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inter suos heredes iuris est an potius in capita. iamdudum tamen placuit in capita dividendam esse hereditatem. itaque quotquot erunt ab utraque parte personae, in tot portiones hereditas dividetur, ita ut singuli singulas portiones ferant.
17. Si nullus agnatus sit, eadem lex xii tabularum gentiles ad hereditatem vocat. qui sint autem gentiles, primo commentario rettulimus. et cum illic admonuerimus totum gentilicium ius in desuetudinem abisse, supervacuum est hoc quoque loco de ea re curiosius tractare.
18. Hactenus lege xii tabularum finitae sunt intestatorum hereditates: quod ius quemadmodum strictum fuerit, palam est intelligere. (19.) Statim enim emancipati liberi nullum ius in hereditatem parentis ex ea lege habent, cum desierint sui
inheritance should be divided per stirpes, as is the rule amongst sui heredes', or rather per capita. It has, however, for some time been decided that the inheritance must be divided per capita. Therefore, whatever be the number of persons in the two branches together, the inheritance is divided into that number of portions, so that each one takes a single share.
17. If there be no agnate, the same law of the Twelve Tables calls to the inheritance the gentiles® : and who the gentiles are we have informed you in the first Commentary. And since we told you there that the whole of the laws relating to gentiles had gone into disuse, it is superfluous to treat in detail of the matter here.
18. Thus far the inheritances of intestates are limited by the law of the Twelve Tables : and how strict these regulations were is clearly to be seen. 19. For in the first place, eniancipated descendants have, according to this law, no right to the inheritance of their ascendant, since they have ceased to be sui
1 III. 8.
2 Tab. v. 1. 5, “Si adgnatus nec escit, gentilis familiam nancitor.” The explanation referred to is not now extant; it was contained on the page of the MS. missing between
164 and 165 of the first commentary. The subject being one of merely antiquarian interest, it will perhaps be sufficient to quote the following passage from Cicero, To. pic. 6 : “Gentiles sunt, qui inter se
eodem nomine sunt. Non est satis. Qui ab ingenuis oriundi sunt. Ne id quidem satis est. Quorum majorum nemo servitutem servivit. Abest etiam nunc: Qui capite non sunt de. minuti. Hoc fortasse satis est.” Festus also says: “Gentilis dicitur et ex eodem genere ortus, et is qui simili nomine appellatur, ut ait Cincius: Gentiles mihi sunt qui meo nomine appellantur.”
Strictness of the civil rules as to inheritance.
heredes esse. (20.) Idem iuris est, si ideo liberi non sint in potestate patris, quia sint cum eo civitate Romana donati, nec ab Imperatore in potestatem redacti fuerint. (21.) Item agnati capite deminuti non admittuntur ex ea lege ad hereditatem, quia nomen agnationis capitis deminutione perimitur. (22.) Item proximo agnato non adeunte hereditatem, nihilo magis sequens iure legitimo admittitur. (23.) Item feminae agnatae quaecumque consanguineorum gradum excedunt, nihil iuris ex lege habent. (24.) Similiter non admittuntur cognati qui per feminini sexus personas necessitudine iunguntur; adeo quidem, ut nec inter matrem et filium filiamve ultro citroque hereditatis capiendae ius conpetat, praeter quam si per in manum conventionem consanguinitatis iura inter eos constiterint.
25. Sed hae iuris iniquitates edicto Praetoris emendatae sunt. (26.) nam liberos omnes qui legitimo iure deficiuntur vocat ad hereditatem proinde ac si in potestate parentum mortis tempore
heredes. 20. The rule is the same if children be not in the potestas of their father, because they have been presented with Roman citizenship at the same time with him, and have not been placed under his potestas by the emperor'. 21. Likewise, agnates who have suffered capitis diminutio are not admitted to the inheritance under this law, because the (very) name of agnation is destroyed by capitis diminutio?. 22. Likewise, when the nearest agnate does not enter on the inheritance, the next in degree is not on that account admitted, according to statute laws. 23. Likewise, female agnates who are beyond the degree of consanguineae have no title under this law 24. So also cognates, who are joined in relationship through persons of the female sex, are not admitted : so that not even between a mother and her son or daughter is there any right of taking an inheritance devolving either the one way or the other", unless by means of a conventio in manum the rights of consanguinity have been established between them”.
25. But by the Praetor's edict these defects from equity in the rule have been corrected. 26. For he calls to the inheritance all descendants who are deficient in statutable title, just
daughter), nor the son's (or daughter's) by the mother.
1 1. 94. 2 1. 158. 3 II. 12.
4 III. 14. 5 Viz. neither can the mother's inheritance be taken by the son (or
6 III. 14.
Praetorian emendations of this strictness.
fuissent, sive soli sint sive etiam sui heredes, id est qui in potestate patris fuerunt, concurrant. (27.) Agnatos autem capite deminutos non secundo gradu post suos heredes vocat, id est non eo gradu vocat quo per legem vocarentur, si capite minuti non essent; sed tertio, proximitatis nomine : licet enim capitis deminutione ius legitimum perdiderint, certe cognationis iura retinent. itaque si quis alius sit qui integrum ius agnationis habebit, is potior erit, etiam si longiore gradu fuerit. (28.) Idem iuris est, ut quidam putant, in eius agnati persona, qui proximo agnato omittente hereditatem, nihilo magis iure legitimo admittitur. sed sunt qui putant hunc eodem gradu a Praetore vocari, quo etiam per legem agnatis hereditas datur. (29.) Feminae
as though they had been in the potestas of their ascendants at the time of their death, whether they be the sole claimants, or whether sui heredes also, i.e. those who were in the potestas of their father, claim with them. 27. Agnates, however, who have suffered capitis diminutio he does not call in the next degree after the sui heredes, i.e. he does not call them in that degree in which they would have been called by the law if they had not suffered capitis diminutio ; but in a third degree, on the ground of nearness of blood : for although by the capitis diminutio they have lost their statutable right, they surely retain the rights of cognation'. If, therefore, there be another person who has the right of agnation unimpaired, he will have a prior claim, even though he be in a more remote degree. 28. The rule is the same, as some think, in the case of an agnate, who, when the nearest agnate declines the inheritance, is not on that account admitted by statute law. But there are some who think that such a man is called by the Praetor in the same degree as that in which the inheritance is given by the law to the agnates.
