Bibliotheca historica, is a work of universal history by Diodorus Siculus. It consisted of forty books; the first six books are geographical in theme, describe the history and culture of Egypt, of Mesopotamia, India and Arabia, of North Africa, of Greece and Europe. In the next section, he recounts the history of the world starting with the Trojan War, down to the death of Alexander the Great; the last section concern the historical events from the successors of Alexander down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Caesar's Gallic War in 59 BC. He selected the name "Bibliotheca" in acknowledgement that he was assembling a composite work from many sources. Of the authors he drew from, some who have been identified include: Hecataeus of Abdera, Ctesias of Cnidus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Philistus, Timaeus and Posidonius. Diodorus' immense work has not survived intact; the rest exists only in fragments preserved in Photius and the excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The earliest date Diodorus mentions is his visit to Egypt in the 180th Olympiad.
This visit was marked by his witnessing an angry mob demand the death of a Roman citizen who had accidentally killed a cat, an animal sacred to the ancient Egyptians. The latest event Diodorus mentions is Octavian's vengeance on the city of Tauromenium, whose refusal to help him led to Octavian's naval defeat nearby in 36 BC. Diodorus shows no knowledge that Egypt became a Roman province—which transpired in 30 BC—so he published his completed work before that event. Diodorus asserts that he devoted thirty years to the composition of his history, that he undertook a number of dangerous journeys through Europe and Asia in prosecution of his historical researches. Modern critics have called this claim into question, noting several surprising mistakes that an eye-witness would not be expected to have made. In the Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus sets out to write a universal history, covering the entire world and all periods of time; each book opens with a table of its contents and a preface discussing the relevance of history, issues in the writing of history or the significance of the events discussed in that book.
These are now agreed to be Diodorus' own work. The degree to which the text that follows is derived from earlier historical works is debated; the first five books describe the history and culture of different regions, without attempting to determine the relative chronology of events. Diodorus expresses serious doubts that such chronology is possible for barbarian lands and the distant past; the resulting books have affinities with the genre of geography. Books six to ten, which covered the transition from mythical times to the archaic period, are entirely lost. By book ten he had taken up an annalistic structure, narrating all the events throughout the world in each year before moving on to the next one. Books eleven to twenty, which are intact and cover events between 480 BC and 302 BC, maintain this annalistic structure. Books twenty-one to forty, which brought the work down to Diodorus' own lifetime, terminating around 60 BC, are lost. Book one opens with a prologue on the work as a whole, arguing for the importance of history and universal history in particular.
The rest of the book is divided into two halves. In the first half he covers the development of civilisation in Egypt. A long discussion of the theories offered by different Greek scholars to explain the annual floods of the River Nile serves to showcase Diodorus' wide-reading. In the second half he presents the history of the country, its customs and religion, in a respectful tone, his main sources are believed to be Hecataeus of Agatharchides of Cnidus. This book has only a short prologue outlining its contents; the majority of the book is devoted to the history of the Assyrians, focussed on the mythical conquests of Ninus and Semiramis, the fall of the dynasty under the effeminate Sardanapallus, the origins of the Medes who overthrew them. This section is explicitly derived from the account of Ctesias of Cnidus; the rest of the book is devoted to describing the various other peoples of Asia. He first describes India, drawing on Megasthenes the Scythians of the Eurasian steppe, including the Amazons and the Hyperboreans) and Arabia Felix.
