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Beyond DogmaticsLaw and Society in the Roman World$
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John W. Cairns and Paul J. du Plessis

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627936

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627936.001.0001

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The Hereditability of Locatio Conductio

The Hereditability of Locatio Conductio

(p.139) 7 The Hereditability of Locatio Conductio
Beyond Dogmatics

P J du Plessis

Edinburgh University Press

What is the relationship between Roman law and the society which produced it? There are two divergent academic views on the issue. On the one hand, Alan Watson has argued that it is too simplistic to assume that a close link between law and society should necessarily exist. On the other hand, John Crook has argued that there is a close relationship between Roman law and society and that many rules of law may be explained in terms of the peculiarities of that society. This chapter tests these two views using a specific area of Roman private law — letting and hiring — one of the consensual contracts which has become a much discussed topic in the last few years. More specifically, it investigates the effect of death of one of the parties on the contract of letting and hiring. The argument is developed in three stages. First, issues of dating is addressed. This is followed by a survey of the legal sources mentioning the effect of the death of the conductor upon the lease. Finally, the legal texts dealing with the effect of the death of the locator are investigated. Roman jurists' treatment of these two issues is used to draw some conclusions concerning the relationship between law and society.

Keywords:   Roman law, letting, hiring, dating, conductor, locator, law, society

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