It is widely recognized that Roman law is an important source of information about women in the Roman world, and can present a more rounded and accurate picture than literary sources. This sourcebook fully exploits the rich legal material of the imperial period - from Augustus (31 BCE - 14 CE) to the end of the western Roman Empire (476 CE), incorporating both pagan and Christian eras, and explaining the rights women held under Roman law, the restrictions to which they were subject, and legal regulations on marriage, divorce and widowhood. The main focus is on the major legal texts (the Digest, the Institutes of Gaius, the Code of Justinian and the Theodosian Code), but a significant number of non-legal documentary sources are included. These are particularly important as they illustrate how the law worked in practice, and how this practice (particularly in the provinces) could differ from the letter of the law. Accessible English translations are enhanced by clear, concise background material, which includes useful explanation of historical and geographical context, and a helpful glossary of Roman legal and administrative terms completes the volume.
Comprehensive and user-friendly, this will be a core text for students, an illuminating aid for non-specialists, and an essential reference guide for more advanced scholars.