Roman Laws Adopted By U.S. To Govern Slaves

6/22/20231 min read

Roman Laws That Were Adopted in the U.S.

“The prevailing view of the Roman slave was that he was a thing and not a person.

I. He could have no family. The union of male and female was a mere fact, not a legal marriage.

2. He could have no property, could not be a creditor or debtor, and could not have an heir.

3. He was unable to appear in court. Injury to him constituted a tort against his master, as in case of any damage to property.

4. He was an object of property and possession, alienable [able to be sold or given away] like other property.”

5. "The child of a slave mother was a slave - no matter who was the father - as a slave woman could not marry, and it was only in marriage that a child was linked to [the] father."

Shumway, Edgar S. “Freedom and Slavery in Roman Law.” The American Law Register (1898-1907), vol. 49, no. 11, 1901, pp. 636–53. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.2307/3306244. Accessed 22 June 2023.