ABSTRACT: A widespread view, evident to be sure in a certain sector of American public opinion, sees Roman law as the main source of contemporary continental law, and as something that cannot be reconciled, or is even in direct confl ict with, the U.S. legal system. The author counters this impression with an approach consisting of two main lines of argument that in the end converge. First, he considers from an historical perspective the degree of penetration of Roman legal principles into English Common Law, which was later adopted in the United States. Second, he describes the trend which, from one side, has European Law increasingly emerging as a “court-based law”, and on the other, has U.S. law showing, in different ways, a greater preference for a more systematic organization of its rules and approach to their application. By way of these converging paths, the two legal systems are in the process of substantially modifying the homogeneous nature of their fundamental characters as legal systems, and are increasingly emphasizing the common qualities that Roman law can help develop further, in the context of a dialogue that is both balanced and productive.
KEY WORDS: Roman law, Common law, United States, US legal system.
SOMMARIO: 1. Diritto romano e Common Law – 2. Common Law e Civil Law: le radici comuni di una storia divisa – 3. Roman Law vs US’ Law?