Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Introduction to Law in the Roman World LAW4132

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces the fundamentals of Roman law and the Roman legal system, including sources and transmission of the law, and Roman litigation.


Seminars typically take place weekly in Semester 1.

Requirements of Entry

Candidates for the LLB must obtain a D3 or better at the first attempt in Roman Law of Property and Obligations (Law1007). Other candidates must have obtained a D3 or better at the first attempt in any level 2 course in history or classics, broadly understood. Visiting students are admitted at the discretion of the course convenor.

Excluded Courses

Law4084 Law in the Roman World




One 90-minute examination in the April/May diet worth 70% of the final mark.

One 3,000-word essay worth 30% of the final mark.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to:

1. Provide a thorough understanding of the lawmaking organs of ancient Rome.

2. Provide an overview of the transmission of legal materials from ancient Rome to the present day. 

3. Develop the analytical and critical skills of students by detailed examination of original sources of law.

4. Develop research skills by requiring students to undertake an assessed essay.

5. Develop the oral and presentational skills of students by requiring each student to make a presentation on one or more seminar questions.

6. Develop the students' general knowledge of ancient Rome.

7. Deepen appreciation of particular areas of contemporary law by holding out ancient law for comparison.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Understand the fundamentals of the Roman legal system
Analyse Roman legal sources with due appreciation of their time and place.
Appreciate the significance of legal history in our understanding of modern law.
Construct a cogent and coherent written argument using historical and contemporary sources

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.