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This account of civil law explores the Roman achievement as well as tracing how the contribution of the ancients was recognized and embraced during the intervening centuries by the various schools of civil and canon law, and also how the civilian tradition encompassed and absorbed many features from the legal arrangements of the Germanic world and other legal orders. The volume is designed to assist the reader who seeks an historical explanation of the similarities which exist among the civil law countries of contemporary Europe. It is not intended to furnish a narrative history of European civil law from ancient Rome to the present time. Instead, it focuses upon the development of those parts of the civilian legal heritage which are important to an understanding of contemporary civil law systems, while supplying sufficient information regarding the general history of the civilian tradition to make those developments comprehensible.