Book Chapter

The Ancient Family and the Law

Tim Parkin

Reproduction | Cambridge University Press | Published : 2018

Abstract

The rules of marriage, inheritance and family formation significantly shape procreative behaviour in various ways, reflecting and reinforcing a wider set of norms and values. If the legal framework for generation is important in any society, that provided by Roman law has been especially crucial. The law of a vast empire had over centuries already begun to influence local traditions before ad 212, when all free inhabitants of imperial territory became Roman citizens, and thus full participants in Rome's juridical community. The fall of the empire in the west in ad 476 fractured, but did not break, this community. Continuity is clearer in the east, with the Emperor Justinian's codification of..

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