Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

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Second semester
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Course description

The aim of this course is to study the system of sources of production and of cognition from its origins to Justinian, whose knowledge is at the basis of the same understanding of the whole ius Romanorum and its history.
Specifically, the course aims to make acquire:
I) knowledge and understanding:
the course aims, first of all, at the knowledge of the sources of Roman law in the different periods of the history of ancient Rome; then, to the understanding of the interpretative techniques and the argumentative method used by the Roman iuris periti in their activity of cavere, respondere and agere;
II) ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
the knowledge of the methodologies used by lawyers in the recognition, interpretation and creation of law allows the student to predispose himself - moving the focus from the theoretical to the practical level - to the critical reading of the texts analyzed during the course;
III) autonomy of judgment:
the study of the sources and of the interpretative method of the Roman jurisprudence is directed to develop the maturity and independence of judgment of the student when he is ready to grasp the exact meaning of the ancient text, to discern the authentic parts from those spurious, to reconstruct its organic structure and language;
IV)communication skills:
the study of ancient texts and legal argumenta used by prudentes aims not only at the acquisition of an appropriate legal vocabulary and at the same time accessible also to non-experts of the subject, but also to the development of dialectical and argumentative abilities of the individual student;
V) learning ability:
the study of the hermeneutical process used by Roman jurists allows the student to move also in legal contexts different from those proposed during the course, so as to be able to examine both ancient legal sources different from those analyzed by the teachers, and contemporary legal texts.


It is necessary to know the essential lines of the institutions and of the history of Roman law; it is not necessary, instead, to know the Latin language, as the teachers will provide the translation of the texts examined during the lessons and the exercises.


Module A: the sources of law in the Monarchy (3 h); the sources of law in the Republic (6 h); the sources of law in the Empire (6 h); the sources of law in the Late Antique (6 h); Corpus iuris civilis (3 h).
Module B: analysis of some jurisprudential and legislative texts concerning above all the Roman private and procedural law(24 h): Gai 4.30-31; Gai 4.39-44; Gai 4.115-129; Gai 3.77-81; Gai 4.130-137; Gai 4.138-154; Gai 4.155-170.

The course is divided in two modules: A and B.
The module A (prof. G. Papa) offers an overview of the system of sources of cognition and of the sources of normative production of Roman law in their historical evolution (24 ore).
The module B (prof. G. Morgera) analyzes specific issues of exegetical methodology and criticism of jurisprudential and legislative texts through exercises on selected documents (24 ore).

Teaching Methods

Lectures and exercises in the classroom. In addition, any short essays written by the students and regarding the critical examination of some jurisprudential and legislative texts; works that will be presented and discussed in the classroom.


For followers modules A and B: notes and teaching materials provided by teachers during lectures and classroom exercises.
For non-followers: modules A and B: E. Dovere, De iure. L’esordio delle epitomi di Ermogeniano. Prefazione di F. Casavola, Napoli 2005 (II edizione; 2007 II ristampa; Jovene).

Learning assessment

A single test at the end of the lectures. This test will consist of an oral interview, during which the student will have to demonstrate that he has acquired both the knowledge of the sources of Roman law in the different periods of the history of ancient Rome, and the ability to critically analyze one of the ancient texts treated during the course. The final vote will be expressed in thirtieths.

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