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Revista de derecho (Valdivia)

On-line version ISSN 0718-0950


AMUNATEGUI PERELLO*, Carlos. The Validity of Archaic Legislation. Comparative considerations about the Twelve Tables and the Leges Regiae. Rev. derecho (Valdivia) [online]. 2019, vol.32, n.2, pp.9-16. ISSN 0718-0950.

Tradition ascribes the first laws of Rome to mythical characters, as Romulus or Numa Pompilius, while the Twelve Tables, on the other hand, are attributed to another bunch of unlikely characters. While the first are the work of demigods, the second are the product of very earthly characters, and Appius Claudius’ own evilness is a central element to disregard the whole of the second decemvirate as fictional. The difference of status between both types of lawgivers is quite apparent. The eldest legislation is seen as a divine manifestation, while the second is the product of a criminal mind. The aim of this work is to explain this difference in status and put forward an explanation for the relation between lawgivers and legislation. Our central question will be, why did Romans needed to make their first lawgivers into gods, while during the Republic they were not only men, but felons.

Keywords : Leges regiae; Twelve Tables; validity.

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