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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Trade, Commerce and Society in the Roman Empire (LAWS10174)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course offers an introduction to the legal framework of national and international trade and commerce in the Roman Empire of the first three centuries CE. Using primary and secondary sources in translation, it will explore the main features of Roman commercial law within its historical, institutional and societal contexts. The course will focus primarily on the evolution of legal structures (agency, transport, the collection of taxes) with a view to assessing the ways in which the law facilitated the growth of the Roman economy.
Course description The course will focus on the development of the main features of Roman ¿commercial law¿. It will analyse Roman approaches to topics such as:

- Transport;
- Import and export duties;
- Taxes (regional and international);
- Agency;

This will be done against the backdrop of discussions surrounding the ancient economy and its main features.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Spaces on this course are allocated as part of the Law Honours Course Allocation process. Places are generally only available to students who must take Law courses. To request a space on this course, please email
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.

**Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.**
Priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Law School, and it is highly unlikely that there will be additional spaces for general exchange students & independent study abroad students to enrol; we will look into this on a case-by-case basis in September/January. Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space.

These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course will be assessed by 2 essays, one due in the middle of the course (30%), the other at the end of the course (70 %). Essay 1 will be 2,500 words maximum, essay 2 will be 3,500 words maximum.
Feedback Formative feedback ¿ on essay 1 - will be provided throughout the course to inform essay 2.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge and Sources of Law

    Demonstrate and/or work with:
    - Knowledge that covers and integrates most of the principal areas, features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of a subject discipline.
    - A critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles.
    - Detailed knowledge and understanding in one or more specialisms some of which is informed by or at the forefront of a subject/discipline.
    - Knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the subject/discipline is developed, including a range of established techniques of enquiry or research methodologies.
  2. Subject-specific Skills

    - Synthesis of complex information and ability to subject to informed critique
    - Offer professional level insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues.
    - Critically review and consolidate knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in a subject/discipline.
    - Interdisciplinary understandings of complex problems
  3. General Transferable Intellectual Skills

    - Demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with professional level issues.
    - Synthesis of complex information and ability to subject to informed critique
    - Make judgments where data/information is limited or comes from a range of sources.
  4. Key Personal Skills

    Knowledge and understanding as well as the practice of it, transferable cognitive skills, communication and ICT skills, autonomy, accountability and the ability to work with others.
  5. Subject-specific Legal and Ethical Values

    - Appreciation of the value of history in recreating the past and influencing the present.
    - Autonomy
    - Critical self-reflection
Reading List
Resource List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsTrade Commerce,Trade,Commerce,New Institutional Economics,Roman law,Law and Economics
Course organiserProf P Du Plessis
Tel: (0131 6)50 9701
Course secretaryMiss Lauren McCrory-Irving
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