He finishes the book with an account of the traveller Iambulus' journey to a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, which appears to be based on a Hellenistic utopian novel. In this book, Diodorus describes the geography of North Africa including Ethiopia, the gold mines of Egypt, the Persian Gulf and Libya, where he sites mythical figures including the Gorgons, Amazons and Atlas. Based on the writings on Agatharchides, Diodorus describes gold mining in Egypt, with horrible working conditions: And those who have been condemned in this way—and they are a great multitude and are all bound in chains—work at their task unceasingly both by day and throughout the entire night... For no leniency or respite of any kind is given to any man, sick, or maimed, or aged, or in the case of a woman for her weakness, but all without exception are compelled by bl
In jurisdictions following the English common law system, equity is the body of law, developed in the English Court of Chancery and, now administered concurrently with the common law. For much of its history, the English common law was principally developed and administered in the central royal courts: the Court of King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Exchequer. Equity was the name given to the law, administered in the Court of Chancery; the Judicature Reforms in the 1870s effected a procedural fusion of the two bodies of law, ending their institutional separation. The reforms did not effect any substantive fusion, however. Judicial or academic reasoning which assumes the contrary has been described as a "fusion fallacy". Jurisdictions which have inherited the common law system differ in their current treatment of equity. Over the course of the twentieth century some common law systems began to place less emphasis on the historical or institutional origin of substantive legal rules. In England, New Zealand, Canada, equity remains a distinct body of law.
Modern equity includes, among other things: The law relating to express and constructive trusts. The latter part of the twentieth century saw increased debate over the utility of treating equity as a separate body of law; these debates were labelled the "fusion wars". A particular flashpoint in this debate centred on the concept of unjust enrichment and whether areas of law traditionally regarded as equitable could be rationalised as part of a single body of law known as the law of unjust enrichment. After the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century, royal justice came to be administered in three central courts: the Court of King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Exchequer; the common law developed in these royal courts. To commence litigation in these royal courts, it was necessary to fit one's claim within a form of action; the plaintiff would purchase a writ in the Chancery, the head of, the Lord Chancellor. If the law provided no remedy, litigants could sometimes appeal directly to the King.
The King would delegate resolution of these petitions to the King's Council. These petitions were delegated to the Lord Chancellor himself. In the early history of the United States, common law was viewed as a birthright. Both the individual states and the federal government supported common law after the American Revolution. U. S. courts draw on decisions of English courts, individual state courts, federal courts in formulating common law. By the 14th century it appears that Chancery was operating as a court, affording remedies for which the strict procedures of the common law worked injustice or provided no remedy to a deserving plaintiff. Chancellors had theological and clerical training and were well versed in Roman law and canon law. By the 15th century the judicial power of Chancery was recognised. Equity, as a body of rules, varied from Chancellor until the end of the 16th century. After the end of the 17th century, only lawyers were appointed to the office of Chancellor. Over time, Equity developed a system of precedent much like its common-law cousin.
One area in which the Court of Chancery assumed a vital role was the enforcement of uses, a role that the rigid framework of land law could not accommodate. This role gave rise to the basic distinction between equitable interests, it was early provided that, in seeking to remove one who wrongfully entered another's land with force and arms, a person could allege disseisin and demand a writ of entry. That writ gave him the written right to re-enter his own land and established this right under the protection of the Crown if need be, whence its value. In 1253, to prevent judges from inventing new writs, Parliament provided that the power to issue writs would thereafter be transferred to judges only one writ at a time, in a "writ for right" package known as a form of action. However, because it was limited to enumerated writs for enumerated rights and wrongs, the writ system sometimes produced unjust results, thus though the King's Bench might have jurisdiction over a case and might have the power to issue the perfect writ, the plaintiff might still not have a case if there was not a single form of action combining them.
Therefore, lacking a legal remedy, the plaintiff's only option would be petitioning the King. People began petitioning the King for relief against unfair judgments, as the number of petitioners grew, so the King delegated the task of hearing petitions to the Lord Chancellor; as the early Chancellors lacked formal legal training and showed little regard for precedent, their decisions were widely diverse. In 1529, a lawyer, Sir Thomas More, was appointed as Chancellor. After this time, all future Chancellors were lawyers. Beginning around 1557, records of proceedings in the Courts of Chancery were kept and several equitable doctrines developed. Criticisms continued, the most famous being 17th-century jurist John Selden's aphorism:Equity is a roguish thing: for law we have a measure, know what to trust to. One Chancellor has a long foot, another a short foot, a third an indifferent foot:'tis the same thing in a Chancellor's conscience. A criticis
Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process; the formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people. A general distinction can be made between civil law jurisdictions, in which a legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, common law systems, where judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law.
