General considerations concerning divorce in Roman law
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Roman law
Ancient Rome
classical law
Imperial legislation


Divorce was always a private act. It ended marriage and in the Republic and in earlier classic law the paterfamilias had the power to end by divorce the marriage of his child.  Moreover, in the relaxed morality of the Empire, this act became common. During the Christian era, the Roman legal rules which restricted the right to divorce drew near the Christian religious and moral doctrines, but Roman law never precluded entirely the possibility of divorce. Even Justinian considered marriage only a human bond created by human affection, which, by this reason, was always dissolutive. Although the unjustifiable exercise of the right of dissolving a marriage was at different times visited with more or less punishment, yet the right was never denied.

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