Parakatatheke and last wills: on the background of D. 32.37.5. Already Hans Julius Wolff refused the idea of a hermetical isolation between Roman law and local (provincial) legal practice in everyday life. Following his trace, this contribution will show that legal intercourse between different classes of provincial populace was far more intensive than generally assumed. Focusing on the period before the Constitutio Antoniniana (212 AD), a detailed exegesis of a unique decision of Scaevola follows. The Roman jurist delivers a paradigmatic case: He settles a dispute in which the Greek formula of parakatatheke was used by a Roman citizen for disposing about his assets on death. In fact, the legal act should be considered ineffective under Roman law. However, Scaevola looked for ways to enforce the claim. Roman law and provincial legal custom: Scaevola’s decision sheds a new light on the creative approach of Roman jurisdiction regarding foreign legal thoughts.
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