Religious laws played a significant role in settling of secular matters, is still used in some religious communities. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most used religious law, is used as the primary legal system in some countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia; the adjudication of the law is divided into two main areas. Criminal law deals with conduct, considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law deals with the resolution of lawsuits between individuals and/or organizations. Law provides a source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, economic analysis and sociology. Law raises important and complex issues concerning equality and justice. Numerous definitions of law have been put forward over the centuries; the Third New International Dictionary from Merriam-Webster defines law as: "Law is a binding custom or practice of a community. The Dictionary of the History of Ideas published by Scribner's in 1973 defined the concept of law accordingly as: "A legal system is the most explicit, institutionalized, complex mode of regulating human conduct.
At the same time, it plays only one part in the congeries of rules which influence behavior, for social and moral rules of a less institutionalized kind are of great importance." There have been several attempts to produce "a universally acceptable definition of law". In 1972, one source indicated. McCoubrey and White said that the question "what is law?" has no simple answer. Glanville Williams said that the meaning of the word "law" depends on the context in which that word is used, he said that, for example, "early customary law" and "municipal law" were contexts where the word "law" had two different and irreconcilable meanings. Thurman Arnold said that it is obvious that it is impossible to define the word "law" and that it is equally obvious that the struggle to define that word should not be abandoned, it is possible to take the view that there is no need to define the word "law". The history of law links to the development of civilization. Ancient Egyptian law, dating as far back as 3000 BC, contained a civil code, broken into twelve books.
It was based on the concept of Ma'at, characterised by tradition, rhetorical speech, social equality and impartiality. By the 22nd century BC, the ancient Sumerian ruler Ur-Nammu had formulated the first law code, which consisted of casuistic statements. Around 1760 BC, King Hammurabi further developed Babylonian law, by codifying and inscribing it in stone. Hammurabi placed several copies of his law code throughout the kingdom of Babylon as stelae, for the entire public to see; the most intact copy of these stelae was discovered in the 19th century by British Assyriologists, has since been transliterated and translated into various languages, including English, Italian and French. The Old Testament dates back to 1280 BC and takes the form of moral imperatives as recommendations for a good society; the small Greek city-state, ancient Athens, from about the 8th century BC was the first society to be based on broad inclusion of its citizenry, excluding women and the slave class. However, Athens had no legal science or single word for "law", relying instead on the three-way distinction between divine law, human decree and custom.
Yet Ancient Greek law contained major constitutional innovations in the development of democracy. Roman law was influenced by Greek philosophy, but its detailed rules were developed by professional jurists and were sophisticated. Over the centuries between the rise and decline of the Roman Empire, law was adapted to cope with the changing social situations and underwent major codification under Theodosius II and Justinian I. Although codes were replaced by custom and case law during the Dark Ages, Roman law was rediscovered around the 11th century when medieval legal scholars began to research Roman codes and adapt their concepts. Latin legal maxims were compiled for guidance. In medieval England, royal
A deed is any legal instrument in writing which passes, affirms or confirms an interest, right, or property and, signed, delivered, in some jurisdictions, sealed. It is associated with transferring title to property; the deed has a greater presumption of validity and is less rebuttable than an instrument signed by the party to the deed. A deed can be bilateral. Deeds include conveyances, licenses, patents and conditionally powers of attorney if executed as deeds; the deed is the modern descendant of the medieval charter, delivery is thought to symbolically replace the ancient ceremony of livery of seisin. The traditional phrase signed and delivered refers to the practice of seals. Agreements under seal are called contracts by deed or specialty. In some jurisdictions, specialties have a liability limitation period of double that of a simple contract and allow for a third party beneficiary to enforce an undertaking in the deed, thereby overcoming the doctrine of privity. Specialties, as a form of contract, are bilateral and can therefore be distinguished from covenants, being under seal, are unilateral promises.
