University of Vermont

UVM Course Directory

CLAS 147 – Ancient Law

Credits: 3.00

Course Description: Comparative study of three major ancient legal systems and their roles in their respective societies: ancient Near East (Sumerian to Hittite), Greek and Roman. Prerequisite: Three credits in Classics, History, Philosophy, or Political Science. Cross-listed with: HST 147, POLS 182.

Section Description: Comparative study of the beginnings of law in the ancient world of the Near East will give way to focus upon the two legal systems that have most influenced the shape of our law and legal thought in the West, those of ancient Athens and Rome. We shall examine the fundamental role of law and the lawcourts in ancient society as well as the influences of these ancient systems upon our modern ones. Openness to a number of other legal systems, both ancient and modern, is an important feature of this course. The course proceeds topically (i.e. by substantive issues and related case-study) and, where possible, chronologically (from the Near East and early Greece to the Late Roman Empire). Attention will be paid to at least the following rubrics: civil and criminal law, constitutional law and democracy, international law, family law, violence, feuding and self-help, religion, property, status, the legal profession, rhetoric and oratory, trial procedure and modes of punishment. Sources include a number of speeches derived from actual trials in Greek and Roman courtrooms, published law codes and inscriptions, as well as select ancient and modern theoretical writings.

CRN: 11877

Section: A

Enrolled/Seats: 22/50

Days Time Location
TR 11:40 - 12:55 VOTEY BLDG 207

Instructor(s): Brian Thomas Walsh

Meeting Dates: 17 Jan 2017 - 05 May 2017