It is worth starting to discuss rome law by making a consideration about Roman social structure and the importance which the Roman nobility, the, Patricians (and the senate as its highest expression) and Equestrian orders were attached to what (in 16th century France) would become known as “derogeance“: The consideration that involvement with common trade was demeaning and that the only socially acceptable means of making personal wealth and achieving social praise were through successes in a public/political or military career. Wealth could be acceptably invested in large landed estates.
In ancient Rome law was perhaps one of the greatest social advancements and “innovations” achieved. In many ways it characterises the deepest facets of Roman character: a strong sense of pragmatism where the highest personal achievement envisaged was one of public life. Law was the mechanism which governed the relationship between individuals and society.
Deeper analysis of the Roman approach to law is treated in a separate page concerning the Law in ancient Rome and the types of law.