At common law, to be valid and enforceable, a deed must meet several requirements: It must state on its face that it is a deed, using wording like "This Deed..." or "executed as a deed". It must indicate that the instrument itself conveys some thing to someone; the grantor must have the legal ability to grant the thing or privilege, the grantee must have the legal capacity to receive it. It must be executed by the grantor in presence of the prescribed number of witnesses, known as instrumentary witnesses. In some jurisdictions, a seal must be affixed to it. Affixing seals made persons parties to the deed and signatures optional, but seals are now outdated in most jurisdictions, so the signatures of the grantor and witnesses are primary, it must be delivered to and, in some jurisdictions, accepted by the grantee. Conditions attached to the acceptance of a deed are known as covenants. A deed indented or indenture is one executed in two or more parts according to the number of parties, which were separated by cutting in a curved or indented line known as the chirograph.
A deed poll is one executed in one part, by one party, having the edge polled or cut and includes simple grants and appointments. In the transfer of real estate, a deed conveys ownership from the old owner to the new owner, can include various warranties; the precise name and nature of these warranties differ by jurisdiction. However, the basic differences between them is the degree to which the grantor warrants the title; the grantor may give a general warranty of title against any claims, or the warranty may be limited to only claims which occurred after the grantor obtained the real estate. The latter type of deed is known as a special warranty deed. While a general warranty deed was used for residential real estate sales and transfers, special warranty deeds are becoming more common and are more used in commercial transactions. A third type of deed, known as a bargain and sale deed, implies that the grantor has the right to convey title but makes no warranties against encumbrances; this type of deed is most used by court officials or fiduciaries that hold the property by force of law rather than title, such as properties seized for unpaid taxes and sold at sheriff's sale, or an executor.
A so-called quitclaim deed is not a deed at all—it is an estoppel disclaiming rights of the person signing it to property. In some jurisdictions, a deed of trust is used as an alternative to a mortgage. A deed of trust is not used to transfer property directly, it is used in some states — California, for example — to transfer title to land to a “trustee” a trust or title company, which holds the title as security for a loan. When the loan is paid off, title is transferred to the borrower by recording a release of the obligation, the trustee's contingent ownership is extinguished. Otherwise, upon default, the trustee will liquidate the property with a new deed and offset the lender's loss with the proceeds. Deed of arrangement – document setting out an arrangement for a debtor to pay part or all outstanding debts, as an alternative to bankruptcy. Deed of assignment – document in which a debtor appoints a trustee to take charge of property to pay debts or wholly, as an alternative to bankruptcy.
Sanad spelt as sunnud, was a deed granted to the rulers of native princely states in British India confirming them in their ruling position in return for their allegiance to the British Raj. Since the extinction of the royal bloodline would be a ground for annexation of a principality by the British, some rulers were granted sanads of adoption. Devised as a reward for loyalty to British rule in India after the Indian rebellion of 1857, such deeds gave a ruler the right to adopt chosen heirs from local noble families in case of lack of direct issue. Among the rulers that were given sanads of adoption, Takht Singh, Jaswant Singh of Bharatpur, as well as the rulers of Nagod State, Samthar State and the Chaube Jagirs are worth mentioning; the main clauses of a deed of conveyance are: Premises Parties clause – sets out the names and descriptions of parties Recitals – narrates in chronol
Diodorus Siculus or Diodorus of Sicily was a Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica, much of which survives, between 60 and 30 BC, it is arranged in three parts. The first covers mythic history up to the destruction of Troy, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt and Arabia to Greece and Europe; the second covers the Trojan War to the death of Alexander the Great. The third covers the period to about 60 BC. Bibliotheca, meaning ` library', acknowledges. According to his own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily. With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about his life and doings beyond in his work. Only Jerome, in his Chronicon under the "year of Abraham 1968", writes, "Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of Greek history, became illustrious". However, his English translator, Charles Henry Oldfather, remarks on the "striking coincidence" that one of only two known Greek inscriptions from Agyrium is the tombstone of one "Diodorus, the son of Apollonius".
