Persons under patria potestās could not own property, but, while technically having ownership, a father could allow his son, and a master his slave, to administer certain assets. These assets were known as peculium and might be extensive, including money, goods, land and slaves. In practice the assets were regarded as belonging to the son or slave, and a slave given his liberty on condition that he paid a sum of money could use his peculium to fulfil the condition. Much commercial and financial activity was conducted by slaves with their peculium.
Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Classical Studies.