The common and the different in the Romanesque legal system over the centuries and the Bulgarian one today

Theodora Savova

The legal-technical perfection of Roman law and its universality have allowed each historical epoch to invest in the seemingly abstract norms the evolving understandings and mentality of its time. The content of legal regulation is slowly changing, but still within the framework of schemes developed during the classical period.


The initial attempts to systematize the remnants of the classical legal heritage and to combine it with the "barbaric" customary right of the alien peoples to run from the first decades of the Dominion. Almost immediately after the establishment of the absolute monarchy by Diocletian (283-285) in Nicomedia and Antioch, two private collections were compiled - the Gregorian Code (292) and the Hermogenian Code (293), which contained mostly authoritarian law - elected and ordered to Diocletian.


The process of adapting Roman law to radical economic, political, and ethnic change began in Western and Central Europe even before the final collapse of Rome. At the beginning of the IV century, more private collections appeared, the most famous of which is the so-called Comparison between the laws of Moses and Rome - the embodiment of the view that there is no fundamental contradiction between the divine law and Roman law.


In the second half of the 5th century, successful attempts were made to reconcile Gothic customary law with Latin law, already established and sanctified by the Catholic Church. As a result, the earliest official written medieval legal monuments were created - the Eurythian Code (476, in Western Gaul and Spain, officially replaced the edicts of the Roman provincial prefects) and the Edict of Theodoric (by King Theodoric c. 500) - for the Ostrogothic kingdom. These include Theodosius' short stories, excerpts from the Institutions of Gaius, and Paul's Sentences. The influence of Frankish, Burgundian and Bavarian customary law was clearly expressed in the Burgundian Roman law (Lex Romana Burgundiorum) - around 502 by order of the Burgundian king Gundobad. The Visigothic Roman Law, also known as the Alaric Breviary after King Alaric II, was an official act, the most extensive compilation of the time and influencing medieval law in Western and Central Europe.


Middle Ages:

 Through these and the subsequent normative acts, using the Roman legal technique, but in a very different, feudal spirit, property, the simplest exchange relations, family and inheritance were settled. The single law of private property was replaced by the priority of possession as actual proceedings. Additional confusion was introduced by the so-called separate property - the powers of the property right were divided vertically between the seigneur and his vassals. Family and hereditary relations gradually passed under the jurisdiction of the church.


During the Frankish rule, the ancient Roman legal practice was used mainly to justify the independence of the seigneurs and to assert the superiority of local customs over centralized legislation.


 In the Eastern Empire, the adaptation of Roman law to the conditions of changed social reality took place much more smoothly. Justinian's legislation (528-534) became the basis of the existing legal system throughout the existence of the so-called. Byzantium. In the first half of the VIII century the emperors Leo V and Constantine III made major legal reforms, the Eclogue was created (726). The Agricultural Law, the Maritime Law and the Military Law have been drafted as its additions.


The crisis of the Empire from the end of the IX century and the beginning of the X century required a new revision and modernization of the existing law, carried out during the "Macedonian" emperors Basil I and Leo the Philosopher by creating a series of legislative acts: Prochiron, Epanagoga, Nomocanon. A little later, the second major compilation after Justinian's collection was completed - the so-called Basilicas (Imperial Books). All these acts, based on Roman law in Justinian's inheritance, were applied until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, and was later applied by ecclesiastical communities and courts insofar as it was preserved by the sultan (example: "The Six Days Of Armenopoulos). The importance of the adoption and further development of Roman law in Byzantium was enormous. It created conditions for its reception in Bulgaria after the Baptism, and hence later in other Slavic countries. The Roman-Byzantine legal monuments translated into Old Bulgarian and the original Bulgarian Law on Judgment of the People built on their basis became the basis of the current law in the Balkans, in Russia, Ukraine, Wallachia and Moldova for the whole Middle Ages.




The Western European Renaissance (XIII-XVI centuries) drew the attention of jurists to the unfading values ​​of classical Roman law. Ever since the founding of pThe first European university in Bologna in the 12th century. Irnerius also began to teach secular law there. He developed his lectures on the basis of the Digests and the Justinian Compilation. His students spread interest in the ancient legal heritage throughout Western Europe, and the successors of their work in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries gradually prepared the overall reception of Roman law as reflected in the sources for its study. The adoption of the ideas and solutions of ancient Roman jurisprudence in most European countries became possible due to the pan-European nature and scope of the Renaissance.


New time:


 The great revolutions of modern times have put on the agenda the immediate practical application of centuries of theoretical study of Roman law. Apart from the significant but selective influence of the revived Roman law in the Netherlands and England from the 17th century onwards, the first and classic model of modern direct reception of perfect ancient models is

- The French Civil Code. The commission that drafted the code was appointed by Napoleon Bonaparte and included the most prominent French jurists, headed by the professor of Roman law at the Sorbonne, Pottier. This Code from 1804, with minor additions and improvements, continues to discuss public needs to this day. For its part, it became a prototype for the development of civil and commercial legislation in all countries of the so-called. Romance or Latin legal family - Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium. Thus, the French Civil Code has gained global significance and has been at the heart of modern Latin American law (except Brazil) and many countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Far East.

- The German Civil Code is no less important for modern civil law. It has been in force since January 1, 1900, developed on the basis of classical Roman law, the result of almost 50 years of discussions between German novelists and civilians. The case law on the Napoleonic Code and subsequent codifications, as well as the opinions of doctrine and social groups, have been taken into account. It has been received in European countries by the German legal family - Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and the Scandinavian countries.


The French Civil Code and the German Civil Code - a brief comparison:

FGC follows the structural systematic of Roman law, as in the Institutions of Gaius - so it is called Institutional. On the other hand, the GGZ outlines the most significant definitions and clearly reflects the relationship between basic legal principles and institutions. For the first time, it devotes a significant place to the regulation of legal entities. If we have to compare FGC and GGZ, we could say that although both have their deep roots in Roman law, from a socio-economic point of view, the former is a legal act of victorious capitalism, and the latter of the developed capitalist economy and the corresponding her social relations.


Keywords : Law, Legal systems, Centuries


  • Theodora Savova

    Muy buen director de proyectos, atestiguado por una amplia experiencia en planificación e informes, asesoramiento, precisión, precisión, honestidad, excelentes habilidades de comunicación, trabajo en equipo, buen oyente, comprensión de los problemas de las personas, reacción adecuada y flexible en situaciones de emergencia. Búsqueda rápida y adecuada de soluciones, trabajo en equipo, trabajo bajo alta presión en un entorno competitivo Excelente comunicador multilingüe. Inglés, danés, italiano, alemán, búlgaro Contact info : +359886060199,email : [email protected]

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