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Datio In Solutum

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Chapter Summary

Gaius stated that an obligation was discharged by payment or performance of what was due: 'Solutione eius, quod debeatur'. According to the general rule, the debtor had to perform exactly what he owed under the contract in order to discharge the obligation and to be released ipso iure. If the creditor did accept the substitute performance, this was called a datio in solutum. As to the legal effects of such a datio in solutum, the following question arose: 'If a debtor performed something else instead of what he owed with the consent of the creditor, is he released ipso iure or ope exceptionis?' This question gave rise to a controversy between the Sabinians and the Proculians. The Sabinians maintained that a debtor who performed aliud pro alio with the creditor's consent was released ipso iure. The Proculians, on the other hand, argued that the debtor remained obligated ipso iure.

Keywords: creditor; datio in solutum; debtor; Gaius; ipso iure; Proculians; Sabinians

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