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Carnifex

(103 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The hangman, who in Roman society as in virtually every place and time fulfilled a despised function, to be performed beyond the pale of civic life. Execution of  capital punishment by the carnifices was supervised under the Roman Republic by the   tresviri capitales . Whether they were state slaves, as was generally supposed in the past, is entirely uncertain. In Cumae and Puteoli it was the independent undertakers, during the imperial age soldiers too, who fulfilled the duties of the carnifex. Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) Bibliography W. Kunkel, Staatsordnung …

Vindicta

(93 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] In the Roman legal procedure of legis actio sacramento in rem ('legal assertion of claim'): the staff that was symbolically applied to the slave or item of property in order to give concrete expression to the plaintiff’s claim and the defendant’s counterclaim to the item. The etymology of vindicta is disputed (cf. most recently [1. 47 f.12]). The most probable connection appears to be with vim dicere ('to assert that one has - legally founded - power over the item'). Rei vindicatio Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) Bibliography 1 A. Bürge, Römisches Privatrecht, 1999.

Caelibatus

(260 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The unmarried state ( caelibatus) was a significant object of social evaluation and legal regulation in Rome. In the Republican period, perhaps following early precursors as early as 403 BC (Val. Max. 2,9,1), the censor (102, not 131 BC) Q. Caecilius Metellus Numidicus spoke out against the unmarried state and childlessness in a speech to the people (Gell. NA 1,6). Augustus took this up, expressly to justify the lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus, in the first main piece of his legislation relating to marriage (18 BC) (Liv. 59). This law made it obliga…

Spado

(156 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The Latin term for a eunuch, but also for someone who is sterile without having been castrated ( castratio ; Ulp. Dig. 50,16,128). In Roman law, special family and inheritance rights applied to a spado: whereas we have a regulation from the 2nd cent. AD that, in general, allowed a spado to adopt (Gai. Inst. 1,103), under Justinian (6th cent. AD), a distinction was made: the earlier rule applies only to a natural s pado, not to a castrated person (Inst. Iust. 1,11,9). This corresponds to a  general trend against castration in Late Antiquity: permission to marry for a s pado, but …

Rescriptum

(223 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] (the 'reply letter') is one of the most important sources for Roman imperial law. In Gai. Inst. 1,5, the rescriptum is simply called epistula ('letter'), but classed as belonging to the constitutiones ('imperial laws'). Already in the Principate, the emperor received queries and proposals from officials and private persons on every matter imaginable. The emperor replied commensurate with the preparation in the chancellery ab epistulis with a rescriptum, a draft of which was archived. Starting with Hadrian (beginning of the 2nd cent. AD), the rescripta more and mo…

Translatio

(166 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] [1] see Status [1] A. see Status [1] A. Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) [German version] [2] Legal expression Translatio iuris ('transfer of rights') finds expression in the famous phrase: "A person cannot transfer to another person rights greater than those he has himself" (' nemo plus iuris transferre potest quam ipse habet', Ulp. Dig. 50,17,54). This formula from the early 3rd cent. AD reflects the concept in classical Roman law that subjective rights do not emerge anew in the person receiving them -- as was assumed in the ear…

Novellae

(881 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] A. Overview Novellae is the abbreviation for the Latin novellae leges (‘new laws’, also Greek nearaí diatáxeis). In general, it refers to the legislation of the emperors in Late Antiquity, enacted chronologically after the official collections of the Codices Theodosianus and Iustinianus ( codex II.C.). In a narrower sense, it refers to the novellae of Iustinianus [1], which in modern editions of the Corpus iuris constitute the fourth and last part of this 6th-cent. collection. In contrast to the other parts ( Institutiones Iustiniani, Digesta, Codex Iustinianus), h…

