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p639 Institoria Actio

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on p639 of

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

INSTITORIA ACTIO. This actio was allowed against a man who had appointed either his son or a slave, and either his own or another man's slave, or a free person, to manage a taberna or any other business for him. The contracts with such manager, in respect of the taberna or other business, were considered to be contracts with the principal. The formula was called Institoria, because he who was appointed to manage a taberna was called an Institor. And the institor, it is said, was so called, "quod negotio gerendo instet sive insistat." If several persons appointed an institor, any one of them might be sued for the whole amount for which the persons were liable on the contract of their institor; and if one paid the demand, he had his redress over against the others by a societatis judicium or communi dividundo. A great deal of business was done through the medium of institores, and the Romans thus carried on lucrative occupations in the name of their slaves, which they could not or would not have carried on personally. Institores are coupled with Nautae by Horace (Ep. XVII.20), and with the Magister Navis (Carm. III.6.30). (Gaius, IV.71; Instit. IV. tit. 7; Dig. 14 tit. 3).


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