oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Unmöglichkeit der auflösend befristeten ? 283 und 1 16.1.4 revisited

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



Until recently it was generally taught that in classical Roman law ownership could not be transferred only for a definite time or under a resolutive condition, though exceptions were allowed. That a dogma (1) of the impossibility of transfer of ownership only for a given time, and (2) of the impossibility of temporary ownership formed part of Roman law, was thought to be evidenced by two texts: 283, an imperial rescript dating from 286 AD, and a to 16.1.4, taken from the commentary on the Digest by the Antecessor Stephanos (536-542 AD). As a third source one could add the interpolated version of that rescript, 8.54.2. The interpretation of Fragment 283 has been the topic of considerable controversy. Recently a new explanation was proposed, which, however, is shown to have no sound foundation. The argument occasions revisiting the two texts. It is submitted that dogma 1 cannot be deduced from either of them, but that dogma 2 was known by Stephanos.

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