R. Zimmermann

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics

Published online March 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780199381135 | DOI:

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Security in Roman law was given to the creditor in the form either of rights over the property of the debtor (real security, mortgage) or of a surety (personal security). By the earliest real security, fiducia, the debtor conveyed the ownership of an object to the creditor by *mancipatio or in iure cessio, subject to an agreement for its reconveyance after payment of the debt. The agreement would also usually regulate the creditor's right of sale, etc. Pignus (pledge), on the other hand, only gave the creditor a limited real right (ius in re aliena) over the pledged object. Pignus required agreement and delivery; by it the creditor obtained a possession protected by interdict. However, because of the inconvenience of the debtor's losing possession, the praetor also protected non-possessory pledges (usually referred to as hypotheca)—at first probably in the case of pledges by agricultural tenants to their landlords of slaves, cattle, agricultural implements, etc. The debtor could mortgage the same object successively to several creditors, but the earlier mortgagee enjoyed priority (prior tempore, potior iure).

Article.  479 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Law

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