Roman Law Institutions [Matricole pari] (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Tommaso Dalla Massara
Tommaso Dalla Massara
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
2° periodo di lezioni - aprile/maggio 2018, 2° periodo di lezioni - febbraio/marzo 2018

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing the students with the main categories and the basic terminology of Roman private law, as well as at enlightening the Roman origins of several institutions and many forms of legal reasoning that nowadays characterize the current European private law. It will indeed deal with absolute and relative rights, ownership and rights in rem, obligation, legal act, contract, tort, successions, etc. The course will focus on Roman civil procedure, and particular attention will be given to the dialectics existing between ‘substantive’ and ‘remedial’ approaches.


Preliminary and preparatory exams: not required.

General part
- Sources of Roman Law (the study is recommended on A. BURDESE, Manuale di diritto privato romano4, Torino, 1993).
- Private legal procedure.
- Individuals and family (this part can be studied - in an abridged version - also in Diritto privato romano2, a cura di A. Schiavone, Torino, 2010).
- Facts, acts and legal act.
- Obligations and contract law.
- Rights in rem.
- Donations.
- Inheritance law.

Special part: L. GAROFALO, Fondamenti e svolgimenti della scienza giuridica. Nuovi saggi, Torino, 2015
The program provides the possibility of choosing, alternatively, between two groups of essays:
I) Homo liber e homo sacer: due archetipi dell’appartenenza.
Sull’eccezione di dolo generale.
II) Principi e ordinamento romano: una riflessione sulle orme di Fritz Schulz.
L’arbitraggio sul prezzo.

Each student is required to study the special part of the program planned for his/her first academic year of attendance, with the possibility, at his/her own free choice, to opt for the current academic year program.
Considering that the objective of the course is to provide an institutional preparation, the teaching method aims at encouraging legal reasoning through lectures that expose institutions by taking into account their logical and systematic correlations. In line with the expected results, the approach to some practical cases will not be neglected as a further outcome. In this regard, consider the course of training in view of the 'Moot court competition. Roman law and civil law tradition': it is a subsidiary teaching activity carried out within the frame of the project 'Laboratorio Romanistico Gardesano', on the basis of an agreement signed in 2015 by the Universities of Verona, Brescia, Trento and Milano 'Statale'. This activity is directed to select the members of the Verona team that will take part at the competition (held each year in June at Palazzo Feltrinelli – Gargnano, BS). It is anyhow a course open to any interested student and it is particularly recommended to the students attending the course of Institutions of Roman Law, as to improve their ability to apply the legal reasoning to the concrete case.
Any conference and /or seminar of interest, as well as any tutoring and / or optional laboratory activity relevant for the course will be communicated during the class hours.
Students who are interested in studying some parts of the program on textbooks of Roman law written in German, French or English are kindly asked to contact the Professor during the class hours.
ERASMUS students are kindly asked to contact the Professor at the beginning of the course to define the program: the exam will consist in the discussion of an essay, written in Italian or English, where the student will deepen a specific topic agreed with the Professor.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
L. Garofalo Fondamenti e svolgimenti della scienza giuridica. Nuovi saggi Giappichelli, Torino 2015
M. Marrone Istituzioni di diritto romano Palumbo, Palermo 2006
A. Burdese Manuale di diritto privato romano (Edizione 4) Utet, Torino 1993

Assessment methods and criteria

Objectives of the examination
Assessing the knowledge of the substantive and procedural institutions of private Roman law.

Contents and methods of carrying out the assessment tests
The examination will take place for all both in written form limited to the general part (with the submission of five open questions to which the student must answer in the total maximum time of twenty-five minutes), and by interview, in which, after a brief illustration and commentary on the written test, the knowledge of the general part as well as of the special part will be further examined.

Valuation criteria and explanation of the final mark
The final evaluation is expressed in thirtieths (30/30). The evaluation between 18 and 20 corresponds to a sufficient, yet low and basic, knowledge of the contents; the evaluation between 20 and 25 shows a more than sufficient / discreet knowledge of the contents; the evaluation between 25 and 29 shows a good or very good knowledge of the contents together with commendable critical skills. The evaluation between 30 and 30 cum laude corresponds to a very good or excellent knowledge together with high critical, analytical and connection skills. The study of the special part will also be taken into account in the evaluation of the critical capacity.

Language used in the final exam: Italian

Teaching aids