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New FrontiersLaw and Society in the Roman World$
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Paul J. du Plessis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748668175

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748668175.001.0001

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Pipes and Property in the Sale of Real Estate (D.19.1.38.2)

Pipes and Property in the Sale of Real Estate (D.19.1.38.2)

Chapter:
(p.207) Chapter 11 Pipes and Property in the Sale of Real Estate (D.19.1.38.2)
Source:
New Frontiers
Author(s):

Cynthia J. Bannon

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748668175.003.0011

When Romans bought and sold real estate, there could be questions about which fixtures were included in the sale, yet Roman law did not always provide clear guidance, as illustrated in a case about underground pipes reported in the eighth book of Celsus’ Digest (D. 19.1.38.2). Should such pipes be treated as part of the property (belonging to the buyer) or as ruta caesa (belonging to the seller), if no agreement was made between the parties? Over time, legal solutions to this problem evolved, taking into account both legal tradition and real world constraints such as construction techniques and the all-too-human tendency to be careless. Where Proculus required buyers and sellers to be well-informed, honest, and proactive in using the legal system, Celsus recognized that the real estate market rarely lives up to this ideal, and he explicitly aims to adapt law to these realities.

Keywords:   Pipe, Law of sale, Real estate, Fixture, ruta caesa, Latent defect, Proculus, Celsus

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