Construction Law: The Historical Perspective

Pages1-15
Const ruct ionL aw: Th eHi stori calPe rspec tive 1
1.01  in troD uCt ion
A. Constr uction in the Ancient Wo rld
For more than 4,500 years, from primitive Mesopotamian re-brick and early
Egyptian cut-stone construction to the extraordinary structures of the modern-
built environment, construction has been a hallmark of the advancement of
human civilization.1 Ever since mankind  rst promulgated rudimentary prin-
ciples of law to regulate human rights and obligations arising out of societal
Portions of this chapter are adapted from articles by the author published in THE JOURNAL OF THE
AMERICAN COLLEGE OF CONSTRUCTION LAWYERS and WILLIAM MITCHELL LAW REVIEW.
1. See Plutarch, PERICLES (75 AD):
That which gave most pleasure and ornament to the city of Athens, and the greatest
admiration and even astonishment to all strangers, and that which now is Greece’s
only evidence that the power she boasts of and of her ancient wealth are no romance
or idle story, was [Pericles’] construction of the public and sacred buildings.
See also 1 PHILIP L. BRUNER & PATRICK J. O’CONNOR, BRUNER & O’CONNOR ON CONSTRUCTION LAW § 1:1
(West Group 2002) [hereinafter BRUNER & O’CONNOR].
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Construction Law:
The Historical Perspective
PHI LIP L. BRUNER
C H A P T E R
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