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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Year of study: 
First Semester
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Course description

GENERAL OBJECTIVES. The student is introduced to the study of the system of so-called sources of production and so-called sources of legal knowledge that developed from the origins of the city of Rome until Justinian’s death, then to the exegetical reading of some jurisprudential documents.
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, first of all, every act or fact from which, over a period of about thirteen centuries, the ius Romanorum was derived; then, of every ‘material’ which, by containing the norms themselves, allowed us to learn their forms and contents; finally, of the interpretative techniques and the argumentative method used by the Roman jurists in their activity as cavere, respondere and agere;
2) ability to apply knowledge and understanding, i.e. that he has known how to deal with the critical reading of juridical texts of the Roman era, grasping – with particular attention to the jurisprudential sources – the scientia and the consequent peritia aimed at adapting the complex of rules and principles was based to the different and ever-changing needs of the practice;
3) autonomy of judgment, i.e. that he has developed – through knowledge of the interpretative canons used by Roman jurists – maturity and independence of judgment in order to identify the exact meaning of an ancient text, to remove the authentic parts from the spurious ones, to reconstruct its organic structure and language;
4) communicative skills, i.e. that he has refined his dialectical and argumentative skills, in particular thanks to the assimilation of an appropriate legal vocabulary which is at the same time clear and linear, capable of transmitting the knowledge received even to those who are not experts in the subject;
5) learning ability, i.e. that he is able – through the investigation of the hermeneutical process adopted by the Roman prudentes – to move also in legal contexts different from those proposed within the course, so as to be able to deal with the examination of ancient sources different from those analyzed by the teacher, and the reading and analysis of contemporary jurisprudential texts.


Knowledge of the essential lines of the institutions and the history of Roman law is necessary; knowledge of Latin is not necessary, however, because it will be the teacher's responsibility to translate the texts analyzed during the lessons and exercises.


FIRST BLOCK: overview of the four periods in the history of ancient Rome; the sources of law in the Monarchy; the sources of law in the Republic; the sources of law in the Empire; the sources of law in the Late Antique.
SECOND BLOCK: Institutions of Gaius ; Theodosian code ; Corpus iuris civilis; overview of other sources of knowledge.
THIRD BLOCK: analysis of some jurisprudential texts concerning above all the Roman private and procedural law: 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 modules: the first, which includes the first block of lectures, is given by prof. G. Papa; the second, which includes the second and third block of lectures, is given by the prof. G. Morgera.
FIRST BLOCK (24 hh): sources of law production.
SECOND BLOCK (10 hh): sources of legal knowledge.
THIRD BLOCK (14 hh): exegesis of jurisprudential texts.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and exercises. In addition, any short papers drafted by the students and concerning the critical examination of some jurisprudential and legislative texts; papers that will be presented and discussed in the classroom.


For followers: notes and teaching materials provided by teacher during lectures and 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 exam at the end of the lectures. It will consist of an oral interview, generally lasting 15 minutes, during which the student will have to demonstrate that he has acquired the knowledge of the sources of law in the different periods of the history of Rome and the ability to critically analyze one of the texts treated during the course. In order to pass this examination, at least 18 points out of 30 must be obtained.

More information

The student, who is required to integrate only 2 or 3 CFU, must contact the teacher to establish an alternative program.