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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Private ownership played a central role in all periods of Roman society. In its early development, the Roman law of property knew two different ways in which private ownership of res mancipi and res nec mancipi could be transferred. In the late third century BC, the Roman jurists and the praetor were able to distinguish clearly between simple possession and full ownership: dominium ex iure Quiritium. Later on, they separated from this same dominium certain entitlements to use and enjoyment, which they classified as iura in re aliena. On one side, the original bundle of powers of the owner was hived off to constitute the usufruct, which coincided with what we might refer to as the “ordinary enjoyment” of the object. On the other side many praedial servitudes were created which allowed a landowner to make a limited use of another’s land. This chapter surveys that process.

Keywords: ownership, possession, usufruct, praedial servitudes, actio Publiciana, usucapion, mancipatio and praetorian property

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