The most significant example of ancient law is Roman law, which
influenced most of the legal systems of the world.
In the 8th century B.C. the law of Rome was still largely a blend of
custom and interpretation by magistrates of the will of the gods.
The threat of revolution led to one of the most significant
developments in the history of law: the Twelve Tables of Rome,
which were engraved on bronze tablets in the 5th century B.C.
They were largely a declaration of existing custom concerning such
matters as property, payment of debts, and appropriate
compensation or other remedies for damage to persons.
The Twelve Tables serve as a historical basis for the widespread
modern belief that fairness in law demands that it be in written
These tables and their Roman successors, including the Justinian
Code, led to civil-law codes that provide the main source of law in
much of modern Europe, South America, and elsewhere.
Napoleonic Code of 1804.