The Birth of a Legal System

Priests of  Isis
Wall Painting, Herculaneum

The Jurisprudence and Vocabulary of Law
Vocabulary of Law: Ius (iuris, iure), Lex (legis, lege), Droit, Derecho, Diritto, Recht, Prawa, Ustawa

Greek: Nόmos (νόμος) 

Equivocal Meanings of Ius: The Legal system, An Individual law, and A Right:


The Roman Jurists' Jurisprudence of Ius in Book One of Justinian's Digest  (535 A.D.). 


Justice and Equity in the History of Jurisprudence

Definitions of Law:
 Black’s Law Dictionary: "That which is laid down, ordained or established.  Law is a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority and having binding legal force."

The  Random House Webster's College Dictionary defines law as "the principles and regulations established by a government." 

Bouvier's Law Dictionary, by John Bouvier (1787-1851), Third Revision by Francis Rawle, Kansas City: West Publishing, 1914, vol. 2, p. 1876.

An analysis of the science of law presents a view, first, of the rights of persons, distinguishing them as natural persons or artificial persons, or bodies politic or corporations.  These rights are deemed either absolute, as relating to the enjoyment of personal security, liberty, and of private property, or, on the other hand, relative, that is arising out of the relation in which several persons stand. 


Positive Law and Transcendental Norms

Custom (Consuetudo and Mos [mos, mores, more]and Positive Law(Ius positivum)  An anonymous canonist invented the term "Ius positivum" ca. 1200 A.D.

Cicero: Summum ius, Summa iniuria  Cicero, De officiis 1.10.33

"Rule of Law"(Regula iuris)

"Sovereignty of Law"

Transcendental legal systems: Ius gentium, Ius naturale, religious law, moral and ethical norms 

Lex naturalis and Ius naturale



Equity in Canon Law

Natural Law and the Modern Papacy:  Pope John Paul II Veritatis Splendor

Friedrich Carl von Savigny

Positive law (Ius positivum), John Austin (legal positivism) 

Early Christian Attitudes towards Law