On-line version ISSN 2411-7870
CHORUS, Jeroen M.J.. Fundamina (Pretoria) [online]. 2014, vol.20, n.1, pp. 163-174. ISSN 2411-7870.
Until recently it was generally taught that in classical Roman law ownership could not be transferred only for a definite time or under a resolutive condition, though exceptions were allowed. That a dogma (1) of the impossibility of transfer of ownership only for a given time, and (2) of the impossibility of temporary ownership formed part of Roman law, was thought to be evidenced by two texts: Fragmenta Vaticana 283, an imperial rescript dating from 286 AD, and a Scholion to Basilica 16.1.4, taken from the commentary on the Digest by the Antecessor Stephanos (536-542 AD). As a third source one could add the interpolated version of that rescript, Codex 8.54.2. The interpretation of Fragment 283 has been the topic of considerable controversy. Recently a new explanation was proposed, which, however, is shown to have no sound foundation. The argument occasions revisiting the two texts. It is submitted that dogma 1 cannot be deduced from either of them, but that dogma 2 was known by Stephanos.