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p341 Commissum

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on p341 of

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

COMMI′SSUM. One sense of this word is that of "forfeited," which apparently is derived from that sense of the verb committere, which is "to commit a crime," or "to do something wrong." Asconius says, that those things are commissa which are either done or omitted to be done by a heres against the will of a testator, and make him subject to a penalty or forfeiture; thus, commissa hereditas would be an inheritance forfeited for some act of commission or omission. Cicero (Ad Fam. XIII.56) speaks of an hypothecated thing becoming commissa; that is, becoming the absolute property of the creditor for default of payment. A thing so forfeited was said in commissum incidere or cadere. Commissum was also applied to a thing in respect of which the vectigal was not paid, or a proper return made to the publicani. A thing thus forfeited (vectigalium nomine) ceased to be the property of the owner, and was forfeited, under the empire, to the fiscus (Dig. 39 tit. 4; Suet. Cal. c41).


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