chapter  VII
18 Pages

THE IDEA OF CRIME

Penological investigations have proved that medieval jurists developed the sparse and shadowy Roman ideas on the subject of crime and punishment into fully-fledged theories.1 The Roman texts merely provided some undefined and ambiguously expressed penological ideas, these, moreover, being dispersed throughout the whole length of Justinian’s codification. It was through the efforts of the Post-Glossators that the elements constituting the concept of crime and the reasons justifying punishment of the criminal were systematically and scientifically investigated, the means of research at these jurists’ disposal, however, limiting and sometimes narrowing the field of their researches. Nevertheless, their investigations could have greatly profited by concurrent and preceding canonistic scholarship, particularly as regards the idea of ‘peccatum’, if the legists had, to any appreciable extent, availed themselves of the results achieved by their canonistic colleagues.