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p821 Occupatio

Article by George Long, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College
on p821 of

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

OCCUPATIO. The word is used by Cicero (de Off. I.7) to express the acquisition of ownership by occupation or the taking possession of that which has no owner, and with the intention of keeping it as one's own. Among the modes of acquiring ownership "naturali ratione," that is, by such means as are in all nations acknowledged to be lawful means of acquiring ownership, Gaius (II.66, &c.) enumerates the taking possession of those things quae nullius sunt, as animals of the chace, birds and fishes, and such things are said "occupantis fieri." The same applies to the finding of things which have no owner; but there were particular rules as to thesaurus, treasure found in the ground (Inst. 2 tit. 1 s39; Dig.49 tit. 14 s3 § 10; and Gaius, II.7). The latest legislation about Thesaurus is in Cod. 10 tit. 15. Things which were lost or thrown out of a ship in case of necessity were not subject to Occupatio. Things taken in war were subject to Occupatio (Inst. 2 tit. 1 s17; Dig. 41 tit. 1 de acquirendo rerum dominio).


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