Roman Law

Academic year
Subject Area
Historical Legal
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

Roman Law / 1st cycle studies.  

Teaching Methods

The seminar regimen will be adopted, encouraging students’ participation in the discussion of the syllabus subjects. In order to make the classes more fruitful, students will be previously provided with the indispensable theoretical framework and legal sources of Roman Law will be used, particularly Justinian’s «Digesta».

Learning Outcomes

The Roman Law course (of the 2nd cycle studies) aims to provide students with a strict knowledge, based on the sources, of the fundamental subjects of Roman Law of Obligations and of Roman Law of Property, in which the corresponding branches of the civil law of nowadays, privileged domains of the private law unification undertaken in European Union countries, have its roots.

Students must become aware that Law is a cultural and historical phenomenon, and be able to make an in-depth legal investigation, based on the sources, that takes into account the contribution of Roman Law to the genesis and the historical evolution of the legal institutions of our time.  

Work Placement(s)




I. The Roman Law of Obligations

1. 1. The Roman contractual system

1.1. Real contracts: loan; fiducia; deposit; commodatum; pledge

1.2. Consensual contracts: contract of sale; hire; partnership; mandate

1.3. Formal contracts: the stipulatio

1.4. Innominate contracts: barter; contract of estimation; precarium; transaction

1.5. Quasi contracts: negotiorum gestio; unjust enrichment (indebiti solutio)

2. Personal and real securities of obligations 

3. Reinforcement of obligations: arrhae; penalty clause

II. The Roman Law of Property

4. General notions

5. Possession – notion and elements; species; acquisition; maintenance; loss; defense

6. Ownership – concept and characteristics; content and limitations; forms of original acquisition; forms of derivative acquisition; protection

7. Rights over another’s property

7.1. Praedial servitudes

7.2. Usufruct

7.3. Other real rights of enjoyment

7.4. Real security rights: pledge; mortgage.   

Head Lecturer(s)

David Jorge Magalhães Marques

Assessment Methods

Research work: 100.0%


JUSTO, António dos Santos, Direito privado romano, II (Direito das Obrigações), 4.ª edição (Coimbra, 2011); e Direito privado romano, III (Direitos Reais) (Coimbra, 1997 – reimpressão: Coimbra, 2010);

CURA, António Alberto Vieira, «Fiducia cum creditore» (Aspectos Gerais), in Suplemento XXXIV do BFDUC (1991), págs. 1-285; Compra e venda e transferência da propriedade no direito romano clássico e justinianeu (A raiz do «sistema do título e do modo»), in Volume Comemorativo do 75.º Tomo do BFDUC (Coimbra, 2003), pág.s 69-112; e «Mora debitoris» no direito romano clássico (Lisboa, 2011).

ALVES, José Carlos Moreira, Direito Romano, 14.ª edição (S. Paulo, 2010).