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Res Mancipi

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Chapter Summary

In the early Roman Republic, it was important to know whether an animal belonged to the category of res mancipi or res nec mancipi, since there was a difference in the requirements for the transfer of ownership. The distinction between res mancipi and res nec mancipi became less relevant in the late Republic, because the praetor granted praetorian ownership to the transferee when res mancipi had been delivered by traditio. In the 19th century, scholars presumed that, in ancient Rome, beasts of draught and burden were considered res mancipi from birth and, therefore, they qualified the Sabinian school as traditional. The Proculians held that domestication was a turning point in the life of the animals. Since the new and domesticated animal was radically different from the old animal, only the new one met with the legal requirement to fall into the category of res mancipi.

Keywords: animals; Proculians; res mancipi; res nec mancipi; Roman Republic; Sabinians

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