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The present essay deals with the question of harmonization of private law in Europe. The author gives an overview of the efforts of European states to unify private law, also underlining the results and shortcomings of these activities. He highlights the importance of Roman law in the unification of private law. The author mentions - inter alia - the role of Roman law in the development of the non-antique, "modern" natural law by referring to the term of Entzauberung der Welt by Max Weber. In addition, he analyzes the influence of the historical school of jurisprudence (Pandektistik) on the development of European private law. The study presents a short summary on the activity of the Academy of Pavia. The members of this Academy, among whom one may find experts of Roman law, Common Law and private law make efforts to codify the European law of contracts, which should be regarded as a great step towards a unified European private law.

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In the introductory part of his study the author deals with the main features of the comparative law related research during the first decades of the 19th century. He analyzes the various trends, the representatives of which deal with comparative law related research in this period. France can in particular be viewed as center of comparative law related research during the first half of the 19th century. The birth of comparative law in England is strongly linked with the Ancient Law of Sir Henry Sumner Maine published in 1861. Maine is the first in England to be endowed “ad personam” with the Chair of Comparative Law in Oxford in order to teach legal history and comparative law. It is undoubtedly the Roman law that stood in the focus of interest of Maine serving as basis to carry out comparative legal studies. That approach is in particular manifested in Ancient Law as Maine attributes paradigmatic significance to the various institutions of Roman law. The author of the paper draws in particular a comparison between Maine and Bachofen as far as their approach relating to the basis of comparison is concerned. The special role that Roman law, i.e. Civil law, played in the development of English law during the centuries is also underlined in this study. In the last part of his paper the author emphasizes the contemporary significance of Ancient Law for the comparative law related research.

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1. The Trend of Legal Humanism and Ancient Laws. 2. Natural Law and Research in the Relation of Laws of Antiquity

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Antik Tanulmányok
Authors: Zoltán Kádár, Zsuzsanna Csibra, Péter Mayer, László Takács, and Gábor Hamza

Gesztelyi Tamás: Antike Gemmen im Ungarischen Nationalmuseum. Budapest 2000. Barton, Tamsyn: Ancient Astrology. London 1994Parker, Victor: Untersuchungen zum Lelantischen Krieg und verwandten Problemen der frühgriechischen Geschichte. StuttgartSchubert, Christoph: Studien zum Nerobild in der Lateinischen Dichtung der Antike. Stuttgart und Leipzig 1998. Hausmaninger, H.-Selb, W: Römisches Privatrecht.Wien 2001.

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