accusatio - the bringing of a criminal charge, normally (until the early Empire) by a private citizen who, acting as the accuser (delator) lodged a complaint with a magistrate. If accepted, the magistrate would register the charge (inscriptio), which could not then be withdrawn without permission of the court.

actio in factum - an action given by the praetor on the facts of the case alone where no standard civil law action was applicable.

*adoptio - an adoption where a dependent person (alieni iuris) is transferred to one family to another, involving the change of paterfamilias.

*adrogatio - an adoption where an independent person (sui iuris) is transferred from one family to another, coming under the patria potestas of the pater familias of his adoptive family. This could be done only to save a family from extinction.

*agnates - relatives through the male line, descended from a common male ancestor without any artificial break in the line of relationship (such as emancipation). Persons of either sex may be agnates, but the line could only be transmitted through males. If the common male ancestor (pater familias) was alive, the agnates were all in his patria potestas. Agnatic relations existed through adoption as fully as through blood.

**bonae fidei iudicia - "actions of good faith" granted by the praetor for certain contractual relationships in which the iudex was required to take account of what ought to be done or given in good faith by the parties. Defenses (exceptiones) could be raised by the court even when not pled by the defendant.

**bonitary ownership - possession protected by the praetor even though the formalities of transfer have not been followed.

*cognates - all relatives, whether traced through the male or female lines.

*cognitio extra ordinem - a proceeding before an imperial magistrate rather than before the praetor and iudex. It replaced the classical formulary system in the 3rd century A.D.

**condictio - a type of action alleging a debt without specifying the precise basis of the claim. It was available in both contractual and quasi-contractual claims.

*constitutio - general term for imperial legislation of all types.

*conubium - the right to contract a civil law marriage, possessed generally only by Roman citizens.

*curator - guardian for young persons over the age of puberty and under 25; and for the insane and the spendthrift.

*cursus honorum - the chain of offices in the political career at Rome: quaestor, aedile, tribune, praetor, consul, censor.

**deportatio - perpetual banishment, the most severe form of exile involving confinement at a fixed location, confiscation of property, and loss of citizenship.

dolus - trickery, fraud.

*edictum - a proclamation of a magistrate. The praetor's Edict in particular contained the various formulae for causes of action he intended to recognize during his tenure of office. The Edict became standardized and was given final form in the Edictum Perpetuum issued by Iulianus under the emperor Hadrian. It formed the basis of the ius honorarium.

*emancipatio - voluntary release from the patria potestas, breaking the agnatic relationship and conferring independence (sui iuris) on the person involved.

exceptio - a clause of defense allowed by the praetor in a defendant’s response under the Formulary system.

*Formulary system - civil procedure introduced in the mid-Republic and continuing until the 3rd cent. A.D. (when it was superseded by cognitio system). The procedure was introduced by the praetors, who required the parties to formulate the issues in a case by a formal statement (formula), which was then passed on to the iudex for a determination of the facts. The various kinds of formulae recognized by the praetor would be set forth in his Edict.

*heres suus - a person who, upon death of a pater familias, became sui iuris.

*honestiores / humiliores - during the Empire, the populace was divided broadly into two classes. The honestiores were persons of status and property, the humiliores persons of low social status. Only the latter were subject to certain kinds of punishment (crucifixion, torture, and corporal punishment).

*impubes - a person under the age of puberty (age 12 for girls, 14 for boys). They lacked full legal capacity and, if independent (sui iuris) had to be in tutelage.

**infamia - a condition of disgrace, involving significant legal disabilities, resulting from immoral or wrong conduct (conviction for a crime, condemnation in delictal actions, and actions involving breach of trust).

*in iure - the initial proceedings of a trial, held before the praetor, at which the issues were framed for decision. It concluded with a “joinder of issue” (litis contestatio). The matter then went to the iudex for trial (apud iudicem).

**in iure cessio - a formal transfer of property in open court before the consul or praetor.

interdict - an order issued by the praetor or other magistrate, usually giving rise to further proceedings if disregarded. It was used especially as a procedural device to determine property rights; but it was also the normal way to start proceedings for the protection of both public and private interest. The particular circumstances under which an interdictum would be issued were set forth in the praetor's Edictum.

*iudex - the “judge,” an unpaid private person chosen from the list (album) drawn up according to wealth to decide a case referred to him by the praetor. If the case was heard by a panel of iudices, they were known as recuperatores.

*ius civile - the law applying to Roman citizens.

