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cum et civitates condi et magistratus creari et leges scribi coeperunt.
various meanings which the term dominium (ownership) bore in the course of legal history and its relation to other cognate notions.
Full Roman ownership, dominium ex iure Quiritium, had two conditions. It could be exercised only over such objects as were in commercio (and therefore not over res divini iuris and res publicae, especially provincial soil) : and it could be vested only in persons who had the commercium (p. 26 supr.), i.e. cives, Latini, and peregrini to whom it might have been granted as a special favour. With the rapid provincial extension of Rome and the large influx of peregrini, the strict 'civil'Roman dominium soon reproduced itself in a 'natural counterpart. He who had the commercium, though he could not own 'provincial soil, could stand to it in a very similar relation, called possessio properly, and later even, though laxly, dominium. Similarly the peregrinus, though he could not be dominus ex iure Quiritium, had a sort of property : the praetor granted him actions for its recovery differing only in small technical points from those which lay at the suit of the full citizen. In short, we arrive at the idea of a new kind of dominium (Gaius ii. 40) called by the moderns dominium ex iure gentium, or gentile ownership, because recognised by the ius gentium, though not by the ius civile : acquirable only in modes not peculiar to the latter, and differing from full Roman ownership also in respect of the persons in whom it could be vested, in the objects over which it could be exercised, and in the remedies by which it was recovered.
This distinction is one between civil and natural law. But we also find another, implicated with the former only, and originating in defective conveyances. In certain things (res mancipi) property could be transferred ex iure Quiritium only by a precise observance of the mancipation form. Mr. Poste has pointed out (Gaius p. 172) that this itself was at first probably a simplification : it was easier to convey a res mancipi than a res nec mancipi, for the latter at the time of which we speak required the cumbrous process of in iure cessio and most of the formalities of an action-at-law: the former was a mere private transaction. But when traditio or bare delivery was recognised as able to pass the property in res nec mancipi 'the tables were turned : things, which formerly were most difficult, were now most easy to aliene : the term mancipable, which before denoted an enlargement of the powers of alienation, now denoted a restriction,' for res mancipi could not be conveyed by the new and simple process of traditio. Still, the practice of traditio extended itself largely also to res mancipi, but the effect of this was to leave the dominium in the transferor; all that the transferee acquired was bona fide possession, he was said to have the thing ‘in bonis;' by later writers he is called 'bonitarian'owner. In a short time (Tit. 6 inf.) his possession ripens by prescription into full ownership : meanwhile his transferor's rights over the object (termed nudum ius Quiritium) are merely nominal, and against him sometimes (note (3) on
12 Ferae igitur bestiae et volucres et pisces, id est omnia
animalia, quae in terra mari caelo nascuntur, simulatque ab aliquo capta fuerint, iure gentium statim illius esse incipiunt: quod enim ante nullius est, id naturali ratione occupanti conceditur, nec interest, feras bestias et volucres utrum in suo fundo quisque capiat, an in alieno : plane qui in alienum fundum ingreditur venandi aut aucupandi gratia, potest a domino, si is providerit, prohiberi ne ingrediatur. quidquid autem eorum ceperis, eo usque tuum esse intellegitur, donec tua custodia coercetur: cum vero evaserit custodiam tuam et in naturalem libertatem se receperit, tuum esse desinit et rursus
Bk. iv. 6. 4 inf.) no less than against the rest of the world, the transferee, as bona fide possessor, has the actio Publiciana for the recovery of the property if taken out of his hands. Other cases of 'bonitarian'ownership, though less common than this, sprang up from the praetorian legal innovations, e.g. those of praetorian universal succession in bankruptcy and upon death : in these the proper remedy was some other fictitious action (Gaius iv. 35).
In the time of Gaius this distinction between dominium ex iure Quiritium and in bonis habere is of every-day occurrence, but, except in respect of manumission (note on Bk. i. 5. I supr.), the differences between them are not of any practical importance. When Justinian had abolished the old points of difference between solum Italicum and solum provinciale (Tit. 6 pr. inf., Cod. 7. 31 ; 5. 13. 15), and peregrini had practically become unknown, all these refinements disappeared : there was but one dominium left; the only contrast was between it and possessio. The survival of the actio Publiciana in the Corpus iuris is explained by Mr. Poste, Gaius p. 188.
