Civil law's very name indicates where it started. Called
Latin: jus civile is was the civil law during the
Roman Republic and the later
 It started in the
2nd century BC. By the end of the Republic, about 27
BC, a number of
experts in the law called jurists (not to be confused with
 They were mostly members of the
upper classes. Jurists provided their services to counsel people and advise judges who presided over trials.
 An important feature of
Roman law was it did not depend on
legal precedent by earlier cases but on the facts and merits of the current case.
Justinian compiled the
Corpus Juris Civilis, a simplified code of Roman laws.
 It was used by the
medieval Church based much of its
Canon law on Roman law.
Germanic law, known as leges barbarorum, written between the
9th centuries borrows from the Roman civil law.
Civil law developed in Europe during the
middle age, about the same time common law developed in
 During the
Renaissance, England's common law system borrowed from civil law.
 While the common law was the
traditional law system in England by this time,
Equity is based on civil law.
 Other features were borrowed and used in
maritime law and in
Napoleonic Code, which borrowed much from Roman law, influenced many of the legal systems in Europe and was the foundation for
Prussian civil law.