The Legal Conditions of <i>Ager Publicus</i>

Saskia T. Roselaar

in Public Land in the Roman Republic

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577231
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723414 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Roman Society & Law

The Legal Conditions of Ager Publicus

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This chapter discusses the various legal conditions to which ager publicus could be subject. It argues that whereas in the early history of the Republic the only kind of ager publicus was the ager occupatorius, which was free for use by anyone who wanted to use it, gradually new legal categories of land were created. This was especially the result of economic developments from the fourth century onwards, which led to the growth of a larger market for agricultural products. To ensure that commercial producers would have secure tenure of land, the state devised methods to lease out and sell land, which gave its users more rights to the land, while at the same time enabling the state to retain control over the land it owned.

Keywords: Roman law; ager occupatorius; Lex Licinia; economic growth; lease; tenure

Chapter.  29718 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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