**ius gentium - the law common to all peoples.

*ius honorarium - the law developed in edicts issued by the praetors during the Republic and early Empire, aiding, supplementing or amending existing rules or procedures of the ius civile. It was finalized in the 2nd century A.D. in the Edictum Perpetuum. The procedures developed by the praetors (the formulary system) were superseded in the 3rd century by the cognitiones.

*legis actio - any action at law. Also, the “causes of action” in early Roman law.

**maiestas - the term applied to a number of criminal offenses against the state, including treason, sedition, desertion from the army and, later, offenses against the emperor and his family.

**mancipatio- the formal transfer of property by bronze and scales (per aes et libram). Only res mancipi may be so transferred. It was also the procedure for making a will, for the passing of a woman into marital subordination, for bringing people into bondage for the purpose of adoption or emancipation, or as the result of a noxal action.

**manumissio - the freeing of a slave. Also used for the release from bondage following emancipatio.

*manus - the power of the pater familias over his wife and his sons’ wives.

*minor - a person over the age of puberty (cf. impubes) but under the age of 25. If sui iuris they had full legal capacity, though they could be protected by a grant of restitutio in integrum (the right to rescind transactions) under certain circumstances.

**noxal surrender - the handing over of a slave or animal as compensation to the victim of a delict committed by him.

obligatio consensu contracta - a contract entered into by mere agreement.

obligatio litteris contracta - a contract entered into by writing.

obligatio re contracta - a contract entered into by conduct.

obligatio verbis contracta - a contract entered into by words.

occupatio - acquisition of ownership by possession of a thing not previously owned or a thing abandoned by its owner.

*pater familias - the “head of the household,” holding the patria potestas over all descendants, male and female, through the male line (i.e., the agnatic family). He also had power over those in bondage through mancipatio (i.e., adopted sons and wives). Persons in his power were subject to his control in many matters, including life or death and marriage. They were incapable of owning property and everything they acquired passed to the pater familias. The powers of a pater familias did not cease until his death.

*patria potestas - the right of the pater familias over the persons and property of the members of his agnatic family and slaves. It included the right to put to death and entitlement to virtually all property and contractual rights acquired by his dependents.

*patronus - the former master of a slave. He had many rights over the freed slave (libertinus), including the performance of services (opera) and certain rights of inheritance. The freedman was obliged to show respect (obsequium) to his patron and was barred from bringing criminal actions against him or actions involving infamia.

**peculium - personal fund of a son or slave allowed by the pater familias (who retained full ownership of the money). A son did have full control over the peculium castrense (funds acquired while on military service).

**per aes et libram - the weighing out of copper or bronze necessary for a formal sale.

*perigrinus - anyone not a Roman citizen and therefore not entitled, normally, to the benefits of the ius civile.

pignus - a pledge by which a creditor obtained possession of property. Ownership remained with the debtor, but the creditor had certain rights upon default.

**quaestiones perpetuae - permanent criminal courts, each dealing with one class of offense. The basic system was established by a series of laws under Sulla's dictatorship in 81 B.C.

**relegatio - exile for a fixed period or in perpetuity, but without loss of citizenship of confiscation of property.

**res mancipi - property subject to transfer by mancipatio (i.e., land subject to Roman ownership, slaves, beasts of draft and burden, and rustic servitudes belonging to land subject to Roman ownership). All other property is res nec mancipi and can be transferred by mere traditio.

**stipulatio - an enforceable verbal contract created by simple question ("Do you promise to pay me 10,000 sesterces?") and answer ("I promise."). No witnesses or writing are required, but both were customary. The normal action on a stipulatio was a condictio.

*sui iuris - a person who is not in the power of another. A person is in another’s power (alieni iuris) if he or she is in manu, in mancipio, or in patria potestate. All other persons are sui iuris and, if male, are patres familias. Persons sui iuris who were impubes (under age 14 for boys, 12 for girls) were subject to a tutor, those who were minores (under age 25) were subject to a curator.

**traditio - simple transfer of property, effective for acquiring ownership of all property except res mancipi.

*tutor - guardian for independent children under the age of puberty (impubes) and for independent women of any age.

**usucapio - acquisition of ownership by long usage.

**usufructus - the right to use of the property of another and take its fruits or profit (fructus) without diminishing its capital value.

*usus - the right to use the property of another without taking its fruits or profits. Also, a formless acquisition of marital power (manus) over the wife through an uninterrputed cohabitation for one year with the intention of living as husband and wife.

**vindicatio - an action for claiming ownership of property.

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