptons 96 Combined with canon law and the customs of merchants they formed a body of law known throughout continental EuropeDuring the 17th and 18th centuries the authority of the Corpus Juris began to decline as it was reexamined The stage was set for the codification of modern civil law In the 19th century most civil-law
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