Some of the modes in which ownership is acquired in res singulae are common to most systems of law : others are peculiar to this people or that. The former the Romans supposed to have been prescribed or sanctioned by the law of nature, and therefore to be prior in time (vetustius ius) to those which are peculiar : for a peculiar mode of acquisition exists only in virtue of municipal law or custom, which is itself the outcome of political society, and political association was preceded in their view (derived from the Stoics, p. 36 supr.) by ages in which nature's was the only law, and civitates, magistratus, and leges had not yet come into existence. It is hardly necessary to observe that this view is quite erroneous: the history of Roman law alone might convince us that among primitive peoples absolute private ownership is a thing at first unknown, and that when it has been developed, alienation is the exception, not the rule, and the modes in which it is effected formal and essentially 'iuris civilis.'
§ 12. The first ‘natural' mode of acquisition discussed by Justinian is occupantis fit. naturalem autem libertatem recipere intellegitur, cum vel oculos tuos effugerit vel ita sit in conspectu tuo, ut difficilis sit eius persecutio. Illud quaesitum est, an, si fera 13 bestia ita vulnerata sit, ut capi possit, statim tua esse intellegatur. quibusdam placuit statim tuam esse et eo usque tuam videri, donec eam persequaris, quodsi desieris persequi, desinere tuam esse et rursus fieri occupantis. alii non aliter putaverunt tuam esse, quam si ceperis. sed posteriorem sententiam nos confirmamus, quia multa accidere solent, ut eam non capias. Apium quoque natura fera est. itaque quae in 14 arbore tua consederint, antequam a te alveo includantur, non magis tuae esse intelleguntur, quam volucres, quae in tua arbore nidum fecerint: ideoque si alius eas incluserit, is earum dominus erit. favos quoque si quos hae fecerint, quilibet eximere potest. plane integra re si provideris ingredientem in fundum tuum, potes eum iure prohibere ne ingrediatur. examen, quod ex alveo tuo evolaverit, eo usque tuum esse intellegitur, donec in conspectu tuo est nec difficilis eius persecutio est : alioquin occupantis fit. Pavonum et columbarum fera 15 natura est. nec ad rem pertinet, quod ex consuetudine avolare et revolare solent: nam et apes idem faciunt, quarum constat feram esse naturam : cervos quoque ita quidam mansuetos habent, ut in silvas ire et redire soleant, quorum et ipsorum feram esse naturam nemo negat. in his autem animalibus,
occupatio, the advisedly taking possession of an object which has no owner (res nullius) with the intention of appropriating it. The following kinds of res nullius are mentioned in the text : wild animals, birds, and fishes, $f 12–16: enemies' property, § 17 : stones and pebbles found on the seashore, 18 : islands rising in the sea, § 22 : treasure-trove, § 39 : and res derelictae, § 47. The Romans had no game laws, which in England grew out of feudalism and the great forests of the Norman kings and nobility. Some writers have maintained the contrary, but Dig. 47. 10. 13. 7 is explicit to the effect that the landowner can prevent others (even by force, Cic. pro Caec. 8, Dig. 43. 16. 3. 9) from coming on his land, but not from exercising occupatio when there. It would seem from the text that express notice not to enter was necessary to constitute a trespass in every case.
§ 13. The view here confirmed by Justinian was that most generally held, Dig. 41. 1. 5. 1: the other was that of Trebatius, whose opinion is highly spoken of in general in Tit. 25 pr. inf.
$ 15. Animals wild by nature, but which had been partially tamed,
quae ex consuetudine abire et redire solent, talis regula comprobata est, ut eo usque tua esse intellegantur, donec animum revertendi habeant: nam si revertendi animum habere desierint, etiam tua esse desinunt et fiunt occupantium. rever
tendi autem animum videntur desinere habere, cum rever16 tendi consuetudinem deseruerint. Gallinarum et anserum
non est fera natura idque ex eo possumus intellegere, quod aliae sunt gallinae, quas feras vocamus, item alii anseres, quos feros appellamus. ideoque si anseres tui aut gallinae tuae aliquo casu turbati turbataeve evolaverint, licet conspectum tuum effugerint, quocumquae tamen loco sint, tui tuaeve esse
intelleguntur : et qui lucrandi animo ea animalia retinet, fur17 tum committere intellegitur. Item ea, quae ex hostibus
capimus, iure gentium statim nostra fiunt: adeo quidem, ut et liberi homines in servitutem nostram deducantur, qui
tamen, si evaserint nostram potestatem et ad suos reversi 18 fuerint, pristinum statum recipiunt. Item lapilli gemmae et
cetera, quae in litore inveniuntur, iure naturali statim inven19 toris fiunt. Item ea, quae ex animalibus dominio tuo subiectis
nata sunt, eodem iure tibi adquiruntur.
were thus treated differently from those which were genuinely wild : the latter became res nullius again directly they were out of one's control, the former only when they had ceased to have the animus revertendi.
