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Ancient Law Paperback – September 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

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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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Cosimo Classics (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596052260
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596052260
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,411,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 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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