The Roman jurisprudence has the longest known history of any set of human institutions.
The Roman Code was merely an enunciation in words of the existing customs of the Roman people.
The most celebrated system of jurisprudence known to the world begins, as it ends, with a Code.
The epoch of Customary Law, and of its custody by a privileged order, is a very remarkable one.
The ancient codes were doubtless originally suggested by the discovery and diffusion of the art of writing.
When primitive law has once been embodied in a Code, there is an end to what may be called its spontaneous development.
The inquiries of the jurist are in truth prosecuted much as inquiry in physic and physiology was prosecuted before observation had taken the place of assumption.
Law is stable; the societies we are speaking of are progressive. The greater or less happiness of a people depends on the degree of promptitude with which the gulf is narrowed.
Our authorities leave us no doubt that the trust lodged with the oligarchy was sometimes abused, but it certainly ought not to be regarded as a mere usurpation or engine of tyranny.
The most superficial student of Roman history must be struck by the extraordinary degree in which the fortunes of the republic were affected by the presence of foreigners, under different names, on her soil.