“Did humanity make progress in how it ordered society from the time of the Roman Republic to the time of the Magna Carta?” Below are collections of laws from both the Roman Twelve Tables and the Magna Carta. For each section, begin by reviewing each Twelve Table. Then, read a similar law from the Magna Carta. Is it different? Does it show progress? Be sure to explain your answer and connect the Magna Carta to the Twelve Tables to show change.
Rome: Females should remain in guardianship even when they have attained their maturity.
Rome: If one has maimed a limb and does not compromise with the injured person, let there be retaliation. If one has broken a bone of a freeman with his hand or with a cudgel, let him pay a penalty of three hundred coins If he has broken the bone of a slave, let him have one hundred and fifty coins. If one is guilty of insult, the penalty shall be twenty-five coins.
Magna Carta: For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood. In the same way, a merchant shall be spared his merchandise, and a husbandman the implements of his husbandry, if they fall upon the mercy of a royal court. None of these fines shall be imposed except by the assessment on oath of reputable men of the neighbourhood.
Earls and barons shall be fined only by their equals, and in proportion to the gravity of their offence.
Magna Carta: No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.