Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

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Belonging course: 
Course of 5-year Single Cycle Master's Degree Programme on LAW
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First Semester
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Course description

GENERAL OBJECTIVES. The student is directed to the study of the essential features of law and the private process that developed from the founding of the city of Rome to the death of Emperor Justinian. The deepening of the basic notions concerning ius privatum Romanorum will allow the student to know the events and dynamics of this juridical experience, and to acquire a wealth of knowledge necessary to operate in the world of current law as a jurist who is aware that he belongs to a centuries-old scientific tradition.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES. At the end of the course the student will have to demonstrate that he has acquired:
1) knowledge and ability to understand, i.e. that he has knowledge of the main institutions of the Roman legal system, in its substantial aspects (persons and family, facts and instruments, real rights, obligations, donation, inheritance for cause of death) and in its ‘spin-offs’ – one would say today – ‘jurisdictional’;
2) the ability to apply knowledge and understanding, i.e. that he has learned the techniques used by Roman jurists in the formulation of sententiae concerning specific quaestiones, so as to be able to evaluate the intrinsic ‘fibre’ and grasp the differences that, within an open, controversial and controversial ‘system’, were often shown between the sententiae themselves;
3) autonomy of judgement, i.e. that he has developed a critical spirit, an independence of thought aimed at identifying – within a broader and more articulated reflection – the possible relations between the constructions elaborated by the ancient iurisconsulti and those which, on the basis of them, were proposed by the jurists of the following epochs, leading to the creation of the modern codes of private law of continental Europe;
4) communicative skills, i.e. that he has developed dialectical and argumentative skills, thanks to which he will be able to spread and transmit what he has learned with an appropriate and at the same time clear and linear legal vocabulary, suitable to be understood also by those who approach legal issues for the first time;
5) learning skills, i.e. that he has acquired skills such as to enrich further and individually (for example, through the consultation of literature other than that proposed by the teacher) the ‘kit’ of knowledge acquired during the course, so as to reveal the progressive formation of his own legal conscience, which is essential for a jurist who does not intend to be merely a connoisseur of norms.


It is necessary for the student to have a good basic school culture; knowledge of Latin is not essential, however, since it will be the teacher’s responsibility to make the translation of terms and expressions taken from ancient texts accessible.


FIRST BLOCK: periods in the history of Roman law and related sources of production and knowledge. Legal capacity and doctrine of the three status: libertatis (free, slaves, situations of personal dependence), civitatis (citizens and foreigners), familiae (marriage, divorce, dowry, condition of children and women). Ability to act: age, minors, under 25, cases of inability to act. Legal persons.
SECOND BLOCK: process of legis actiones. Process per formulas. Late age process.
THIRD BLOCK: facts and instruments. Legal transactions: general concepts, elements, classifications, imputations of negotiating effects. Res. Real rights: property; predial servitudes; usufruct; surface; emphyteusis; pledge and mortgage. Ownership.
FOURTH BLOCK: sources, elements, classifications and events of obligations. Contracts. Covenants. Non-contractual legal acts. Crimes. Personal guarantees of obligations. Acts of creditors’ fraud.
FIFTH BLOCK: universal succession by cause of death: will, intestate, against will. Special inheritance by cause of death: legacies, trusts and codicils. Donations: concept and evolution; donations between spouses; donations for cause of death.

The course is divided into five blocks of lectures.
FIRST BLOCK (14 hh): roman law and related sources. Personae.
SECOND BLOCK (14 hh): process.
THIRD BLOCK (14 hh): legal transactions. Res.
FOURTH BLOCK (14 hh): obligationes.
FIFTH BLOCK (14 hh): inheritance mortis causa. Donations.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and exercises.


MATTEO MARRONE, Manuale di diritto privato romano, Giappichelli, Torino 2004.

Learning assessment

There are two parts to the assessment of learning: a) an intermediate test on a portion of the programme set by the teacher; b) a final examination on the remaining portion of the programme. Both consist of an oral interview, generally lasting 15 minutes, during which the student must demonstrate that he/she has achieved the above-mentioned learning objectives; in particular, that he/she has acquired knowledge and understanding of the topics covered during the course, as well as the ability to reason and argue using a technical-legal vocabulary.
In order to pass both the intermediate test and the final examination, at least 18 out of 30 points must be obtained. If the intermediate test is insufficient, the student must confer on the entire study programme in the final examination. If, on the other hand, the final examination is insufficient, even though the intermediate test has been passed, this will be ‘frozen’ for the current academic year. The final mark is given by the average of the marks obtained during the two examinations.

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