Scotland has a special claim for the attention of comparative lawyers, oflegal historians, and of those who seek to identify a common core in Europeanprivate law or to develop a new jus commune. For Scotland stands at theintersection of the two great traditions of European law--of the law of Rome,received and developed in Continental Europe, and of the law which originated inEngland but was exported throughout the British Empire. In Scotland, uniquelyin Europe, there is to be found a fusion of the civil law and the common law. Law in Scotland has a long history, uninterrupted either by revolution or bycodification. It is rich in source material, both printed and archival. Yethitherto the history of legal doctrine has been relatively neglected. This workis the first detailed and systematic study in the field of private law. Itsmethod is to take key topics from the law of obligations and the law of propertyand to trace their development from earliest times to the present day. Afascinating picture emerges. The reception of civil law was slow but profound,beginning in the medieval period and continuing until the eighteenth century.Canon law was also influential. This was flanked by two receptions fromEngland, of Anglo-Norman feudalism in the twelfth century and beyond, and, moreenduringly, of aspects of English common law in the nineteenth and twentiethcenturies. In addition there was much that was home-grown. Over time thisdisparate mixture was transformed by legal science into a coherent whole.