National Geographic : 1957 Apr
LsI 455 S. . That Was the Forum, Seat of World Empire and Birthplace of Modern Law Eight columns mark the state treasury, known as the Temple of Saturn. Patrician statesmen decided the world's fate in the Curia, or senate house (half hidden by the arch), whose skeleton survived the Middle Ages as a church. Little remains of the Forum's courts, where Roman civil law evolved. Emperor Justinian's code in the sixth century reduced common usage to writing. American and most European legal systems are based upon Roman justice.