No wrong is more early recognized in the primitive state of the law than the wrongful application of force to the person. A large portion of every early code is occupied with provisions for the punishment of, or atonement for, such wrongs. The early connection between this species of torts and criminal law has been so often referred to in the previous chapters of this volume and under the subject of Legal History, as to render further discussion at this time unnecessary.

The various forms of trespass against the person will now be considered. The two most important species of this kind of trespass are assault and battery, and false imprisonment.