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Articles (Law)

The Roman state existed in practice for XIII centuries, being the power which was impacting the history. Therefore, I decided that I would tell the history of ancient Rome in the articles below, which will not necessarily cover only the Eternal City.

I encourage you to send articles and point out any corrections or inaccuracies.

Stipulation in Roman law

In the Roman law there were many kinds of agreements and contracts which could be used to bind sides. There were real, consensual, literal and verbal contracts. Among the verbal contracts, which were carried out by saying strictly defined words in strictly defined situations, there was a promise of a dowry (dotis dictio) and freedmen’s oath (iusiurandum liberti) but the most important was the stipulatio.

Senatus consultum Silanianum – resolution authorizing torture of slaves whose owner was murdered

During the existence of the Republic, the Senate had mainly an advisory function. However, after Octavian Augustus took power in 27 BCE, the role of the Senate changed. Since then, this institution had a legislative function, and the adopted resolutions had the force of binding law and often rewarding the upper classes. The resolution of the Senate was called Senatus consultum. In 10 CE, one of the most brutal resolutions was adopted – Senatus consultum Silanianum.

Primary methods of ownership acquisition in ancient Rome

Apart from the derivative methods of transfer of ownership, requiring involvement from the previous owner (mancipation, in iure cessio, tradition), there were also primary methods recognised in the Roman law. Appropriation, accession, modification, acquisition of property from utilities, discovery of a treasure and usucaption all belong to this category. These methods were independent of the previous owner’s rights.

The notion and categories of things in ancient Rome

There used to be many categories a thing could belong to in the Roman law. The notion of thing itself was seen as very comprehensive and it contained both material things and various abstract concepts. A short description of the categories can help explain the extent of this notion and diversity of things in ancient Rome.

Transfer of property ownership in ancient Rome

Every Roman owner was entitled to transfer his title to the property, however for the actual transfer to occur there were separate legal procedures required between the transferor and the buyer. Apart from the agreement between the parties involved there was also needed a visible and obvious act of transferring the control over any given thing. These requirements were abolished in 293 CE with an emperor’s act in accordance with simplifying the property trading.

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