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Roman Law, Theory of Legal Systems and Private Law of Markets

Offered by

Sapienza Università di Roma

Fields of Study

Legal, Political, Economic and Statistical Sciences

Working Languages

Italian, English


Roman Law, Theory of Legal Systems and Private Law of Markets

Research Areas


The project is aimed at increasing individual researches of the participants in the field of the history of ancient societies and their legal systems. These concern principally the practices and theories of Roman jurisprudence, the experience of Roman law as case law, and the theories and ideals inspiring Roman jurists in their work. Through a better understanding of all aspects of these central elements of Roman achievements in jurisprudence and legal institutions, PhD candidates will develop a sound analysis of practical application of legal rules in legal process. On this regard of a large amount of researches in modern studies on Roman law have been produced, which are extended also to the problems concerning the relationship between legal development and political institutions. Only an effective understanding of auctoritas Principis can allow students to grasp the novelty of cognitiones extra ordinem. On the other side our students also need to reach a better understanding of the real meaning of Roman legal rules. The scientific project of this PhD is aimed at grasping the real nature of judicial processes and of the legal ideas in Roman experience. In the programme of studies and topics of the ‘dottorato’, students will be taught the methods of analysis of Roman legal texts, epigraphy, papirology, history of ancient religions, Greek law, Bizantine Law, and economic and social history. In this programme students will also focus on the development of legal theories in late Mediaeval and modern Europe. Particular attention will be given to the period of the ‘Umanesimo giuridico’, the school of natural rights and the XIX Century German scholarship under Savigny’s influence. These studies will provide young scholars with the tools for an effective comparative analysis between modern legal systems.


The curriculum in Theory of Legal Systems consists of two distinct routes deeply connected in terms of theoretic questions as regards the thematic system: a route concerning philosophy law and a route concerning canon and ecclesiastical law. As regards the first one, the expected preparation is highly valuable both generally and specifically as it aims at promoting the acquisition of highly relevant critical and scientific skills which are essential for research in the field of legal and political philosophy and, at the same time, of great interest in the practice of juridical professions that deal with problems involved in the reflection upon technical structural and theoretic reasons connected with juridical institutes.  The wide range of research areas addresses in the programme is one of the reasons of its high value, in that it allows the acquisition of the logical-argumentative methods and of the fundamental juridical-political categories that are the necessary prerequisite for critical approach in the field of law. The juridical character of complex societies asks of the juridical phenomenon in the making to satisfy the requests about those suitable topics that have new configuration: from the source of law to the topic of obligatoriness, from the juridical interpretation to the relation between legality and justice, just to name a few. The canonical and ecclesiastical law route aims at a closer examination of methodologies and scientific training in this disciplinary sector. During the three years into which the programme is divided, candidates must develop a research topic on a theme from those chosen with the assent and coordination of the professors of the course, in order to allow the young scholars to prepare a monographic study to be published at the end of the course, that can represents an original contribution to the scientific knowledge of the disciplinary sector.

The validity of the students’ research activities, developed within the disciplines of the programme, is dependent on their importance under the scientific profile, consisting in essays, notes and comments, worthy of publication. The young scholars are allowed the participate in meetings, conferences and lectures for further study of the inherent problems listed in the subjects. PhD students are tutored, over the course of their research, by the professors who are teaching the seminars and by the components of the professor's College.


The aim of the Doctorate is to provide students with a training in interdisciplinary research and to create highly qualified European professionals able to operate in the Law and Business fields. This specialisation helps students to develop an awareness of the current methodological trend of civil law as well as to thoroughly understand the main aspects of the theory of economic management; this is aimed at improving the knowledge and analytic and operative skills needed to face the complex issues set by teaching or professional practice. Graduates will be able to compete successfully as researchers (in both universities and research centres), economists and consultants (in public agencies or international organisations and institutions) and high-skilled professionals (in private companies both in Italy and in other countries). The course has an interdisciplinary approach and it is aimed at:
1) improving, organizing, increasing the evaluation of the existing skills for the research programme, as well as providing career training in the Law and Business fields;
2) fostering collaboration between the scientific and educational aspects, in order to promote a mutual and harmonized understanding of the research and post-graduate programmes, as well as developing new courses according to article 3, paragraph 9 of MD 509/99;
3) developing national and international partnerships;
4) encouraging private and public, as well as national and international investments. PhD activites will include research and cycles of specialised lectures and seminars.

PhD Full

Starting date:Nov 01, 2017
Duration:36 months

PhD Sandwich

Starting date: from Nov 01, 2017
Duration: from 3 to 12 months


Starting date: from Nov 01, 2017
Duration: from 3 to 12 months

Master research

Starting date: from Nov 01, 2017
Duration: from 3 to 6 months


Academic contact

Martina Vizzani

Institutional contact

Martina Vizzani