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The Question:

I'm writing a research paper on Roman law and government, and I need information on the Twelve Tables. Can you help me?

The Answer:

The Twelve Tables were writing tablets that contained the Romans' earliest attempt to create a code of law in order to protect the civil rights of the privileged patricians and the commoners.

The laws promoted public prosecution of crimes and introduced a system where injured parties could seek just compensation in civil disputes. It is believed that these tables were made of bronze around 450 B.C.E. but were probably destroyed during an invasion in 387 B.C.E.

These laws helped establish the foundation for all of today's Western civil and criminal law.

—The Editors


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