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Ancient Law

Ancient Law

Its Connection to the History of Early Society


Excerpt: omeric poems, the Latin dramatists, the laws of the Barbarians, the sacerdotal laws of the Hindus, the oracles of the Brehon caste, and the writings of the Roman jurists. In other words, he was a master of the Comparative Method. Few writers have thrown so much light on the development of the human mind in its social relations. We know now--a hundred disciples have followed in Maine's footsteps and applied his teaching--how slow is the growth of the human intellect in these matters, with what painful steps man learns to generalise, how convulsively he clings in the infancy of civilisation to the formal, the material, the realistic aspects of things, how late he develops such abstractions as "the State." In all this Maine first showed the way. As Sir Frederick Pollock has admirably put it--

Nowadays it may be said that "all have got the seed," but this is no justification for forgetting who first cleared and sowed the ground. We may till fields that the master left untouched, and one man will bring a be