Ancient Greek Laws
The traditions of Athens and Sparta assume that laws were given to them by Solon and Lycurgus, legendary figures who served as leaders of their city-states long ago. Ancient Greek law consists of the laws and legal institutions of Ancient Greece. The Rule of Law is a principle established in ancient Greece that holds all people and organizations accountable to the same set of laws. It has had a profound effect on civilizations across the world. Draconian laws, were the first written Athenian laws. The Draconian laws were most noteworthy for their harshness; they were said to be written in blood, rather than ink. Death was prescribed for almost all criminal offenses.
Behron laws of Ireland
Brehon Law is the body of ancient native Irish law. It existed in Gaelic areas until the completion of the English conquest of Ireland in the early 17th century. They were first set down on parchment in the 7th century and were named after wanderings lawyers, the Brehons. By the time of Elizabeth I, the Brehon laws were considered to be old, lewd, and unreasonable. They were banned and English common law was introduced.
Byzantine law was essentially a continuation of Roman law with increased Orthodox Christian and Hellenistic influence. Most sources define Byzantine law as the Roman legal traditions starting after the reign of Justinian I in the 6th century and ending with the Fall of Constantinople in the 15th century. The laws were idealized and made so as to make the sacred role and responsibility of the emperor as the holy monarch chosen by God and the incarnation of law "nómos émpsychos", thus having philosophical and religious purposes that idealized the perfect Byzantine king.
Dharma shastra (c.600- c.200 A. D) is the ancient Indian body of jurisprudence that governed the society during the Vedic period. Shastra or shastram, literally means rule or the code of laws. It is a Sanskrit genre of ancient works that emphasizes the three main principles of life.
- Dharma which means ‘laws’.
- Artha which means ‘wealth’.
- Kama which means ‘desire or pleasure’.
They are based on ancient Dharmasutra manuscripts, from the Vedic tradition which was written by the Brahmins. Manu-smriti in Sanskrit which means “Laws of Manu” are also called Manava-dharma-shastra , traditionally the most authoritative of the books of the Hindus in India.
Kanun law of the Arabs
Qanun is an Arabic word which means ‘dynastic law’. It is established by Muslim sovereigns, in particular the body of administrative, economic and criminal law promulgated by Ottoman sultans, in contrast to sharia, the body of law elaborated by Muslim jurists. The kanun law in the Muslim World was formed in the thirteenth century borrowed from the Mongol Empire in the aftermath of their invasions. The 10th sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman was known in the Ottoman Empire as Suleiman Kanuni ("the Lawgiver"), due to his code of laws.
Law of Torah
The word Torah in Hebrew means 'to guide' or 'to teach'. The term Torah includes both Rabbinic Judaism's written law and Oral Law which encompasses the entire Jewish religious teachings, including the Mishnah, the Talmud. Torah is often restricted to signify the first five books of the Hebrew Bible the Old Testament, also called the Law or the Pentateuch, in Christianity, traditionally ascribed to Moses in the revelation of God on Mount Sinai.
Ma’at personified justice in the Ancient Egypt. It represented the seven principles pf Truth, Balance, Cosmic order, Harmony, Righteousness, Morality and Justice. The goddess of Justice Ma’at was also considered the wife of God of wisdom, Thoth.
Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, spanning over a period of thousand years of jurisprudence, from the Twelve Tables (c. 449 BC), to the Corpus Juris Civilis (AD 529) ordered by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I. Roman law forms the basic framework for civil law, the most widely used legal system even today. The historical importance of Roman law is reflected by the continued use of Latin legal terminology in many legal systems influenced including the common law. Emperor Justinian formed a commission of jurists to compile all existing Roman law into one body, which would serve to convey the historical tradition, culture, and language of Roman law throughout the empire.
Taiho code of Japan
Taiho Code of Japan is the first code of ancient Japan. The word ‘Taiho’ means ‘great precious’. The Taiho Code went into effect in 702 was the first officially promulgated set of legal codes which contained both penal and administrative laws. Taiho code lays down rules on the administrative and penal code of the Taiho era early in the Nara period, modelled on the codes of the Chinese Tang code.
Tang code of ancient China
Tang code is one of the ancient law codes of China. It gave more importance to State power and Imperial power. Written in 653 A.D. It lays complete provisions in social developments, country’s politics, economy, and culture. The text of the code itself is attributed to Zhangsun Wuji (d. 659 CE).
The code of Hammurabi
The Code of Hammurabi (c. 1755–1750 BC) is the longest, best-organised, and best-preserved legal text from the ancient Near East. It is written in the Old Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, written by King Hammurabi, sixth king of the First Dynasty of Babylon. The retaliatory justice ‘eye for an eye’ is attributed to this book of codes. The codes have served as a model for establishing justice in other cultures and are believed to have influenced laws established by Hebrew scribes, including those in the Book of Exodus. The principal (and only considerable) source of the Code of Hammurabi is the stela discovered at Susa in 1901 by the French Orientalist Jean-Vincent Scheil and now preserved in the Louvre.
The code of Ur-Nammu
The Code of Ur-Nammu (c. 2100-2050 BCE) is the oldest extant law code in the world written by the Sumerian king Ur-Nammu. He inscripts that the power of religious beliefs affects personal behaviour and so presented his laws as having been received from the gods. The King is supreme and he made ensure people obeyed him and he is the only administrator and the violations of the code makes them unanswerable only to his divine will.
The Mayan laws started around 250 A.D. The laws that governed the various Maya states were issued by the halach uinic,( the supreme ruler) and his council. The batabs ( the local chief) were responsible for carrying out these laws and serving as administrators to smaller towns and cities. Batabs also served as judges for their towns and adjudicated civil and criminal cases.
Gulathing Law- Norway
Gulathing law was one of the first Norwegian legislative assemblies and also the name of a present-day law court of western Norway. The practice of periodic regional assemblies predates recorded history, and was firmly established at the time of the unification of Norway into a single kingdom (900–1030). They functioned as judicial and legislative bodies, resolving disputes and establishing laws.
Ancient Russian Law
Rus' Law or Old Russian Law was a legal system in Kievan Rus' (since the 9th century to 14th century), in later Old Rus' states in Grand Duchy of Lithuania and in Moscow. Its main sources were Old Slavic customary law and Zakon Russkiy (Law of Rus'), which was partly written in Rus'–Byzantine Treaties. In addition to the Rus' state, Old Rus' law also operated in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from the 13th century. Yaroslav's Pravda of the beginning of the 11th century was the first written law in Rus.
Scanian law is the oldest Danish provincial law and one of the first Nordic provincial laws to be written down. The Scanian Law manuscripts are collections of the customary law practiced in the land. They are records of existing legal codes that addressed issues such as heritage, property rights, use of common land, farming and fishing rights, marriage, murder, rape, vandalism and the role of different authorities. Besides provisions reflecting older customs, the manuscripts contain law provisions that demonstrate the growing influence of the Crown in Denmark. The Scanian Law was assumed to be set between 1202 and 1216. It was used in the geographic region of Danish Skåneland, which at the time included Scania, Halland, Blekinge and island of Bornholm.