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Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome, and the legal developments comprising more than a thousand years of jurisprudence from the Twelve Tables (c. 439 BC) to the Corpus Juris Civilis (AD 529) ordered by the emperor Justinian I. The historical importance of Roman law is reflected by the continued use of Latin legal terminology in legal systems influenced by it.

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Justinian was known as the last Roman emperor; he and his court still spoke Latin, wanted to restore the old Roman Empire by reclaiming its lost lands, and neatly organized Roman law in one book, the Corpus Juris Civilis. This symbol stands for Senatus Publisque Romanus, The Senate and People of Rome.

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#Provenance help! Does anyone recognise these arms on a 16th c. binding on a 1576 Corpus Juris Civilis from Paris.

The Twelve Tables and the Corpus Juris Civilis - Subpoena, habeas corpus, pro bono, affidavit—all these terms derive from the Roman legal system, which dominated Western law and government for centuries.