Historical Roots of Law

Get Started. It's Free
or sign up with your email address
Historical Roots of Law by Mind Map: Historical Roots of Law

1. Examples of the Law

1.1. Babylonia

1.1.1. “If a sun has struck his father, his hands shall be cut off. If a man strikes a man’s daughter and brings about a miscarriage, he shall pay for this miscarriage. If that woman dies, his daughter shall be killed.”

1.2. Hebrew

1.2.1. “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death … whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death.”

1.3. Greek

1.3.1. “In family cases, Laws were not set, but the penalties were decided by the head of the family”

1.4. Roman

1.4.1. “If one has maimed a limb and does not compromise with the injured person, let there be retaliation. If one has broken a bone of a freeman with his hand or with a cudgel, let him pay a penalty of three hundred coins If he has broken the bone of a slave, let him have one hundred and fifty coins. If one is guilty of insult, the penalty shall be twenty-five coins.”

1.5. Byzantine

1.5.1. A person who has been outraged always has his option between the civil remedy (only involving a financial penalty) and a criminal indictment (in which the accused could be sent to jail.) If he prefers civil remedy, the penalty which is imposed depends on the victim’s own estimate of the wrong he has suffered; if he prefers a criminal trial it is the the judge’s duty to inflict the harshest possible punishment on the offender.

1.6. French

1.6.1. “Husband and wife owe each other fidelity, succour, and assistance.”

1.7. British

1.7.1. If someone is accused of a crime, tie them up and throw them in the water. If God deems them to be innocent, they will live. Otherwise they can go to hell.

1.8. Aboriginal

1.8.1. “The lineal descent of the people … shall run in the female line. Women shall be considered the progenitors of the Nation. They shall own the land and the soil. Men and women shall follow the status of the mother.

1.9. Canadian

1.9.1. Second degree murder. All murder that is not first degree murder is second degree murder.

2. Type of Law (Criminal or Civil)

2.1. Babylonia

2.1.1. Criminal and Civil.

2.2. Hebrew

2.2.1. Criminal and Civil.

2.3. Greek

2.3.1. Initially, Greece didn’t have a distinct difference between criminal and civil law. They now have criminal and civil law.

2.4. Roman

2.4.1. Criminal and Civil.

2.5. Byzantine

2.5.1. Criminal and Civil Law, similar to Roman Law. Justinian’s Code was also the basis for civil law in western civilization.

2.6. French

2.6.1. The Napoleonic Code was Civil Law.

2.7. British

2.7.1. Criminal and Civil.

2.8. Aboriginal

2.8.1. Criminal and Civil.

2.9. Canadian

2.9.1. Criminal and Civil.

3. Definitions

3.1. Criminal Law

3.1.1. Law that has to do with acts that are considered criminal, like stealing and murder. This Law also generally has specified punishments for certain acts versus civil law which is more general. Criminal law is a body of rules and statutes that defines conduct prohibited by the government because it threatens and harms public safety and welfare and that establishes punishment to be imposed for the commission of such acts.

3.2. Civil Law

3.2.1. Law that has to do with disputes between two people, and sets up systems and rules for solving disputes in a fair and reasonable way. A body of rules that delineate private rights and remedies, and govern disputes between individuals in such areas as contracts, property, and Family Law; distinct from criminal or public law.

3.3. Restitution

3.3.1. A system of punishment that focuses more on the criminal paying back to the person who was wronged, whether that is a direct 1:1 payback or something more or less general. The general term restitution describes the act of restoration. The ter 2m is used in different areas of the law but carries the same meaning throughout. The basic purpose of restitution is to achieve fairness and prevent the Unjust Enrichment of a party. Restitution is used in contractual situations where one party has conferred a benefit on another party but cannot collect payment because the contract is defective or no contract exists.

3.4. Retribution

3.4.1. A system of punishment that focuses on the criminal being punished extensively for what they did, sometimes out of proportion of the original act.

3.5. Codified

3.5.1. When laws are formally established and written down, so that the same laws can apply to everyone in a society.

4. Law Codified/Description of Law

4.1. Babylonia

4.1.1. Code of Hammurabi (1700 BCE).

4.1.2. Most laws were based on “eye for an eye” principles, as well as putting the wealthy in a position of superiority legally over everyone else. Hammurabi’s code was an early example of a set of written laws for society to abide by. Hammurabi was the king of Babylon from 1792 - 1750 BCE. His laws essentially covered the rules and punishment for every part of Babylonian life. It had almost 300 laws.

