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Ignorantia
(193 words)

[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…

Cite this page
Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen), “Ignorantia”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 16 April 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e522830>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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