Confarreatio

(182 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] According to Gai. Inst. 1,112, the term confarreatio is based on the fact that during this religious act a farreus panis (a bread made of emmer but not spelt) was sacrificed by the bridal couple to Iuppiter farreusfar ). Apart from the   coemptio and a one-year valid duration of the marriage ( usus), the confarreatio was the third option of establishing the   manus (male power) over the wife. This effect was probably an ancillary result of the confarreatio while the highly festive conclusion of the marriage probably took centre stage in the ceremony. It…

Contractus

(352 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] In Gai. Inst. 3,88 contractus constitutes, with delicts, one of the two higher branches of the whole Roman law of obligations. This has led many analysts to translate contractus simply as ‘contracts’. Originally, however, contractus was really not limited to a commitment as a contract but actually meant literally only ‘to incur (an obligation)’. In the period of the principate contractus was indeed understood to be linked to an agreement ( consensus, conventio) (Dig. 2,14,1,3). Even then, however, not every agreement would necessarily lead to a contractus. As no co…

Signum

(297 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
(Literally 'sign', pl. signa). [German version] [1] (Name) see Supernomen (Name) see Supernomen Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) [German version] [2] (Military matters) see Ensigns; Signals (Military matters) see Ensigns; Signals Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) [German version] [3] Brand mark for slaves The brand mark by which the Romans identified slaves (Slavery). It was used to prevent escape and deter theft, and for criminals in general if they were condemned to work in the mines ( in metallum), thus becoming slaves. Those who had been branded in this manner could …

Iurgium

(94 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] A term in the Law of the Twelve Tables ( c. 450 BC,   Tabulae duodecim ). Its significance in legal history is still very disputed. Iurgium is a milder form of dispute than the litigation before court (  lis ); otherwise a general term for a dispute. It is conceivable that iurgium meant an out-of-court settlement, perhaps with the support of the pontifices. In the classical period (1st cent. BC - 3rd cent. AD) this form of resolution had long fallen out of use. Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) Bibliography M. Kaser, K. Hackl, Das röm. Zivilprozeßrecht, 21997, 58).

Divinatio

(235 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] Roman term for the procedure of allowing one of several litigants in a private case (  delatio nominis ) to appear before a public criminal court ( iudicium publicum); the origin of this term is unknown. What Gellius NA 2,4 has to say about the word expresses no confidence; it would therefore seem that its history was no longer known to Romans of the 2nd cent. AD. The employment of a religious term would indicate a very early origin. There is however no basis for a reconstruction. In [1] it is convincingly suggested to come from the old practice, at lea…

Iactus

(175 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The technical term in Roman law for ‘jettison’, the unloading of goods at sea from a ship in distress. The so-called lex Rhodia de iactu held that in these cases a community of endangerment of all involved existed: between the damaged party, the mariner ( nauta) and the owners of the salvaged load. In fact, this lex was a customary law throughout the Hellenistic world. Specifically, the damag…

Lending

(381 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] Handing an object to someone for use free of charge probably occurs in all societies every day. Legal conflicts hardly ever result from it. Many legal systems therefore manage without special regulations for these circumstances. It was probably generally the same in antiquity. Roman law, however, equally contains two institutions for the social phenomenon of the loan: the precarium (loan at request) and the commodatum, a binding contract by which the lender is obligated to hand over the object until the end of its usage or unti…

Libellus

(790 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] A. Libellus in civil actions Libellus (‘small document’) was, from around the mid 5th cent. AD, the technical term for the complaint in a Roman civil action, which by this time was less ponderously arranged than in the formerly customary procedures of the litis denuntiatio . The libellus contained the facts upon which the complaint was based, without detailed explanatory statements, and a motion to summon the respondent ( postulatio

Naturales liberi

(370 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] (also known as liberi naturales ). In Late Antiquity, ‘natural children’ were the issue of an illegitimate union ( concubinatus ). Compared to other children of illegitimate descent ( spurius ), they were privileged in many respects. Thus, the possibility of a legitimation, that is the eventual acquisition of the legal status of legitimate offspring ( legitimi), existed only for NL. In what was probably initially intended as an incentive to contract marriage with one's partner in concubinage, the parents' m…

