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Social sciences and humanities

Subject: FUNDAMENTALS OF ROMAN LAW (A.A. 2020/2021)


Course year 1
Teaching units Unit Istituzioni di diritto romano
History and Law (lesson)
  • TAF: Basic compulsory subjects SSD: IUS/18 CFU: 6
Teachers: Andrea SANGUINETTI
Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language Italiano
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The target is leading the learners to an - at least - basic knowledge of the most important institutions of the roman private law. Achieving this goal will allow students to begin to master even the rudiments of logical- legal reasoning, and will lead them also to develop an ever greater awareness concerning values such as legality and fairness.

Admission requirements

Good knowledge of the Italian language spoken and written. At least sufficient knowledge of Roman history and its main junctions.

Course contents

The Course has as its object the structures and institutes of Roman private law from its origins (VIII century BC) to the death of Justinian (6th century AD). According to a traditional approach, the Course is divided into:
- an introduction concerning the law and its classifications, and in a series of parts that analyze the most relevant sectors of the Roman law-making experience:
- persons and family,
- procedural law,
- things, real rights and possession,
- obligations.
To this is added a part related to the scheme of the 'negozio giuridico', which is an elaboration of modern and contemporary doctrine, but suitable to be used also to describe the Roman experience.

Teaching methods

Due to the protracted health emergency situation, the course will be delivered entirely remotely, in a synchronous manner. This will involve the replacement of traditional classroom lessons - which in any case in a BLECS-type course such as this occupied only about 50% of total teaching - with an almost equivalent number of online video lessons. Therefore the course will be structured as follows: I. Basic prerecorded videolessons (for a total of about 2 hours) on the basic concepts and terms of the subject. II. "Live" video lessons (about 20 hours) on the basic institutions of each part of the program, to replace traditional classroom lessons. III. Other in-depth prerecorded video lessons (for a total of about 10 hours) on some of the most remarkable legal institutions, especially in matters of property, real rights and possession, bonds. To these activities will be added some virtual classroom moments (around 8), in which there will be an opportunity to respond to requests for clarification from students and / or to deepen individual parts of the program.

Assessment methods

Depending on the evolution of the emergency health situation, the learning checks will take place in the presence or remotely. Verification of learning will be based on the following tests: a) compatibly with the situation dependent on the "covid-19" emergency, an optional written assessment containing both multiple choice questions and open questions. It normally focuses on the first 4 chapters of the textbook. Duration of the test: 90 min.; b) a final oral exam, mandatory for everyone. In the written test greater weight is reserved for open questions: therefore it allows to verify the ability to present and explain their ideas about the institutions studied and the student's ability to synthesize: for each question a space limit is assigned. Multiple choice answers allow to verify the degree of preparation reached on more specific notions. Students who pass the written test will not have to study the part of the program already studied, unless they intend to not use this result. The mark obtained in the written test will be taken into account for the calculation of the final mark. The interview usually develops on three questions, starting from general questions, going on more specific topics (for students who have passed the written test, the number of questions will be at least one) aimed at ascertain the knowledge of the basic concepts and a sufficient knowledge of the individual institutions. Duration of the oral exam: 10 to 20 min. Criteria for the evaluation of the oral exam: completeness and correctness of the presentation; correctness of form. The oral modality allows the teacher to help a student who is in temporary difficulty and to graduate the evaluation in a more elastic way.

Learning outcomes

1. Knowledge of the main institutions of the Roman private law, substantive and procedural , in their historical development and in the context of the evolution of Roman society, as well as basic understanding of the method of argumentation of the Roman jurists.
2. Due to historical and legal knowledge acquired, the student will be able to develop a correct historical feeling that will allow him to deal with more knowledge with the the corresponding institutions of the private law in force.
3. The study of Roman private law, especially in its casuistic component, will allow the students to begin to frame properly the specific facts in the pertinent regulatory framework. Historical knowledge acquired will also allow them to frame the institutions in an historical- comparative point of view, which today a genuine European jurist can not leave aside.
4. Acquiring a good knowledge of legal language, both written and oral, relating to general principles; ability to explain clearly their own choices as to the various possible solutions to a case.
5. Ability to study not merely mnemonically, but critically, making cross connections between different parts of the program and between different institutions, if they concern different areas of the subject.


D. Dalla - R. Lambertini, Istituzioni di diritto romano, 3a ed., Torino, Giappichelli, 2006.

Del testo gli studenti dovranno studiare le seguenti parti:
I capitolo: per intero
II capitolo: §§ 1-3; 6; 10; 14
III capitolo: §§ 1-11
IV capitolo: per intero
V capitolo: §§ 1-4; 6-8; 10-11
VI capitolo: §§ 1-8; 10-21

The students must study the following parts of the book:
Chapt. I: entirely
Chapt. II: §§ 1-3; 6; 10; 14
Chapt. III: §§ 1-11
Chapt. IV: entirely
Chapt.V: §§ 1-4; 6-8; 10-11
Chapt. VI capitolo: §§ 1-8; 10-21