CONTENTS:- 1. Ancient Codes; 2. Legal Fictions; 3. Law of Nature and Equity; 4. The Modern History of the Law of nature' Primitive Society and Ancient Law; 5. The Early History of testamentary Succession; 6. Ancient and Modern Ideas respecting Wills and Successions; 7. The early History of Property; 8. The early History of Contact; 9. The Early History delict and crime.
The chief object of this book is to indicate some of the earliest ideas of mankind, as they are reflected in Ancient law, and to point out the relation of those ideas to modern thought. Much of the inquiry attempted could not have been prosecured with the slightest hope of a useful result if there had not existed a body of law, like that of the Romans, bearing in its earlier portion the traces of the most remote antiquity and supplying from its later rules the staple of the civil institutions by which modern society of the civil institutions by which modern society is even now controlled. The necessity of taking the Roman law as a typical system, has compelled the Author to draw from it what may appear a disproportionate number of his illustrations; but it has not been intention to write a treatise on Roman jurisprudence, and he has much as possible avoided all discussion which might give that appearance to his work. The space allotted in the Third and Fourth Chapters to certain philosophical theories of the Roman Jurisconsults appropriated to them for two reasons. In the first place, those theories appear to the Author to have had a much wider and more permanent influence on the thought and action of the world than is usually supposed. Secondly, they are believed to be the ultimate source of most of the views which have been prevalent, till quite recently, on the subjects treated of in this volume. It was i9mposiicule for the Author to proceeds far with his undertaking, without stating his opinion on the origin, meaning, and value of those speculations.