What is it about?

The paper addresses a controversial question of the admissibility of concluding contracts that affect the way how property is being divided and distributed after someone's death. The popular opinion among the scholars researching Roman law was since always negative.

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Why is it important?

The paper focuses on crucial methodological question: what do jurist mean when they say 'Erbvertrag' or 'contract on succesion'. As the law is in constant move, we should assume that the Romans had different understanding of the issue. Therefore a simple projection of the modern concepts onto the Roman law seems to be a methodologically erroneous choice.


I believe the history of law to be much more nuanced that we usually think. It is one of the task of legal scholarship to critically evaluate doctrinal opinions and verify them with reference to original sources.

Aleksander Grebieniow
University of Warsaw

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Der Erbvertrag der Römer und der Erbvertrag heute, Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d Histoire du Droit / The Legal History Review, November 2022, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/15718190-20220024.
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