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Mortis causa capio

(120 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] In Roman law, any ‘acquisition mortis causa ’not based on succession or legacy (Inheritance law III. H.): (1) gift mortis causa ( donatio ); what someone (2) received in fulfilment of a condition of a will or (3) on the condition that a third party (not the executing party) would die, or in exchange (4) for waiving an acquisition under inheritance law or (5) for an application for provisional safeguarding of an estate in favour of an unborn child ( missio in possessionem ) (Dig. 39,6,38; 31 pr./2; 8 pr.; 12). Manthe, Ulrich (Passau) Bibliography Kaser, RPR 1, 765; 2, 567  P. Voci,…

Querela inofficiosi testamenti

(295 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] 'Complaint because of a testament contrary to duty'. If, according to Roman law, a next-of-kin of a testator was effectively disinherited (Succession, laws of, III. E) or bequeathed less than one quarter of his legal share of the inheritance ( intestatus), and if he had not received this quarter through a bequest ( legatum, fideicommissum) or donation moved by the consideration of death ( donatio mortis causa), he could go before the centumviri or use the cognitio extra ordinem to demand the annulment of the testament by QIT against the testament's benefici…


(797 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] In Roman law, the legacy (from legare: ‘to pronounce a binding declaration of will’, lex ). The possibility of bequeathing someone property through testamentary disposition ( Will) to the detriment of the heir was acknowledged in the XII Tables (5,3). There were two main types: 1) By legatum per vindicationem (arranged by: Titio hominem Stichum do lego, ‘to Titius I give and bequeathe the slave Stichus’) the legatee acquired the ownership of the bequeathed object directly with the succession and was able to claim this object from the h…


(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…


(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…


(767 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] The fideicommissum (literally: ‘entrusted to faith’), which from the 2nd cent. BC (Ter. Andr. 290-298) appeared alongside the legatum (legacy), was a request of the testator to an heir or legatee to pass on the inheritance in part or total to a third party. Since a fideicommissum was not subject to the same restrictions as the civil law of succession, it was used to make a bequest to a person who would otherwise not be eligible to be an heir or to receive a legacy (non-citizens; women according to the lex Voconia,  Laws of succession III. D.; the unmarried and the chil…

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…


(149 words)

Author(s): Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] In the mancipation will of Roman law ( Testament) the testator assigned his property by   mancipatio to a ‘purchaser of the family’ ( familiae emptor). The latter may possibly have acted as an executor in the archaic period but there is no reference to it in any of the sources [1. 108, 679; 3. 1014]. In Classical Roman law of the 1st-3rd cents. AD, execution of wills existed as a separate institution only in embryonic form: by   fideicommissum an heir or legatee might be obligated to release the estate or a portion of it to another party, or by instruction (  mandatum


(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…

Wills and testaments

(3,807 words)

Author(s): Hengstl, Joachim (Marburg/Lahn) | Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen) | Manthe, Ulrich (Passau)
[German version] [1] (Religion) see Bible; Christianity; New Testament Apocrypha; Septuagint; Testamentary literature; Vulgate (Religion) see Bible; Christianity; New Testament Apocrypha; Septuagint; Testamentary literature; Vulgate Hengstl, Joachim (Marburg/Lahn) [German version] [2] History of law (History of law) Hengstl, Joachim (Marburg/Lahn) [German version] I. General Testament (from the Latin testamentum in the sense of the final will made before witnesses; see below IV.) denotes a unilateral 'last will and testament' (or, in common E…

Succession, laws of

(1,791 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz) | Manthe, Ulrich (Passau) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East see Cuneiform, legal texts in Thür, Gerhard (Graz) [German version] II. Greek Succession laws in Greece primarily followed the concept of family succession. Greek law therefore contained several provisions to secure succession within the family group even where there were no legitimate sons ( gnesioi). For example, eispoíēsis allowed the nomination of a non-testamentary heir, a process akin to adoption. Where such a replacement heir was also absent, the inheritance ( klḗros ) either passed to lateral kin ( anchisteía ) o…
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