Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Roman Law of Trusts - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Roman Law of Trusts

David Johnston


Few legal institutions developed solely under the Roman Empire, but there is one which can provide a rare illustration of the emperors' involvement in building private law: although Roman law did not recognize a ‘trust’ in the same sense as it is used in common law today, it did develop a device — the fideicommissum — which achieved very similar ends. It has remained largely ignored, and yet it is an ideal case study in the evolution of law. As the most versatile institution of Roman inheritance law, it crucially affected the strategies of succession open to testators, and gives insights into ... More

Keywords: Roman Empire, emperors, private law, Roman law, common law, inheritance law, succession, Justinian, fideicommissum

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1988 Print ISBN-13: 9780198252160
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198252160.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Johnston, author
Christ's College, Cambridge