A persistent problem wherever men live together is the settlement of disputes. Primitive men often regard quarrels as personal matters, to be settled by those immediately involved. This may result in violence, possibly encompassing whole families in a blood feud; or compensation may take a milder form. Sooner or later the community begins to take a hand, to serve its own best interests. Perhaps its elders listen to the arguments and render a decision, based on custom once it is established. When the community takes one more step and begins to enforce its decisions in a positive way, a state comes into existence and, with it, a law . The provisions of the law contain a heavy deposit from the past. [excerpt]
This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Bloom, Robert L. et al. "4. Rome: Roman Law. Pt. I: Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem: Background of Western Civilization." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 61-66.