Diodorus' universal history, which he named Bibliotheca historica, was immense and consisted of 40 books, of which 1–5 and 11–20 survive: fragments of the lost books are preserved in Photius and the excerpts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. It was divided into three sections; the first six books treated the mythic history of the non-Hellenic and Hellenic tribes to the destruction of Troy and are geographical in theme, describe the history and culture of Ancient Egypt, of Mesopotamia, India and Arabia, of North Africa, of Greece and Europe. In the next section, he recounts the history of the world from the Trojan War down to the death of Alexander the Great; the last section concerns the historical events from the successors of Alexander down to either 60 BC or the beginning of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. He selected the name "Bibliotheca" in acknowledgment that he was assembling a composite work from many sources. Identified authors on whose works he drew include Hecataeus of Abdera, Ctesias of Cnidus, Theopompus, Hieronymus of Cardia, Duris of Samos, Philistus, Timaeus and Posidonius.
His account of gold mining in Nubia in eastern Egypt is one of the earliest extant texts on the topic, describes in vivid detail the use of slave labour in terrible working conditions. He gave an account of the Gauls: "The Gauls are terrifying in aspect and their voices are deep and altogether harsh, they are boasters and threateners and are fond of pompous language, yet they have sharp wits and are not without cleverness at learning." Pliny the Elder Strabo Acadine Ambaglio, Franca Landucci Gattinoni and Luigi Bravi. Diodoro Siculo: Biblioteca storica: commento storico: introduzione generale. Storia. Ricerche. Milano: V&P, 2008. X, 145 p. Buckley, Terry. Aspects of Greek History 750-323 BC: A Source-based Approach. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-09958-7. Lloyd, Alan B.. Herodotus, Book II. Leiden: Brill. Pp. Introduction. ISBN 90-04-04179-6. Siculus, Diodorus. H.. Library of History: Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. Siculus, Diodorus. Rhodomannus; the Historical Library of Diodorus the Sicilian in Fifteen Books to which are added the Fragments of Diodorus.
London: J. Davis. Downloadable via Google Books. Siculi, Diodori. Bibliothecae Historicae Libri Qui Supersunt: Nova Editio. Argentorati: Societas Bipontina. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Downloadable via Google Books. Clarke, Katherine. 1999. "Universal perspectives in Historiography." In The Limits of Historiography: Genre and Narrative in Ancient Historical Texts. Edited by Christina Shuttleworth Kraus, 249–279. Mnemosyne. Supplementum 191. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Hammond, Nicholas G. L. 1998. "Portents and Dreams in Diodorus’ Books 14–17." Greek and Byzantine Studies 39.4: 407–428. McQueen, Earl I. 1995. Diodorus Siculus; the Reign of Philip II: The Greek and Macedonian Narrative from Book XVI. A Companion. London: Bristol Classical Press. Muntz, Charles E. 2017. Diodorus Siculus and the World of the Late Roman Republic. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. Pfuntner, Laura. 2015. "Reading Diodorus through Photius: The Case of the Sicilian Slave Revolts." Greek and Byzantine Studies 55.1: 256–272. Rubincam, Catherine.
