This volume presents the best papers of a conference held in October 2012 in Budapest, investigating the tensions and connections between sale (the legal framework for exchanging goods) and community (the public interest represented by state authorities). The research is part of a series scrutinizing documentary sources from ancient societies. Legal documents open a special sight to legal cultures, using different languages and writing material. Despite basic disparities it is fascinating to discover deep functional relations mirroring the social and economic context.
Éva Jakab is professor for Roman law at the University of Szeged, Hungary. Her research is focused on comparative ancient contract law from the approach of every day legal life (law in action).
She is the author of Praedicere und cavere. Sachmängel im griechischen und römischen Recht (1997) and Risikomanagement beim Weinkauf. Periculum und Praxis im Imperium Romanum (2009). She edited
Usus Antiquus Juris Romani. Antikes Recht in lebenspraktischer Anwendung (2005) and Kaufen nach Römischem Recht. Antikes Erbe
in den europäischen Kaufrechtsordnungen (2008).
She is corresponding member oft he Austrian Academy of Sciences, member of the Legal Commission of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, member of the Main Board of the Hungarian Research Funds and of the Jury‚ Consorzio Interuniversitario Gérard Boulvert, Comitato Scientifico Internazionale, Naples.
Exchange of goods with transferring property rights is an essential part of every organised human society and economy. All over the ancient world, traders and consumers negotiated a great deal of sales on local market places. The legal framework of sale is an indispensable institutional environment of a functioning economy. The paper presents a short outline of the high theory of Roman jurists about sale and compares it with every day parctice, with notarial documents .
As the Greek law of sale was based on the principles of the cash purchase, according to Plato,
Aristotle or Theophrastus credit buying did not cause any legal effect. The Greek system of
contract law, which – in contrast to classical Roman law – did not know consensual contracts,
invented other possibilities how to perform sale on credit: The papyrological evidence shows that this was transacted with the help of fictitious loans; but only a few documents can be
identified as proving loans that in reality had not been concluded to lend money but to defer the purchase price.
This short piece concerns a Roman writing tablet housed in the Museum of London. The tablet in question contains an incomplete record of a transaction between two Roman citizens containing the sale of a woodland in Roman Kent. Owing to the fragmentary nature of the text, the nature of the transaction and the context in which the tablet was produced cannot be determined with certainty. The aim of this piece is to set out current scholarly opinions on the possible nature of the transaction and the context in which it was produced and to venture a new interpretation of this document.