Communio

(722 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
Joint ownership of an object in Roman law. [German version] A. Past history The most important circumstances that led to the formation of a communio entailed a community of purchasers ( societas quaestus) or a community of heirs. Regarding both, the communio did not gain acceptance until late, towards the end of the Republic. Before that, multiple heirs were joined in a community of ercto non cito (after erctum ciere: to make a division), as we know from the papyrus find of 1933, containing Gaius, Institutiones 3, 154a, b. It originally meant a community of property that excluded individual ownership by its members with the purpose o…

Capitatio

(111 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The poll-tax of the late Roman Imperial Age from Diocletian (AD 297). As capitatio plebeia, it was probably levied on the urban population. With regard to the taxation of the rural population, it is disputed whether the capitatio was raised independently or was -- as an indicator of income -- only an important unit in the calculation of the land-tax ( iugatio). Widows and orphans, soldiers and veterans were entirely or partly exempted from the capitatio.  Annona;  Iugum Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) Bibliography W. Goffart, Caput and Colonate: Towards a History of Late Roman Taxation, 1974 A. Cérati, Caractère annonaire et assiette de l'impot foncier au Bas-Empire, diss. 1968 Martino, WG, 466-478. …

Abortio

(196 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] also partus abactio, is  abortion in late Roman law. For a long time abortion in Rome was apparently not punishable, any more than it was in Greek law (  amblosis ). This was consistent with a legal system which even allowed abandonment of children. It is possible, though, that the censor made sure there was effective social control with regard to evident abuses. Not until a rescript of Sept. Severus and Caracalla (cf. Marcianus Dig. 47,11,4) was exile imposed …

Deportatio

(214 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] Banishment to an island or a desert oasis was a capital punishment in Roman law; in the Principate (at the latest from Trajan's time, soon after AD 100), it replaced the   aqua et igni interdictio , which had replaced the death penalty for upper-class citizens towards the end of the Republic. The aqua et igni interdictio and deportatio involved lifelong loss of citizenship rights and property. As the offender had not escaped penalty by voluntary flight into exile, banishment ─ generally to a quite specific location (Dig. 48,22,6,1) ─ became part of the verdict. As the literal meaning of deportatio implies, this usually meant tha…

Nuptiae

(178 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] (from nubere, ‘to cloak oneself, to put on a veil’) refers to marriage in Roman society (Marriage III.B.). A title of the Digesta (23,2: De ritu nuptiarum) with 68 fragments is devoted to wedding customs (III.). This indicates that Roman jurists gave close attention to the requirements for a legal marriage ( iustum matrimonium ). Since fulfilling the matrimonial requirements at the time of the nuptiae was of critical importance for legal recognition of the marriage, the term nuptiae eventually came to be used as a synonym for matrimonium in referring to …

Institutiones

(404 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The Roman jurists were probably the first who derived institutiones as a title for elementary textbooks from the term institutio (teaching course) in the 2nd cent. The significance of this Roman genre for European legal history extends far beyond what one might expect of ancient introductory didactic works: when the work of codifying Roman juristic law in the form of the  Digesta had advanced to a point that their success seemed certain, in AD 533 emperor Justinian commissioned his minister of justice  Tribonianus as well as the Byzantine l…

Notary

(88 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] ( notarius). In legal cultures favouring the written record of acts of law, a notary is needed as an officially appointed scribe. This function was held, in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt for example, by the agoranómoi , and in the Roman Imperial period and especially in Late Antiquity, the tabellio (documentary scribe). The Latin technical term notarius designates in Late Antiquity a senior official or officer with a special imperial mission, and also the secretary of the consistorium (as tribunus et notarius). Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)

