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Property and possession rights in the Roman law

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The scope of the Roman law includes the period from 450 BC to 530 AD. It is therefore important to understand the evolution of law in society, economy and its passage from its origins to the awareness of abstraction, from the classic Law of the High Empire in 2nd century BC regarding ownership and possession. At first, the concept of property was contiguous. During the origins of Rome, the role of the head of household is predominantly ensuring the survival of the family. At that time, the nation was following a patriarchal system. It relied on a religious basis explaining in part the strict formalism in regard to changing the order that was previously established and referred to the customs of their ancestors.

The term ?properties' (proprius, means what we own) and ?dominium' appeared in their full legal rights. For the archaic law, the term meant ?mancipium ?or the right belonging to the ?people' who were a group descended from their same ancestor. The term mancipium is a quasi-sovereignty of any property of the family. It is a concrete phenomenon par excellence that can ?take control' ("manus" and "capere). This is the spirit of the Twelve Tables which takes into account the likely value of the land and its accessories for its cultivation. Was the patriarch so powerful on his property that he can dispose freely as an owner? Was he totally in control of his heritage?

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