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The Origins of the Western Legal Tradition

The Origins of the Western Legal Tradition

From Thales to the Tudors

By Ellen Goodman


Ellen Goodman uses extensive extracts from original writings to highlight the main themes of the Western legal tradition.

The strength of the book is its clear focus on the heart of the tradition: constitutionalism, representative institutions and rule by law. Goodman links Christianity to its origins in Greek philosophy and Judaism. She delves into the position of the Roman Church as the tenuous, Dark Ages conduit. Feudalism lives and dies and the common law and parliament emerge.

The author accurately and vividly charts the main currents, avoiding both the shoals and the myriad tributaries, and so enables readers to have a clearer and deeper understanding of our present legal system.


Foundations of Western Thought
The Sophists, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
The Advent of Christianity
Roman Imperialism and the Christians
The Roman Law and the Roman Church
From Feudalism to Feudal Law
The Crisis between Papacy and Empire
Emergence of the Common Law
Origins of Constitutionalism
The Origins of Parliament in England

References/ Index

Published November 1995
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862871816
Australian RRP $49.50
International Price $45.00
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Law - Legal History
Secondary School Resources

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