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 p268  Certi Actio, Incerti Actio

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on pp268‑269 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

CERTI, INCERTI ACTIO, is a name which has been given by some modern writers to those actions in which a determinate or indeterminate sum, as the case may be, is mentioned in the formula (condemnatio certae pecuniae vel incertae, Gaius, IV.49, &c.).

The expression incerta formula, which occurs in Gaius (IV.54), implies a certa formula. With respect to the intentio, it may be called certa when the demand of the actor is determinate,  p269 whether it be a certain thing that he demands, or a certain sum of money (Gaius, IV.45, 47). The intentio is incerta when the claim is not of a definite thing or something, but is expressed by the words quidquid, &c. (Gaius, IV.47, 136, 137). In the compilations of Justinian, where the expressions incerti actio, incerta actio, incertum judicium occur, they specially apply to the actio praescriptis verbis, which contained an incerta intentio and condemnatio. (Actio; Savigny, System, &c. vol. V p74).

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Page updated: 19 Sep 04