Criminal procedure

(366 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] From a historical perspective it is only possible to speak of a criminal procedure (CP) in the technical sense if we can distinguish a field of criminal prosecution in the public (state) interest ( Punishment; Criminal law) from legal prosecution in the civil interest (including any civil law penalties, Lat.   poena ). The fact, for example, that private  revenge is channelled via the obligation to conduct a judicial procedure still does not constitute a CP: to protect public peace and state authority, only the …

Carmen famosum

(180 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The carmen famosum (CF) (according to Paulus, Sent. 5,4,6) or malum carmen (defamatory poem) is a criminal offence like the   occentatio placed beside each other in the Tabulae duodecim (8,1). It is possible that this crime was only barely comprehensible even for ancient writers (e.g. Cic. Rep. 4,12), particularly because of the extremely severe penalty for mere defamation: probably  death penalty. It was a matter of private punishment, though, so it was barely more than a legally p…

Litis contestatio

(653 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] A. Term In Roman legal language, lis is the expression for a dispute, in particular when it is taken to court. Litis contestatio (LC) thus refers to the ‘witnessing’ of such a dispute (Fest. p. 34,50 L.). The instigation of a claim (action) and defence (repudiation of action) in front of witnesses determined the course of a (civil) law suit. Until the predominance of the imperial cognitio procedure around AD 300, LC was the crucial point [1. 77] in the entire proceedings. Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) [German version] B. Legis actio procedure The necessity of summonin…

Vincula

(309 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] (literally 'chains'). In legal provisions as early as the Twelve Tablets (Tab. 3,3; Tabulae Duodecim ) a creditor could place a debtor in vincula for the purpose of legal enforcement. In this way a culpability was established. Initially its goal was to force the payment of a debt by the debtor himself or a third party, but was also a transitional stage in taking control, after the expiry of a deadline, of the person of the debtor in order to sell him e.g into slavery or to have him work off the amount he was convicted of in bonded labour. This former function of vincula is alluded t…

Contumacia

(299 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] Derived from contemnere (to despise; this meaning of the word survives today in the contempt of court of British law). In Roman law the contumacia meant above all the defendant's failure to obey a legal summons in the exercise of extraordinaria  cognitio . No similar use of the word contumacia is encountered before the introduction of this procedure in the Principate and of the contumacia, probably under Claudius. Admittedly a comparable function existed in earlier civil proceedings after the XII Tables (5th cent. BC) in a judge's ruling for o…

Verdict

(105 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] In Greek and Roman Antiquity, the verdict was determined entirely by the preceding complaint or charge, e.g. in Athens by dike [2] (civil complaint) and graphe [1] (criminal charge). For a verdict to be pronounced, there then remained nothing further to be established; it was merely a question of counting the votes of the deciding committee. The function of the ‘judge’ ( iudex ) in Roman law was essentially confined to hearing evidence. The legal judgement was anticipated by the admission of the complaint ( actio [2]), in particular by the praetor

Elogium

(352 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] [1] Roman honorary inscription for deceased men An honorary inscription placed by the Romans on the tombs of deceased men of rank, on statues and wax masks within buildings or on public places. Most of the elogia on public display were removed by the censors of 158 BC. Most extant material dates from the Imperial period, where it was at times employed in the exalted reconstruction of times long since past. This also applies to the most important and best known examples of elogia, i.e. the inscriptions on the marble statues of the Mars temple on the Forum Augustum. Augustus had them erected tog…

Querela non numeratae pecuniae

(189 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] 'Claim owing to failure to make monetary payment', in Roman law a development of the corresponding exception ( exceptio ). With this querela, the debtor could annul the validity of an abstract promise to pay ( stipulatio ), if he had entered into the stipulatio in the expectation of a loan payment, but the monetary payment had then not been made. The QNNP was, like the exceptio non numeratae pecuniae from the end of the 2nd cent. AD, among the easements accorded to debtors by the Roman emperors in the proceedings of the cognitio extraordinaria