1987. "The Organization and Composition of Diodorus’ Bibliotheke." Échos du monde classique 31:313–328. Sacks, Kenneth S. 1990. Diodorus Siculus and the First Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press. Sinclair, Robert K. 1963. "Diodorus Siculus and the Writing of History." Proceedings of the African Classical Association 6:36–45. Stronk, Jan P. 2017. Semiramis’ Legacy; the History of Persia According to Diodorus of Sicily. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press. Sulimani, Iris. 2008. "Diodorus’ Source-Citations: A Turn in the Attitu
An ostracon is a piece of pottery broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In an archaeological or epigraphical context, ostraca refer to sherds or small pieces of stone that have writing scratched into them; these are considered to have been broken off before the writing was added. In Classical Athens, when the decision at hand was to banish or exile a certain member of society, citizen peers would cast their vote by writing the name of the person on the sherd of pottery. Anything with a smooth surface could be used as a writing surface. Discarded material, ostraca were cheap available and therefore used for writings of an ephemeral nature such as messages, receipts, students' exercises and notes: pottery sherds, limestone flakes, thin fragments of other stone types, etc. but limestone sherds, being flaky and of a lighter color, were most common. Ostraca were small, covered with just a few words or a small picture drawn in ink; the importance of ostraca for Egyptology is immense. The combination of their physical nature and the Egyptian climate have preserved texts, from the medical to the mundane, which in other cultures were lost.
These can serve as better witnesses of everyday life than literary treatises preserved in libraries. The many ostraca found at Deir el-Medina provide a compelling view into the medical workings of the New Kingdom; these ostraca have shown that, like other Egyptian communities, the workmen and inhabitants of Deir el-Medina received care through a combination of medical treatment and magic. The records at Deir el-Medina indicate some level of division, as records from the village note both a “physician” who saw patients and prescribed treatments, a “scorpion charmer” who specialized in magical cures for scorpion stings; the ostraca from Deir el-Medina differed in their circulation. Magical spells and remedies were distributed among the workmen. Written medical texts appear to have been much rarer, with only a handful of ostraca containing prescriptions, indicating that the trained physician mixed the more complicated remedies himself. There are several documents that show the writer sending for medical ingredients, but it is unknown whether these were sent according to a physician’s prescription, or to fulfill a home remedy.
From 1964–1971, Bryan Emery excavated at Saqqara in search of Imhotep's tomb. It was a pilgrim site, with as many as 1½ million ibis birds interred; this 2nd-century BC site contained extensive pottery debris from the site offerings of the pilgrims. Emery's excavations uncovered the "Dream Ostraca", created by a scribe named Hor of Sebennytos. A devotee of the god Thoth, he lived adjacent to Thoth's sanctuary at the entrance to the North Catacomb and worked as a "proto-therapist", advising and comforting clients, he transferred his divinely-inspired dreams onto ostraca. The Dream Ostraca are 65 Demotic texts written on limestone. Famous ostraca for Biblical archaeology have been found at: Arad, Israel, or Tel Arad Lachish Mesad Hashavyahu Ostraca House at Samaria Elah Fortress at Khirbet QeiyafaAdditionally, the lots drawn at Masada are believed to have been ostraca, some potsherds resembling the lots have been found. In October 2008, Israeli archaeologist, Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has discovered what he says to be the earliest known Hebrew text.
This text was written on an Ostracon shard. Carbon dating of the Ostracon and analysis of the pottery have dated the inscription to be about 1,000 years older than the Dead Sea Scrolls; the inscription has yet to be deciphered, some words, such as king and judge have been translated. The shard was found about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem at the Elah Fortress in Khirbet Qeiyafa, the earliest known fortified city of the biblical period of Israel; some Christian texts are preserved upon ostraca. In the late 19th century, 20 ostraca were found in Upper Egypt from the 7th century, written in Greek and Coptic; the ostraca are of different shapes. The more extant is Luke 22:40-71; the ostraca contain from 2 to 9 verses each, cover Matthew 27:31–32. There is one ostracon with the inscription "St. Peter the evangelist," an allusion to the Gospel of Peter. A Coptic Sa'idic ostracon preserves the Pericope Adulterae found in John 7:53-8:1, otherwise omitted in the Sa'idic New Testament. A Christian hymn to Mary, similar to the canticles of Luke, some Christian letters have been found.
