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date: 19 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The medieval jurists had to adapt the rules of ancient Roman law to the needs of their time. Not all these adaptations can be viewed positively. Justinianic law provided the legal framework for the late medieval resurgence of chattel slavery. Serfdom was also accommodated within the Roman law of persons. On the other hand, restrictions on the ability of women to participate in business were relaxed. A theory of legal personality was developed. In property law, the jurists conceptualized feudal tenure as a form of quasi-ownership. The renaissance of the Roman testament transformed the law of succession. The elaboration of a doctrine of change of circumstances was an important step in the development of contract law. The scope of delictual liability was enhanced and the groundwork for a theory of vicarious liability was laid. Despite grave blemishes, the modernization of Roman law is a remarkable achievement of the medieval jurists.

Keywords: slavery, serfdom, women, corporations, ownership, testaments, contracts, change of circumstances, delict, vicarious liability

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