4.2. Hebrew

4.2.1. Biblical laws - i.e. the Mosaic Law and Ten Command-ments (1300s BCE).

4.2.2. Based originally on the 10 commandments, focuses more on punishing deliberate actions and putting people on a more equal footing legally. The commandments also come from the first 5 books in the bible.

4.3. Greek

4.3.1. Draco Codifies Athenian Law (621 CE). So the first laws were codified within Draco’s laws but eventually replaced with Solon’s Law in 594 BC. Then those were replaced again with the Code of Gortyn. Currently, it’s codified in the Greek Constitution. Greek law differed from city-state to city-state, with Athens having the first democracy for the rich. Additionally, the greeks had the first jury trials. Because it was so focused on democracy, the jury system was used for justice. The accused and the person accusing could choose a punishment fitting for the crime, and then the jury would have the control and vote from there on which punishment works best.

4.4. Roman

4.4.1. The Twelve Tablets (450 BCE). The Twelve Tables are considered the basis of modern law and included public prosecution as well as some protection for the lower class from the upper class. There were also two main parts of Roman Law that were followed - the law must be recorded and that justice can’t be left to the judges alone.

4.5. Byzantine

4.5.1. Justinian Codifies Roman Law (529 CE). Byzantine Law was essentially Roman law but the Emperor Justinian reformed it and simplified it and introduced the modern concept of justice.

4.6. French

4.6.1. Napoleonic Code is instituted (1804 CE). The Napoleonic Code covered all aspects of life, and was instituted over much of Europe and it was simpler for regular people to understand because of the style it was written in.

4.7. British

4.7.1. William the Conqueror Establishes Feudal Law (1066 CE). The Magna Carta starts in 1215. British Law has widely influenced many countries’ legal systems. It’s the basis of many international legal systems. Some aspects in their legal code include a federal system, rule of law and multiple types of trials.

4.8. Aboriginal

4.8.1. The Great Binding Law of the Iroquois Confederacy (1450 CE). Rules governing the many Aboriginal groups were passed through generations in oral tradition of storytelling and myths. Their law covered such things as emigration, adoption and treason.

4.9. Canadian

4.9.1. Confederation (1867 CE) and the Criminal Code of Canada is currently utilized. Canadian Law is essentially derived from British Law, because British explorers and colonists brought their legal system with them to Canada. This was in the 17th and 18th centuries. Canada was under English Common Law after the Battle of Quebec in 1759, but Quebec follows civil law.

5. Basis of Law

5.1. Babylonia

5.1.1. Hammurabi’s legal code largely focused on retribution, getting people to physically pay for the crime they committed.

5.2. Hebrew

5.2.1. Hebrew law followed the idea of retribution. If anyone is to commit a crime, they should pay for it.

5.3. Greek

5.3.1. Greek law has a basis in retribution. In ancient Greece they would severely punish those who had done wrong. In modern day Greece they still follow same principles.

5.4. Roman

5.4.1. Roman law was centered around retribution, the accused would be punished for their mistake.

5.5. Byzantine

5.5.1. Byzantine law was based on retribution. Like Roman law the accused would be punished for their crime.

5.6. French

5.6.1. Laws were based on retribution.

5.7. British

5.7.1. British law follows retribution and that people should be punished for their crimes. It is based on revenge.

5.8. Aboriginal

5.8.1. Aboriginal law follows restitution. They don’t believe that retribution is the way of life but they place higher value on harmony and the peaceful coexistence of all living beings.

5.9. Canadian

5.9.1. Canadian Law follows retribution. With the court system, retribution is used to make sure that everyone is punished for their crimes. They believe that everyone should have a fair trial.

6. Quotes/References

6.1. Babylonia

6.1.1. “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is one of the main concepts of Hammurabi’s Code. Its legal code pertains to the belief that revenge is justice.

6.2. Hebrew

6.2.1. Not only was it illegal to commit crimes such as murder and theft under Mosaic Law, but it was also forbidden to worship other gods.

6.3. Greek

6.3.1. Ancient Greece had some interesting aspects to their government - Athens had the first democratic government and the citystate of Sparta was run by two kings who shared power equally.

6.4. Roman

6.4.1. The first lawyers came into existence to help people understand roman law as it became more complicated.

6.5. Byzantine

6.5.1. Emperor Justinian granted the rights of women to buy and own land which was a big help to them after their husbands died and they became widowed. Women weren’t even considered citizens in Greek law, so this was interesting and relatively unheard of.