Mores

(457 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The plural of mos ( mos maiorum , ‘custom of the ancestors’) describes an entire complex of normative requirements in Roman society. While the ideological value of tradition and conservatism stands in the foreground with the word mos, until the early Imperial period mores invoked in the first place a concrete system of norms and sanctions that is most clearly recognizable in the ‘moral jurisdiction’ ( regimen morum) of the censors ( censores ). The censor's reprimand ( nota censoria ) and the censor's harsh sanction of down-grading politica…

Manumission

(1,306 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] A. Early legal systems The manumission of slaves is not attested for all ancient legal systems. Thus the Mesopotamian statutes of Eshnunna and Hammurabi make no such stipulations [1. 161]. In Hittite law too, nothing is known of manumission. The existence of manumission is, however, assumed for Egypt, although categorisation of the unfree (or rather, not entirely free) ‘bondsmen’ as slaves as such is disputed [2. 147]. This circumstance suggests that the legal systems of Greece and Rome also did not know of manumission from their beginnings. …

Ius

(4,952 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
A. Historical Overview [German version] 1. Ius in ancient Rome Ius, the Roman expression for law, went through considerable changes during the thousand-year history of the Roman state. Ius was originally the criterion by which the permitted exercise of liberty, particularly the legitimate exercise of power (over people and things) was distinguished from the disruptive exercise of force ( vis). Ius in modern terminology was thus subjective law. It attested its legal character ‘by observing a generally known and practised ritual’ [1. 253] in the way it was…

Verbera

(152 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] (literally 'strokes, lashes'), e.g. with a stick ( ferula) or a whip ( flagella), were a means of punishment ( castigatio) in Rome. They occurred as an independent (police) punishment primarily for slaves and members of the lower classes ( humiliores, see Honestiores ) in the framework of the policing powers of the magistrates ( Coercitio ), in particular of the Tresviri [1] capitales in the Republican period, then of the emperor and his agents and of the provincial go…

Ampliatio

(130 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] An ampliatio (continuation of the case at another date) happened in Roman criminal proceedings if part of the jury (e.g. according to the l. Acilia it had to be a third) by special declaration or withdrawing of vote in the question of guilt made it clear that they did not yet regard the case as ripe for judgement ( non liquet). Ampliatio should be distinguished from   comperendinatio , legally prescribed in certain cases. Republican legislation had, it seemed, already tried to oppose the proliferating use of ampliatio by threatening fines against the…

Ignorantia

(193 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] An old Roman legal rule deals with ignorantia, also ignoratio (ignorance). According to Paulus (3rd cent. AD, Dig. 22,6,9 pr.) it reads: iuris ignorantia nocet, facti vero ignorantia non nocet (‘ignorance of the law is harmful, but not ignorance of the facts’). The preferred term since the Middle Ages is error. For the Romans error and ignorantia were probably synonymous. Error in law neither prevents responsibility for individual behaviour (under criminal and civil law), nor the effectiveness of the   consensus in legal transactions inter vivos or in declarations about legal transactions in case of death. However, the ignorantia facti usually results, same as the error of fact, in excusability of behaviour…

Petitio

(325 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The word petitio ('request') referred to a specific form of action used in the Roman formulary procedure ( formula ), for example for the actio (action), which arose out of a specific object or a specific sum of money (Dig. 12,1), or the action of the true heir against the possessor of an inheritance ( hereditatis petitio, Dig. 5,3; Cod. Iust. 3,31). Besides these, claims arising from the cognitio procedure ( cognitio ) were mostly referred to as petitio. A strong conceptual distinction between actio, petitio and persecutio (prosecution) did not exist in Roman legal…

Patria potestas

(908 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The PP, which continued to exist as paternal power in the German Civil Code was only replaced in Germany following an interim stage of parental power with effect from 1.1.1980 by paternal care, in Rome referred to the extensive right of control which the pater familias exerted over the family. Originally the PP, like the manus over the wife (Marriage III.C.), probably had no legal boundaries, but merely moral and religious ones. The transgression of these could, for example lead to a loss of honour or an exclusion from the nobility or the equites. In Imperial times the…

