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date: 25 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

While Roman law knew various different forms of control, differentiating meticulously between dominium, possessio and detentio, provincial practice was very different, and evidently conformed to the Roman concepts to only a limited degree. The most detailed information on the condition of property in the provinces of the Imperium Romanum, and the way Rome handled the legal structures and concepts encountered in each case, is without a doubt to be obtained from Aegyptus, on account of the wealth of evidence which has come down to us on papyrus. These sources show that although the Romans respected existing constructs, they nonetheless shoehorned them into their own system, which fundamentally differentiated between ager publicus and ager privatus. This brought with it simplifications with regard to administration. These are outlined in this chapter.

Keywords: Aegyptus, land and soil, ager publicus, ager privatus, estates, slaves, priesthood posts, declarations, archives, property archive

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