Inscriptions on clay, wood and other hard materials, like papyri, are valuable as literary sources for Early Christianity. They are found chiefly in Oriental countries (i.e. east of Rome or Southwest
Environmental law known as environmental and natural resources law, is a collective address environmental pollution. A related but distinct set of regulatory regimes, now influenced by environmental legal principles, focus on the management of specific natural resources, such as forests, minerals, or fisheries. Other areas, such as environmental impact assessment, may not fit neatly into either category, but are nonetheless important components of environmental law. Early examples of legal enactments designed to consciously preserve the environment, for its own sake or human enjoyment, are found throughout history. In the common law, the primary protection was found in the law of nuisance, but this only allowed for private actions for damages or injunctions if there was harm to land, thus smells emanating from pig sties, strict liability against dumping rubbish, or damage from exploding dams. Private enforcement, was limited and found to be woefully inadequate to deal with major environmental threats threats to common resources.
During the "Great Stink" of 1858, the dumping of sewerage into the River Thames began to smell so ghastly in the summer heat that Parliament had to be evacuated. The Metropolitan Commission of Sewers Act 1848 had allowed the Metropolitan Commission for Sewers to close cesspits around the city in an attempt to "clean up" but this led people to pollute the river. In 19 days, Parliament passed a further Act to build the London sewerage system. London suffered from terrible air pollution, this culminated in the "Great Smog" of 1952, which in turn triggered its own legislative response: the Clean Air Act 1956; the basic regulatory structure was to set limits on emissions for households and business while an inspectorate would enforce compliance. Notwithstanding early analogues, the concept of "environmental law" as a separate and distinct body of law is a twentieth-century development; the recognition that the natural environment was fragile and in need of special legal protections, the translation of that recognition into legal structures, the development of those structures into a larger body of "environmental law," and the strong influence of environmental law on natural resource laws, did not occur until about the 1960s.
At that time, numerous influences - including a growing awareness of the unity and fragility of the biosphere. While the modern history of environmental law is one of continuing controversy, by the end of the twentieth century environmental law had been established as a component of the legal landscape in all developed nations of the world, many developing ones, the larger project of international law; these are studied in environmental studies Water quality laws govern the release of pollutants into water resources, including surface water, ground water, stored drinking water. Some water quality laws, such as drinking water regulations, may be designed with reference to human health. Many others, including restrictions on the alteration of the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of water resources, may reflect efforts to protect aquatic ecosystems more broadly. Regulatory efforts may include identifying and categorizing water pollutants, dictating acceptable pollutant concentrations in water resources, limiting pollutant discharges from effluent sources.
Regulatory areas include sewage treatment and disposal and agricultural waste water management, control of surface runoff from construction sites and urban environments. Waste management laws govern the transport, treatment and disposal of all manner of waste, including municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, nuclear waste, among many other types. Waste laws are designed to minimize or eliminate the uncontrolled dispersal of waste materials into the environment in a manner that may cause ecological or biological harm, include laws designed to reduce the generation of waste and promote or mandate waste recycling. Regulatory efforts include identifying and categorizing waste types and mandating transport, treatment and disposal practices. Environmental cleanup laws govern the removal of pollution or contaminants from environmental media such as soil, surface water, or ground water. Unlike pollution control laws, cleanup laws are designed to respond after-the-fact to environmental contamination, must define not only the necessary response actions, but the parties who may be responsible for undertaking such actions.
Regulatory requirements may include rules for emergency response, liability allocation, site assessment, remedial investigation, feasibility studies, remedial action, post-remedial monitoring, site reuse. Chemical safety laws govern the use of chemicals in human activities man-made chemicals in modern industrial applications; as contrasted with media-oriented environmental laws, chemical control laws seek to manage the pollutants themselves. Regulatory efforts include banning specific chemical constituents in consumer products, regulating pesticides. Environmental impact assessment is the assessment of the environmental consequences of a plan, program, or actual projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action. In this context, the term "environmental impac