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Anatokismos

(65 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] Compound interest (from τόκος; tókos, interest). To Roman jurists (they speak of usurarum usurae) anatocismus was an over-harsh charge on the debtor (cf. Marcianus Dig. 22,1,29). Even Cicero (Att. 5,21,11), who, as governor of Cilicia, allowed claims for anatocismus, obviously felt under pressure to sub substantiate this with custom. In 529 Justinian forbade anatocismus (Cod. Iust. 4,32,28).  Interest Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)

Debitor

(327 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] The debitor had an obligation to pay what he owed to the   creditor . For the origin of such an obligation arising from a contract (  contractus ) or a prohibited act (  delictum ) see   obligatio . The creditor could make his claims against a tardy debtor (  mora ) by litigation at court ( Procedural law). If the creditor won or the debitor accepted his obligations, the ‘personal liability’ of the creditor came into effect (  nexum ). This, according to Gellius (20,1, especially 45ff.), might still have been taken literally in the law of t…

Adstipulator

(151 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] In contracting a debt by means of   stipulatio the creditor ( stipulator) could bring in a confidential agent as adstipulator, who by a renewed promise by the debtor was also accorded full creditor's rights, including the possibility of filing or waiving the claim, but who was bound by internal relationship to the instructions of the main creditor. In infringements of this obligation the adstipulator was responsible to the main creditor, originally under the   lex Aquilia (Chap. 2), in the classical period under   mandatum . According to the repo…

Fragmentum (fragmenta) de iure fisci

(215 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] Two parchment pages from the chapter library of Verona written in two columns in half-uncial ( writing) of the 5th/6th cents. AD. The text possibly dates from the 2nd or 3rd cents. AD. The upper edges of the pages are missing, and therefore the sequence of the pages is unclear. No one has yet convincingly succeeded in attributing the writings to a known author. No link with the text of the ‘Institutions’ by  Gaius [1] found in the same area is discernible. The subjects treated are the values, e.g. the bona caducaaerarium ), falling to the   fiscus , the duties of the advocati fi…

Auctoritas

(911 words)

Author(s): Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) | Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] I. General meaning Auctoritas refers to the ‘authorship’, ‘affirmation’ and ‘amplification’ of a thing and is derived from the meaning of the verb augere (‘to increase’) and especially from the verbal substantive auctor. In the legal life of Rome, the word designates various extraordinarily important institutions in the private and public spheres. Gizewski, Christian (Berlin) [German version] II. Public law In the Republic, auctoritas designates the sovereign position of the  Senate in constitutional law. The auctoritas senatus or auctoritas patrum is the …

Beneficium

(383 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] is a favourable exception. Distinctive kinds of beneficium, depending on the originator of the favour, are beneficia principis (Caesaris) [3], legis, senatus consulti, praetoris. Beneficia are usually general in nature and application, but may also be granted to a particular person. The emperor above all granted beneficia, for instance in the form of ownership of public land or immunity from taxation, to communities or individuals. Some cases of private legal privilege where the sources or theorists speak of beneficia are as follows: in the area of the law …

Causa

(587 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] The term causa (cause, motive, purpose, legal grounds) is often used to describe the circumstance which explains or justifies a situation. Thus Cicero goes into the question of whether every event can be traced back to a causa (Fat., in particular 34), concerns himself with the causa of a killing (Rosc. Am. 61) and the causa for the receipt of money (Q. Rosc. 40). Typical usages in legal language [1] are: The legal case itself is called causa, e.g. the famous causa Curiana, Q. Mucius  Scaevola (Cic. De or. 1,180) [4]. A dispute over money is a causa pecuniaria. The causas dicere,…

Edictum

(1,697 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna) | Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin) | Noethlichs, Karl Leo (Aachen) | Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen)
[German version] [1] Public announcement by magistrates Edictum (from edicere) is a binding public announcement by Roman office bearers (  magistratus ), which presented either concrete orders or a ‘governmental agenda’ [1. 58] for the coming term of office. The word suggests an originally oral announcement [2. 178], but the historically documented form is a recording on an   album (‘white wooden plate’) at the magistrate's office. Literary tradition refers to edicts by   consules ,   aediles ,   praetores , provincial governors, tribuni plebis (  tribunus ),   censores

Cautio

(574 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] (from cavere). A conditional promise of payment in the form of a   stipulatio , to secure a right. If this promise is linked to a pledge (  pignus ) or a  surety, then it is also called a   satisdatio . For Roman legal praxis, cautiones were a tried and tested means to anticipate future problems. By Roman procedural law, legal representatives could act only as independent parties to a case, so that the verdict was pronounced for or against them (Gai. Inst. 4,86). For this reason, if the defendant was represented, the plaintiff ensured by means of a cautio iudicatum solvi (Dig. 46,…

Excusatio

(226 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] often denotes a situation in which a certain behaviour that would usually result in punishment or require compensation, remains without consequences (e.g. Paulus Dig. 13,7,16,1). In legal terminology, excusatio is used in particular to denote the opportunity for someone chosen for a public office ( honos), someone affected by a burden in public interest (  munus ) and especially someone called to be a guardian (  tutela ) to excuse themselves with reference to their specific circumstances. Individual judgements by the responsib…

Decretum

(906 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] Ruling, decision, decree of an official authority (from decernere). Legal texts, in their own peculiar language which does not fully conform with modern conceptions, use decretum primarily in relation to the following organs of authority: 1. praetors and provincial governors; 2. emperors; 3. the Senate; 4. decurions; 5. priestly colleges; 6. the councils (in the Christian period). 1. Gai. Inst. 4,140 divided judicial decrees of the praetor into decreta and   interdicta , depending on whether the praetor positively ordered something,…

Creditor

(109 words)

Author(s): Willvonseder, Reinhard (Vienna)
[German version] Whoever is entitled to a claim from a relationship of debenture (  obligatio ) is a creditor. The obligated party is called the debtor,   debitor . According to Roman understanding, a creditor cannot simply transfer his rights without certain qualifications (  cessio ). The word creditor was often used in a succinct sense, referring to a creditor secured by  hypothecary law. This is the basis for the iure creditoris vendere (Dig. 17,1,59,4) concerning the sale of the seized items, in which the selling creditor rightfully excludes a guarantee in orde…