This book is an important contribution to the current lively debate about the relationship between law and society in the Roman world. This debate, which was initiated by the work of John Crook in the 1960's, has had a profound impact upon the study of law and history and has created sharply divided opinions on the extent to which law may be said to be a product of the society that created it. This work is a modest attempt to provide a balanced assessment of the various points of view. The chapters within this book have been specifically arranged to represent the debate. It contains an introductory chapter by Alan Watson, whose views on the relationship between law and society have caused some controversy. In the remaining chapters a distinguished international group of scholars address this debate by focusing on studies of law and empire, codes and codification, death and economics, commerce and procedure. This book does not purport to provide a complete survey of Roman private law in light of Roman society. Its primary aim is to address specific areas of the law with a view to contributing to the larger debate.