A Short History of Europe: From the Greeks and Romans to the by Antony Alcock (auth.)

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By Antony Alcock (auth.)

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However bad things were physically they need not affect one's soul. One should endure the bad things and give thanks that another world existed where all would be free and without pain. 14 As will be seen, these same arguments would be put forward by Martin Luther more than a thousand years later. Faced with this, there were two choices for the Christian. One was to plead that man was sinful and the flesh was weak, and to rely on divine grace, mechanically interpreted as being baptised and doing penance for one's misdeeds.

The barbarians had long Rome: Republic and Empire 31 been providing the army ~ Alaric's main opponent in the Balkans and Italy had been Stilicho, a Vandal (the Vandals were a Germanic tribe then in today's Hungary), so why should they not assume the real authority as well? For the one hundred and fifty years following the fall of Rome the migratory penetrations of the western Roman Empire continued. Some of them were spectacular. Mter sacking Rome the Visigoths left Italy and established themselves in south-western France and northern central Spain, setting up a kingdom of their own with their capital at Toulouse.

Roman law laid down court procedure, including the competency of tribunals, summonses (including penalties for noncompliance), the rule under which the plaintiff opens a case and the defendant speaks last, rules of evidence, rules for jury systems (including verdicts by majority, the right to challenge jurors, perjury, verdicts of guilty, not guilty, and non-proven, in which latter case there would have to be a new trial). Roman law laid down comprehensive family law. One was a minor up to the age of twenty-five.

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