cod. 07869

Academic year 2023/24
5° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Diritto romano e diritti dell'antichità (IUS/18)
Type of training activity
60 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The purpose of the course is twofold and complementary. On the one hand, it aims to make students more aware of the relationships between law and economics, from the point of view of the coincidences and differences that express the rationalities required in both fields. On the other hand, it aims to introduce students to the way of arguing of Roman jurists and to relate them to current legal thought.


Basic knowledge of roman and modern private law; adequate logical skills; reasoning skills

Course unit content

How do you build the trust of owners and investors in worlds like the Roman and modern ones, where credit and the circulation of money constitute a fundamental component of the economic cycle? How are law, economy and social balances coordinated to prevent the fear of default by the debtor from discouraging the granting of loans or the conclusion of other contracts? The study of the real guarantees constitutes a privileged terrain for observing some dynamics of private law. On the one hand, private autonomy (and therefore the market, in economic terms) is incessantly looking for legal solutions that allow individuals to maximize the value of their financial assets. On the other hand, it is up to the law (and jurists) not to accept these solutions unconditionally, but to guide their functioning in the light of values that go beyond simple economic profit.
The influence of economics on law, but at the same time the autonomy of law from economics, constitutes the background of the Course, in which the development of the Roman regime of pledge and mortgage is addressed from a historical perspective.
The students will be illustrated how extended is the concept of pledged asset in ancient Rome, which contractual schemes were developed to allow the assets given as guarantee to continue to produce value and, finally, according to which criteria the conflicts between interests between debtor and creditor, and creditors among themselves, were resolved.
Attending students will also delve into the recent legislative reform of the so-called. non-possessory pledge (L. 119/2016). Through short individual research, they will be asked to illustrate in class how a series of figures appeared in Roman law that the reform incorporated into contemporary commercial practice (floating charge, future property general pledge, pledge on future credits, Marciano pact).

Full programme


Attending students will prepare for the exam on the materials distributed and commented on in class.
Non-attending students will prepare for the exam by studying:
- P. Cerami – A. Petrucci, Diritto commerciale romano. Profilo storico, III edition, Giappichelli, Turin, 2010, pp. 1-294 (part IV = pp. 295-322 can be omitted).

Teaching methods

The lessons are based on the reading and commentary of translated texts of Roman jurisprudence (and to a lesser extent Latin literature).
Particular attention will be paid to the case study perspective, requiring the student to apply himself personally in the technique of resolving cases and adapting the general rules (substantive and procedural) to the concrete case. Participants will also be offered brief insights into the recent legislative reform of non-possessory pledges.

Assessment methods and criteria

For attending students, learning is assessed partly during the course and partly through a final oral exam. During the lessons, both the active participation of the student in the resolution of the cases discussed in class and the short individual research on the topics assigned by the teacher are taken into account. The final oral exam focuses on a selection of the cases analyzed during the course, chosen by the student.
For non-attending students, the exam consists of an oral test, which includes an adequate number of questions to evaluate the candidate's preparation. As part of it, knowledge and critical understanding of the contents of the adopted textbook are verified. The grade consists of the average of the marks assigned to each answer.

Other information