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Publication Detail
On the Legal Effects of Sponsalia
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Mitchell PP
  • Publication date:
    01/09/2016
  • Place of publication:
    Germany
  • Journal:
    Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung fuer Rechtsgeschichte: Romanistische Abteilung
  • Volume:
    2016
  • Medium:
    Print
  • Status:
    Accepted
  • Print ISSN:
    0323-4096
  • Language:
    English
Abstract
This article challenges the traditional view that informal sponsalia (as described in D. 23,1) were legally unenforceable in classical Roman law. After a close examination of the contents and structure of D. 23,1 and related Digest texts, it offers a new interpretation of a crucial passage from Aulus Gellius (Noctes Atticae 4.4), which has traditionally been read as showing that Roman sponsalia were unenforceable. The article then concludes with a consideration of the literary evidence offered by Varro, Plautus and Ovid.
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