oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - "He's one who minds the boss's business..."

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



This article deals mainly with the question why the Romans did not know agency and how they successfully managed to cope without it. Various relevant matters are discussed, such as the position of slaves and children in the paterfamilias's power, the praetorian actions that made commerce possible despite the lack of an institution such as agency, and the peculium. Although Roman law never really developed an institution of direct representation, it gradually adapted to the increasing commercial needs and approached recognition of agency in contracts. Factors that contributed to this, were firstly the considerable use of slaves and sons subject to power, and secondly the defacto agency exercised by institores and exercitores.

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