§ 17. The rule of the ius gentium is stated by Cyrus in Xenoph. Cyrop. 7. 5. 73 νόμος εν πάσιν ανθρώποις αίδιός έστιν, όταν πολεμούντων πόλις αλώ, Tôv clóvrwv civai rà xpnuata. The Romans did not adhere consistently to the principle : property taken from the enemy on his own soil belonged to the state, and became 'singulorum' only by sale or grant, Dionys. Halic. antiq. 7. 63: the rule of occupatio by individuals applied only to hostile property within the territory of the other belligerent;
quae res hostiles apud nos sunt non publicae sed occupantium fiunt' Dig. 41. I. 51. For restoration by postliminium see on Bk. i. 12. 5 supr., and for the influence of this principle in modern International Law, Maine, Ancient Law p. 246 sq.
$ 19. By eodem iure may be meant either ‘iure naturali' or 'dominio.' Justinian passes from occupatio to a second title of natural law, viz. accessio, by which is meant the accrual (1) of res nullius or (2) of res alienae to our own property. Each of these heads comprises a number of distinct cases, most of which are known by specific names. Under accessio rerum nullius may be grouped (a) accession through natural increment, mentioned in this section ; (6) alluvio, § 20; (c) formation of an island in a river, $ 22; (d) dereliction of a river-bed, § 23: under ac
Praeterea quod per alluvionem agro tuo flumen adiecit, 20 iure gentium tibi adquiritur. est autem alluvio incrementum latens. per alluvionem autem id videtur adici, quod ita paulatim adicitur, ut intellegere non possis, quantum quoquo momento temporis adiciatur. Quodsi vis fluminis partem aliquam 21 ex tuo praedio detraxerit et vicini praedio appulerit, palam est eam tuam permanere. plane si longiore tempore fundo vicini haeserit arboresque, quas secum traxerit, in eum fundum radices egerint, ex eo tempore videntur vicini fundo adquisitae esse. Insula, quae in mari nata est, quod raro accidit, occu- 22 pantis fit: nullius enim esse creditur. at in flumine nata, quod frequenter accidit, si quidem mediam partem fluminis teneat, communis est eorum, qui ab utraque parte fluminis prope ripam praedia possident, pro modo latitudinis cuiusque fundi, quae latitudo prope ripam sit. quodsi alteri parti proximior sit, eorum est tantum, quia ab ea parte prope ripam praedia possident. quodsi aliqua parte divisum flumen, deinde infra unitum agrum alicuius in formam insulae redegerit, eiusdem permanet is ager, cuius et fuerat. Quodsi naturali alveo in 23 universum derelicto alia parte fluere coeperit, prior quidem alveus eorum est, qui prope ripam eius praedia possident, pro modo scilicet latitudinis cuiusque agri, quae latitudo prope ripam sit, novus autem alveus eius iuris esse incipit, cuius et ipsum Aumen, id est publicus. quodsi post aliquod tempus ad priorem alveum reversum fuerit flumen, rursus novus alveus eorum esse incipit, qui prope ripam eius praedia possident. Alia sane causa est, si cuius totus ager inundatus fuerit. 24
cessio rerum alienarum (e) adjunctio, which comprises inaedificatio, $$ 29, 30, plantatio and satio, $$ 31, 32, and accession of writing to parchment, 9 33 (cf. § 26), and of paintings to the canvas, § 34 ; () confusio and commixtio, $§ 27 and 28.
$ 22. An island formed in a river is acquired by accessio only when the flumen is publicum (note on 2 supr.) : if the stream is not publicum its bed already belongs to the riparian owners. The rule for determining the ownership of insula nata is incorrectly stated in the text : it belonged exclusively to the riparian owner or owners on one side only when a line drawn down the centre of the river-bed would pass wholly to the right or left of it. If such a line cut it at all, the ownership was divided (“non pro indiviso, sed regionibus quoque divisis’ Dig. 41. I. 29) even though it was far from the exact middle.