09 June 2021

BOOK: Bruce W. FRIER, A Casebook on the Roman Law of Contracts (Oxford: OUP, 2021). ISBN 9780197573211, 99.00 USD


(Source: OUP)

OUP is publishing a new casebook on the Roman law of contracts.


Roman contract law has profoundly influenced subsequent legal systems throughout the world, but is inarguably an important subject in its own right. This casebook introduces students to the rich body of Roman law concerning contracts between private individuals.

In order to bring out the intricacy of Roman contract law, the casebook employs the case-law method--actual Roman texts, drawn from Justinian's Digest and other sources, are presented both in Latin and English, along with introductions and discussions that fill out the background of the cases and explore related legal issues. This method reflects the casuistic practices of the jurists themselves: concentrating on the fact-rich environment in which contracts are made and enforced, while never losing sight of the broader principles upon which the jurists constructed the law.

The casebook concentrates especially on stipulation and sale, which are particularly well represented in surviving sources. Beyond these and other standard contracts, the book also has chapters on the capacity to contract, the creation of third-party rights and duties, and the main forms of unjustified enrichment. What students can hope to learn from this casebook is not only the general outlines and details of Roman contract law, but also how the jurists developed such law out of rudimentary civil procedures.


Bruce W. Frier is John and Teresa D'Arms Distinguished University Professor of Classics and Roman Law at the University of Michigan. His publications include A Casebook on the Roman Law of Delict, A Casebook on Roman Family Law (with Thomas A. J. McGinn), and The Modern Law of Contracts (with J. J. White). He is also the general editor of the annotated translation of The Codex of Justinian.


Preface for Students

Introduction to Roman Contract Law

Chapter I. Capacity to Contract

Chapter II. Stipulation: A Formal Contract

Chapter III. Contracts Created Through Delivery (“Real Contracts”)

Chapter IV. Sale: A Contract Created Through Informal Agreement

Chapter V. Other Consensual Contracts: Problems in Execution

Chapter VI. Filling in the Gaps: Contracts Created Through One Party's Performance

Chapter VII. Third Party Rights and Responsibilities

Chapter VIII. Quasi-Contract


Short Biographies of the Jurists

Suggested Further Reading

Index of Sources


More info here

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