The best way to understand certain aspects of Spanish colonial law, including the law of the family decedents´ estates, and the law of slavery, is to study the Roman law of these subjects. For this reason a short summary of some of the elements of the Corpus Juris Civilis are included. In other areas, such as structure and function, the CJS is not so helpful. Sources: The CJS is available in Latin and Spanish as Cuerpo de Derecho Civil Romano (six volumes) Editorial Lex Nova, Valladolid ( no date). The Digest Of Justinian is available, in English, in two volumes, Alan Watson, translator, The Digest of Justinian, University of Pennsylanvia Press, 1998. The Institutes are available as J.B. Moyle, translator, The Institutes of Justinian, IndyPublish.Com, Boston (no date). One of the best ways to understand the Institutes is to study, W.M Gordon and O.F. Robinson, The Institutes of Gaius, Duckworth Press, London, 1988. Three very good sources on Roman Law are: Hans Julius Wolff, Roman Law, An Historical Introduction, University of Oklahoma Press, 1987; Barry Nichols, An Introduction to Roman Law, Oxford University Press, 1975; and Bruce Frier and Thomas A.J. McGinn, A Casebook On Roman Law, Oxford University Press, 2004. Las Siete Partidas, is available from several sources. The sources used for this work is that issued by the Cortes de España en 1985, as an official publication. It is the facsimile of the Gregorio Lopez edition of 1555, the most authoritative version. The Partidas is also available in English translation, Samuel Parsons Scott, translator, and Robert I Burns, S.J, Las Siete Partidas, (five volumes) University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. The value of knowledge of Roman legal antecedents in understanding Spanish colonial law, particularly the law of the family and the law of decedents´ estates, is that, to the author, Book Four of the Partidas, which deals with the family, is close to being a well designed codification of classic Roman Family law. The law of slavery, also included in Book Four, is a streamlined version of the classic Roman Law of Slavery as found in the CJS.
DERECHO CIVIL ROMANO: Código de Justiniano
INDICE DEL TOMO SEGUNDO: Digesto de Justiniano
DERECHO CIVIL ROMANO: Indice alfabético de los títulos de la Instituta, del Digesto y del Código.