LAW, CIVIL, or ROMAN. The codification and collection of this law by Justin ian became the basis of the sysiem of private law still administered on the continent of Europe, in Scotland, in Mexico and all the Spanish-American republics, and in Louisiana. The researches of Savigny have shown that the civil law was never entirely lost in Europe as has been supposed. The Germanic tribes which, in the 5th c., invaded and conquered Spain, Italy, and Gaul, continued to he governed by the body of cus tomary Germanic law which they brought with them, but allowed the conquered peoples to make profession (prolessio) as to which law they would be governed by, Germanic or Roman. In the 12th c. the university of Bologna became the great law-school of Europe, and the studies of the commentators there increased the influence of the civil law, not only in Italy, but throughout Europe. In southern France the proportion of Germanic immigrants was small, and the civil law prevailed. In northern France the Germanic element was stronger, and in each province its own traditional law or custom was administered, as " the custom of Normandy," " the custom of Anjou," etc. Hence northern France was called the country of customary law, pays de coutume, and southern France the country of the written law, pays de droit "cerit. In the countries which com posed the Holy Roman empire, the German emperors, who claimed to be the successors of the exsars, encouraged the growth of the civil law. In England, though the civil law failed to supplant that body of customary law known as the common law, it had a great influence. 'lire ecclesiastical, a branch of the civil law, had the exclusive con trol of matters of marriage and divorce. Equity, which has afforded relief for so many technicalities or deficiencies of the old common law, is the product of the civil law, and the chancellor for a long period was an ecclesiastic, bred to the civil and canon law. The common law was largely real property law, and originated in a time when property consisted almost exclusively of land, With the growth of commerce and trade the law of personal property assumed a corresponding importance, and was forced to borrow much, particularly in the departments of commercial and maritime law, from the civil law. The expression jus &Ile, of which civil law is a translation, was used by the Romans in a more restricted sense of 'the rights peculiar to the citizen by the law of the city or state (eivitus), as distinguished from the law relating to rights which are recognized by the law and usage of all nations (jus gentian:). The Roman public law has little but historical interest; the private law demands consideration.
A man's condition and relation wi1ll reference to his legal rights constitute his status at the civil law. This status consists of personal freedom (libertas), citizenship (cizitas),
and control of family (familia). Hence men are divided into (l)freemen, liberi ingenue; and slaves, ser•i. The power of the master over the slave, which in the earlier ages had been absolute, was afterwards greatly restricted. A slave could receive his liberty by will, by enrollment among freemen in the census, or by a fictitious suit. (2) Citizens, cites; and peregrini, aliens; the disabilities of the latter, chiefly in the matters of trade and marriage, belong to the domain of public law. (2) Persons of full control, sui jaris, and persons under the control of others, &kid. jurk A remarkable feature of the civil law was the power of the father, patria potestas. over the person and property of his children and their descendants, except the descendants of a warried daughter, who would belong to another family. This power of the head of the family, pato:fa milia.% was such that even in the latest times in man, whatever his age or services, could own no property during the life of his father, save what he might have acquired in war. His father had the use of his son's property during his own life. On the contrary, a boy of the age of 14 years who hail no father living was sui jams, and could marry, contract, etc. An important division of the family should be mentioned• here, that into co'jnates and agnates. Cognates are persons milted by the same blood or, as in cases of adoption, reputed so to lie. Agnates are such relations by blood as can trace descent front a common ancestor to whose paternal power they would be subject. Marriages were not required to be celebrated by any form, and extreme latitude of divorce was allowed, but this was checked by the ecclesiastical courts. Gifts between husband and wife were revocable until the death of the donor, but were good when so limited or upon divorce. It was customary for the wife or her relations to make a gift, dos, to the husband upon marriage, and such gift had to be restored upon the death of the wife or her divorce where the husband was the guilty party. And similar settle• meats could be made by the husband for the maintenance .of children by the marriage. An infant under 7 years, whose father was dead, must be put under guardianship, Wart, and was conclusively presumed to be incapable of contracting. From the age of 7 to 14 his acts must be ratified by his guardian, but after 14 he was deemed liable for his acts and on his contracts. The age of majority in such cases was afterwards fixed at 25, and the law would interfere to avoid contracts made by the minor where they were manifestly to his disadvantage.