1 “Quia civilis ratio civilia quidem jura corrumpere potest, naturalia vero non potest.” 1. 158.
2 That is, such a person is called in the third, not the second degree. The question here discussed is a very important one. If the agnate referred to took as one of the third class, he would take concurrently with cognates; whereas if he took in the second class he would have the
whole inheritance to the exclusion of the cognates. Further, if the agnate were thrown, in the case supposed, into the third class, he might after all get nothing from the inheritance, for instance he might be related to the deceased in the third degree of blood, and so be excluded by cog. nates who were of the first or second.
3 Sc. Tab. v. l. 4.
certe agnatae quae consanguineorum gradum excedunt tertio gradu vocantur, id est si neque suus heres neque agnatus ullus erit. (30.) Eodem gradu vocantur etiam eae personae quae per feminini sexus personas copulatae sunt. (31.) Liberi quoque qui in adoptiva familia sunt ad naturalium parentum hereditatem hoc eodem gradu vocantur.
32. Quos autem Praetor vocat ad hereditatem, hi heredes ipso quidem iure non fiunt. nam Praetor heredes facere non potest: per legem enim tantum vel similem iuris constitutionem heredes fiunt, veluti per senatusconsultum et constitutionem principalem : sed eis si quidem Praetor det bonorum possessionem, loco heredum constituuntur.
33. Adhuc autem alios etiam complures gradus Praetor facit in bonorum possessione danda, dum id agit, ne quis sine successore moriatur. de quibus in his commentariis copiose non agimus ideo, quia hoc ius totum propriis commentariis quoque alias explicavimus. Hoc solum admonuisse sufficit [desunt lin. 36]. (34.)
29. Female agnates who are beyond the degree of consanguineae are undoubtedly called in the third degree, i.e. when there is no suus heres or agnate. 30. In the same class are called those persons also who are joined in relationship through persons of the female sex. 31. Descendants also who are in an adoptive family are called in the same degree to the inheritances of their actual ascendants.
32. Now those whom the Praetor calls to the inheritance do not become heirs in strictness of law : for the Praetor cannot make heirs, as heirs exist only by a lex or some analogous constitution of law, for instance by a senatusconsultum or constitution of the emperor : but if the Praetor grant to them possession of the goods, they are put into the position of heirs.
33. The Praetor further makes many other degrees in the giving of possession of the goods, whilst providing that no one shall die without a successor. Concerning which degrees we do not treat at length in this work, because we have explained all this branch of law elsewhere in a work devoted to the subject. It is sufficient to make this statement only'.........
i At this point several lines of the MS. are illegible; but the substance
of the missing portion can be gathered from Ulpian, Title XXVIII.
Interdict Quorum Bonorum.
– item ab intestato heredes suos et agnatos ad bonorum possessionem vocat. quibus casibus beneficium eius in eo solo videtur aliquam utilitatem habere, quod is qui ita bonorum possessionem petit, interdicto cuius principium est QUORUM BONORUM uti possit, cuius interdicti quae sit utilitas, suo loco proponemus. alioquin remota quoque bonorum possessione ad eos hereditas pertinet iure civili.
34. ... likewise he calls the sui and agnati, who are heirs on an intestacy, to the possession of the goods. In which cases his grant appears to bestow an advantage only in this respect, that a man who thus sues for possession of the goods can make use of the interdict commencing with the words: Quorum Bonorum', What is the advantage of this interdict we shall explain in its proper place. As to all other incidents, even if the possession of the goods were left out of question, the inheritance belongs to them by the civil law.
Bonorum possessio is either contra law. See Ulpian, XXVIII. 6. Gaius, tabulas testamenti, or secundum tabu- 11. 119. las testamenti, or ab intestato.
The possessiones contra tabulas, or a The reason why heirs entitled at considerable number of them, have the civil law took advantage of the been named already by Gaius, and a second-named possessio is given in résumé of them is also to be found in $ 34.
Ulpian, XXVIII. 2—4. The same possessio was also grant. The possessiones ab intestato are ed in certain cases to those who enumerated in Ulpian, XXVIII. 7. could not claim according to strict
It may be useful to contrast the Praetorian system of succession with that of the Twelve Tables. TWELVE TABLES.
PRAETOR'S EDICT. 1. Sui heredes.
I. (a) Sui heredes.
(B. P. “unde liberi”). II. Agnati et consanguineae. II. Agnati et consanguineae.
(B. P. “unde legitimi”). III. Gentiles.
III. (a) Agnati capite deminuti.
$ 27. (8) Agnatae. $29. (v) Agnati successores. $ 28. (8) Liberi in adoptivâ fami
liâ. $ 31. (€) Cognati. $ 30. (B. P. “unde cognati,” or
1 IV. 144.