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Bonorum possessio

(105 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] In Roman law of succession the right to possession of a bequest, granted by the praetor. The bonorum possessor was not the heir by ius civile ( heres), but in certain cases could defend himself against inheritance actions by the heir (Gai. Inst. 3,35ff.). According to whether the praetor's opinion as to succession was based on statute, on the will itself or on special circumstances, distinctions were made between bonorum possessio intestati, secundum tabulas and contra tabulas.  Bona;  Succession, law of Manthe, Ulrich (Passau) Bibliography 1 H. Honsell, Th. Mayer…

Praeteritio

(171 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] ('passing-over'). According to Roman ius civile, all sui heredes (natural heirs) had to be mentioned in the will, either by being expressly appointed heirs or by being disinherited ( exheredatio ). Sons and postumi (posthumous children) of both genders could be effectively disinherited only when this done by name (nominatim), while for all others (daughters, wife in manu , grandchildren, etc.), disinheriting across the board sufficed ( inter ceteros). Omission ( praeteritio) of sons or postumi rendered the will and all its provisions null and void; if oth…

Sui heredes

(263 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] ('house heirs') in Roman law were the offspring subject to the power of the testator who, on his death, immediately became independent ( sui iuris) (Gai. Inst. 3,2-5), i.e. children, grandchildren, whose father predeceased them, etc., the uxor in manu ('wife in the manus', i.e. subject to the legal power of the husband), who was in inheritance law on an equal footing with a daughter of the house ( manus ), also adoptive and posthumous children ( postumus [2]), but not those released by emancipatio or from manus marriages. SH, immediately consequent upon the death of…

Abstentio

(134 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] According to Roman law sui heredes acquired the inheritance due to them on succession; if a suus had not yet outwardly shown that he wanted to keep the inheritance, the praetor permitted him to abstain from it ( se abstinere). In this case the suus was still the heres, but did not receive the inheritance and was not responsible for the debts of the estate; the next in line received the bonorum possessio. An extraneus did not need an abstentio; as he did not acquire the inheritance until he came into it, he could simply relinquish it, but also declare a disclaimer ( omittere). …

Heredium

(146 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] In the language of the XII Tables (7,3) the farmstead measuring two iugera (0.5 ha.; Plin. HN 19,4,50), consisting of a hortus (farm with garden, Paul Fest. 91,12 L.) and ager (agricultural land). Tradition has it that Romulus assigned to each citizen an inalienable heredium, which was passed on to the respective heir ( heres) (Varro Rust. 1,10,2); the XII Tables already allowed the entire property to be sold and inherited (6,1; 5,3), this therefore included the heredium. As a heredium was insufficient to sustain a large family with servants, Mommsen's assum…

Prodigus

(120 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] A prodigus ('spendthrift') was placed by the Twelve Tablets (7,4c) under the care ( cura) of their closest agnates ( agnatio ) who were to administer his wealth, so that their future right of inheritance (inheritance law III. C.; intestatus ) should not be at risk. In the classical law of the 1st-3rd cents. AD, a prodigus would be equated with a minor under the protection of a guardian ( tutela ); a cura prodigi was now also arranged not only in the interests of the agnates but also for the protection of the prodigus. Manthe, Ulrich (Passau) Bibliography 1 Honsell/Mayer-Maly/Se…

Postumus

(1,067 words)

Author(s): Steinbauer, Dieter (Regensburg) | Manthe, Ulrich (Passau) | Franke, Thomas (Bochum)
[German version] [1] Roman praenomen Roman praenomen , like other numerical praenomina (Quintus) given to a child according to the order of his birth; the adjective postumus ('last') refers to the birth 'after the father's death' (cf. P. [2]). The use of the name as a praenomen is evident in Rome up to the 3rd cent. BC, after that only as a cognomen . The wider geographical spread of * Postumo- as an Italic personal name can be concluded from its Etruscan derivative, where it led to the formation of a nomen gentile, Pustmi-na- (CIE 8715), the equivalent to the Roman Postumius. Steinbauer, Dieter…

Aditio hereditatis

(76 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] According to Roman law a suus heres acquired the inheritance left to him without any further action on his part, but an extraneus only on accession ( aditio). The aditio could take place by formal declaration of accession ( cretio) or by informal exercise of the will to accept ( pro herede gestio).  Succession, law of III B;  Abstentio Manthe, Ulrich (Passau) Bibliography 1 H. Honsell, Th. Mayer-Maly, W. Selb, Röm. Recht, 41987, 469 ff. 2 Kaser, RPR I, 715 ff.

Agnatio

(202 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] In Roman law the relationship between persons who are under the manus or patria potestas of the same pater familias or would be if he were still alive (in other words were descended from him in a purely male line, not interrupted by emancipation, Gai. Inst. 1,156). Those persons subjected to this power, who on the death of their pater familias immediately became free from power ( sui iuris), formed the narrower circle of the   sui heredes ; a particular group of agnati were the   consanguinei . The agnatic system was the basis of the civil right of intestate inheritance. Agnati pr…

Exheredatio

(241 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] Disinheritance. Archaic Roman law allowed the appointment of an inheritor in a will probably only when there was no suus heres (family heir). Later, it became possible to appoint one among several   sui heredes as an heir and to disinherit the rest. In the historical era there were no limits on the disinheritance of sui, but this had to be expressly stated in the will. Sons had to be disinherited by name, other sui (wife ─ uxor in manu ─, grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc. of both sexes) could be disinherited inter ceteros (as a group without stating their names); …

Cognatio

(162 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] According to Roman law, the kinship established by a blood relationship, which also applies to non-agnates; the degree was determined by the number of mediated procreations or births. The cognatio gained legal importance with the lex Cincia (204 BC): the cognati up to the 6th degree of relationship ( sobrini, great grandchildren from the same great-grandfather) were exempted from this law's ban on gifts. The lex Furia (beginning of the 2nd cent. BC) exempted these cognati from its restrictions, as well as in the 7th degree the children of sobrini. Later, the praetor g…
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