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Ancient Law Paperback – August 29, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book is engrossing reading for all who may be interested in the growth of human ideas and the origins of human society. Its object is to reveal some of the earliest ideas of mankind, reflected in Ancient Law, to point out the relation of those ideas to later thought. Early society, reflected in the law, begins with the group (the family), not with the individual. Covered are: ancient codes; legal fictions; law of nature and equity; the modern history of the law of nature; primitive society and ancient law; the early history of testamentary succession; ancient and modern ideas respecting wills and successions; the early history of property, contract, and delict and crime. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Author

English lawyer and historian SIR HENRY JAMES SUMNER MAINE (1822-1888) lectured on legal issues at Oxford and Cambridge and contributed to the codification of law in India. His works include Village Communities in the East and the West, The Early History of Institutions, and Popular Government. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Book Jungle (August 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594623457
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594623455
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,327,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Preston on October 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book should be mandatory reading for any history classes, law studies and political science curricula.

Professor Maine (of Cambridge) wrote this treatise in 1867. It is a documentation of how ancient laws (especially from ancient Greece and Rome) have influenced our modern societies and systems of law.

One of the most illuminating chapters contains his brilliant analysis of the American system of government just after the civil war.

Professor Maine points out that the US system of government is based almost entirely on Roman Law. Many of the important ideas in our seminal documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, derive from the Roman "Jus Gentium." [The "law" of the People] The Jus Gentium was the law which Rome used to rule over its empire. It was designed to guarantee certain rights and freedoms to the people of the empire, notwithstanding their diverse cultural, economic and religious differences.

Prof. Maine points out that just as the Romans ruled over the diverse nations and cultures, of the ancient world, by imposing the Jus Gentium upon them, the federal government in the U.S. governs the diverse cultures, economies, religions and geographies of the several states of the Union.

He is the only historian who realized that the principal premise of the Jus Gentium was the basis for the U.S. Constitution. The principal premise of the Roman Jus Gentium was: "omnes homines naturâ æquales sunt," [All men are created equal] Maine, Henry Sumner (2011-03-17). Ancient Law Its Connection to the History of Early Society (Kindle Location 1094). Kindle Edition.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
PACKED and more. Intricate explanations that require reader's intense attention--but "it's there," if your journey to it is a bit convoluted. From a lifetime of study and learning by a learned man of substance. The main reference text for a Berkeley professor's class. Not a fast read, but an informative one if time is taken. The language is generally elevated-1800s, but with some effort it can be handled. Usually. A piece of work.
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