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One of the world's foremost scholars of Roman and comparative law here describes the nature of legal traditions and develops a general and coherent view of legal change.
In four chapters, Alan Watson analyzes a set of particular legal events and facts, demonstrates their significance beyond their imme diate context, and generalizes from them in order to construct a model of how law evolves.
His masterful discussions of Roman con tract law, customary law, and the reception of Roman law open out to a broader analysis of why and how law changes in mature or un derdeveloped systems or when two opposing legal systems-even of vastly different levels of sophistication and from different cultural roots-come into influential contact.