Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of 5-year Single Cycle Master's Degree Programme on LAW
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The student is introduced to the study of the system of production sources and cognition from the origins to Giustiniano, whose knowledge is at the base of the same understanding of the whole ius Romanorum and its history.
Expected learning results:
I) knowledge and understanding:
the student will acquire, first of all, the knowledge of the sources of Roman law in the different periods of the history of ancient Rome; therefore, 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:
through the knowledge of the methodologies used by the lawyers in the recognition, interpretation and creation of the law, the student will be able to prepare – moving the focus from the theoretical to the practical level - to the critical reading of the texts indicated by the teacher during the course;
III) autonomy of judgment:
through the study of the sources and interpretative canons used by Roman jurisprudence, the student will be able to develop maturity and independence of judgment such as to enable him to grasp the exact meaning of an ancient text, to discern its authentic parts from the spurious ones, to reconstruct the organic structure and language;
IV) communication skills:
through the study of the ancient texts and of the juridical arguments of which prudentes made use, the student can aspire to the acquisition of an appropriate legal vocabulary and at the same time accessible also to the non-experts of the subject, but also to the development of his own abilities dialectic and argumentative;
V) learning ability:
through the study of the hermeneutic process used by Roman jurists, the student can also move in legal contexts different from those proposed within the course, so as to be able to address both the examination of ancient legal sources different from those analyzed by the teacher, both reading and analysis of 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 teacher will provide the translation of the texts examined during the lessons and the exercises.


Overview of the four periods in the history of ancient Rome (3 h); 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: Digesta, Institutiones, Codex, Novellae (6 h).
Analysis of some jurisprudential texts concerning above all the Roman private and procedural law (18 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 into two parts. The first offers an overview of the system of sources of cognition and of the sources of normative production of Roman law in their historical evolution (30 h).
The second analyzes specific issues of exegetical methodology and criticism of jurisprudential and legislative texts through exercises on selected documents (18 h).

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: notes and teaching materials provided by teacher during lectures and classroom exercises.
For non-followers: 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 texts treated during the course. The final vote will be expressed in thirtieths.

More information

The student, who is only required to integrate 2 or 3 CFU of the Exegesis and Source Criticism examination, must contact the teacher to establish an alternative program.