Condictio

(1,036 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] A. Type of suit in the ius civile Sentencing to a particular payment could be achieved with the   legis actio per condictionem after the 3rd cent. BC: certa pecunia based on a lex Silia, other certae res based on a lex Calpurnia (cf. Gai. Inst. 4,17 b-19). The condictio (‘announcement’) is merely a procedural designation: the court date was not granted immediately but only after the expiry of an ‘announced’ term of 30 days to allow the debtor the option of compliance without court procedure. The certum in this suit is, in the first place, a payback guarantee for an …

International law

(1,438 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] I. Overview International law (IL) was established as a field in its own right during the early modern period (especially by Hugo Grotius, 1583-1645). The term   ius (A.2.) gentium, which originated in Roman law, established itself as its name. However, in antiquity this term did not mean IL but those concepts of  law in general that were assumed to be common to all peoples. This also included principles that belong to IL in its …

Castigatio

(189 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] Expression describing an educational measure, as can be inferred from the meaning of the word ( castum agere, ‘to make pure’). The person carrying out the punishment is often excluded from liability for the consequences of castigatio upon the punished: thus the master punishing his apprentice (e.g. Dig. 9,2,5,3). The same goes for the paterfamilias with regard to his children and the master to his slaves (Dig. 7,1,23,1; 48,19,16,2). Castigatio as a policing or juridical measure is partly linked to such private authority-based relation…

Effractor

(68 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] In Roman law the thief who obtains his loot through break and entry. According to Dig. 47,18 he commits a criminal act that is prosecuted as a   crimen ( publicum). In the Republic it was still a civil offence. An escapee was called an effractor ( carceris) and was also prosecuted as the perpetrator of a crimen in a   cognitio extra ordinem . Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)

Gesta

(320 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] In the Republican period in Rome the records (also   commentarii ) that a magistrate made or had made regarding the orders decreed by him (  acta ). They were personally archived by the magistrate after the end of his period in office (Cic. Sull. 42). From the 3rd cent. AD the term gesta superseded the expression commentarii for the official records. Apart from gesta the word cottidiana occurs in the same sense . With this meaning gesta can be found in all levels of the administration of late antiquit…

Vidua

(16 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] Latin expression and Roman legal term for widow (II.). Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)

Orbi

(138 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] The childless who, according to Roman law dating from the time of Augustus, suffered certain legal penalties: to promote a higher birthrate, women who had many children benefited through the lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus and the lex Papia ( ius liberorum ), while on the flip-side childless people (men and women) were restricted in their capacity ( capacitas) to accept inheritances and legacies: what was left to orbi under a will, was halved (in the case of a surviving spouse reduced to a tenth). The remainder, known as the caducum (a lapsed inheritance), was awarded to other male heirs or legatees and their descendants, and where such individuals entitled to inherit were not present, it fell to the State (the aerari…

Iustitium

(117 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] In Rome the suspension of judicial activity generally ordered by a magistrate (the highest present in Rome) with an edict and associated with further restrictions of transactions, e.g. the closure of the state treasury (  aerarium , Cic. Har. resp. 55) or the stores in the Forum (Liv. 9,7,8). By the late Republic this order had to be preceded by a resolution of the Senate (Liv. 3,3,6). The iustitium was not solely an emergency measure but already in the Republican period could be caused by public mourning over a military defeat (Liv. 9,7,8) or the…

Modus

(303 words)

Author(s): Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] has two meanings in Roman law: one describing a ‘measure’ primarily of land, the other - according to the matter in hand - the same as the modern concept of an instruction (on a gift or testamentary benefit). M. agri (the land measure) was the subject of a well-known action from Paul. sent. 2,17,4  ( actio de modo agri): if the price of a piece of land was calculated according to its area, the purchaser could demand from the seller double the proportional price as a private penalty, if it transpired that th…
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