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Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World$
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Paul Erdkamp, Koenraad Verboven, and Arjan Zuiderhoek

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728924.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021

Property Rights in Ancient Rome

Property Rights in Ancient Rome

Chapter:
(p.107) 7 Property Rights in Ancient Rome
Source:
Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World
Author(s):

Éva Jakab

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728924.003.0007

In ancient societies, ownership or other types of control over agrarian land played an essential role in the wealth and growth of individuals and of the whole community. Legal institutions interacted in the allocation of natural resources. Therefore the definition of property rights and other types of interest in land attracted intense scrutiny. In the nineteenth century, legal theory created the myth of absolute, exclusive, and unbounded individual ownership, which seemingly had its roots in classical Roman law. The chapter shows that such ownership was never an abstract, unlimited right in ancient Rome. Ownership was rather a dynamic category with changing legal content according to its social, political, and economic environment. It met a broader target, and fostered conditions amenable to an optimal exploitation of the main natural resource, agrarian land.

Keywords:   ownership, economic context, property rights in motion, public land, usage, subsiciva, servitudes

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