The Roman's established one of the key legal systems from which modern European law is derived. It is one of the binding factors par excellence within the European community. It is thus vital for the new "Europeans" to have a sound knowledge of of its history. This book presents a brief, accurate and up-to-date survey of the development of Roman law. Olga Tellegen-Couperus divides the thousand-year-long history of Roman law into four periods, each based on political developments. For each period, there is a general outline of the sources and then a description of the territory under Roman rule, the socio-economic situation, and political development. The last section of each chapter analyzes the law, focusing on particular legislation, jurisdiction and legal science. The book thus offers a full introduction to the political and socio-economic background to Roman law and gives due attention to the topics under current debated in Romanist literature. The book is useful to law students,classicists and ancient historians.