6.6. French

6.6.1. Quebec’s current civil law is almost entirely based off of the Napoleonic code.

6.7. British

6.7.1. The original Magna Carta was written in Latin. But we only know who signed it, not who actually wrote it. It was an agreement between King John and a group of English barons in response to years of the king’s misrule. It’s suggested that the charter was written by one of the signers, the Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton. But the document’s wording was a result of a long negotiation between the king and his noblemen.

6.8. Aboriginal

6.8.1. The American Constitution is based on the principles of the Great Law of Iroquois Confederacy. This is because of Benjamin Franklin’s huge respect for the Iroquois system of government. “the lineal descent of the nation … shall run in the female line. Women shall be considered the progenitors of our nation. They shall own the land and the soil.

6.9. Canadian

6.9.1. The first laws were created in 1611 by the Newfoundland governor at the time - John Guy.

7. Terms

7.1. Babylonia

7.1.1. Babylon - A city in ancient Mesopotamia. Codified - Arranged and recorded systematically. Hammurabi - One of the leaders during Mesopotamian times.

7.2. Hebrew

7.2.1. Moses - A prophet who climbed Mount Sinai. There, God gave him the ten commandments. Ten Commandments - Ten laws from the beginning of Mosaic Law, derived from old testament. Old Testament - First section of the Christian Bible, consisting of 39 books.

7.3. Greek

7.3.1. Jury - Group of people who vote on whether the accused is guilty or innocent. A unanimous decision is generally required. Constitution - A document that codifies the principles, laws and beliefs within a nation. Democracy - Government made up by the people.

7.4. Roman

7.4.1. Jurisdiction - Under legal authority. Patricians - Ruling class in Rome. Legal advisors - Roman lawyers.

7.5. Byzantine

7.5.1. Justinian I- Byzantine Emperor who reformed the law and helped clarify it, through Justinian’s Code. Latin - Official language that Justinian’s Code was written and published in. Latin’s also continued to stay used in law because of its use in Rome. Corpus iuris civilis - The name for the combination of Justinian’s Code. It became the foundation of Western civil law.

7.6. French

7.6.1. Will - A document that details what happens to a person’s possessions/finances after death. Family Law - Laws that relate to the family, such as divorce and marriage. Contract - A legal document that binds one or two parties into a legal agreement

7.7. British

7.7.1. Trial by ordeal A way of determining guilt or innocence by forcing the accused to undergo a painful or dangerous experience. If they miraculously survive, then God is on their side and they’re innocent. If they’re guilty they die. Trial by combat A way of determining guilt by having opposing parties compete with judicially sanctioned fisticuffs. If the accused is innocent, God will be on their side and they will win. Trial by oath A way of determining guilt by having the accused swear an oath. A number of his peers would have to swear that they believed his oath to be proved innocent.

7.8. Aboriginal

7.8.1. Great Binding Law Outlined the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the people. The codified constitution of the first nations people Oral Tradition Story-telling and myths were used to pass on rules and ethics. This system is similar to case law, by reflecting how past transgressors of the law were punished Creator The aboriginal god: an image and symbol of peace, family, justice and security that the aboriginal peoples looked up to.

7.9. Canadian

7.9.1. Jurisdiction The political or legal authority to pass and enforce laws, or the judicial authority to decide a case Constitutional Law The body of law dealing with the authority and power over the government. The highest level of law that overrides all other laws. If a law violate the constitution, it can be striked down under the authority of the constitution. Statute Law Laws or acts passed by the government and are formally written into legislation. These laws override common law.

8. Laws That Serve to Protect Property

8.1. Babylonia

8.1.1. If a man has stolen goods from a temple or a house, he shall be put to death and he that has received the stolen property shall be put to death.

8.2. Hebrew

8.2.1. If a man steals an ox or sheep, and kills it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

8.3. Greek

8.3.1. The Greeks had what are called “Tort Laws” which are laws stating that it is illegal to steal property. Punishments varied depending on theft.

8.4. Roman

8.4.1. Should a tree on a neighbor's farm be bent crooked by the wind and lean over your farm, you may take legal action for removal of that tree.

8.5. Byzantine

8.5.1. Property protection was important in Rome. Laws were mainly drafted for the benefit of upper class citizens who actually owned property.

8.6. French

8.6.1. Women were considered property, and there were laws regarding how to treat women.

8.7. British

8.7.1. The feudal system largely revolved around owning land. Lords owned the land, and serfs worked under them.

8.8. Aboriginal

8.8.1. Women are like the creator and so women are the supreme beings who own the land, soil, and family power.

8.9. Canadian

8.9.1. Intellectual property is a big thing now. Patents and copyrights are written in order to make it illegal to copy other peoples ideas.