In Roman law, an inheritance could be passed on according to the rules of intestate or testate succession. The Roman law of succession presents people with an enormous display of legal ingenuity. This chapter analyses some of the legal instruments and rules by which late Roman testators and donors were able to pursue making over bequests and inheritances to the institutional Christian church. It presents an overview of Roman family law and inheritance structures, paying particular attention to post-classical legal developments. The chapter explores donation and inheritance law in the specific context of the institutional Christian church from the age of Constantine onwards. It expands on this analysis via a focus on specific examples of strategic behaviour relating to Christian gift-giving and inheritance in the later fourth, fifth and sixth centuries AD. It shows that Roman legislators themselves engaged in strategic behaviour, attempting to use the Roman law of donation and inheritance as a means of socio-religious control.
|Title of host publication
|Donations, inheritance and property in the Nordic and Western world from late Antiquity until today
|Ole-Albert Rønning, Helle Møller Sigh, Helle Vogt
|Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
|Number of pages
|Published - 7 Jun 2017
|Routledge studies in cultural history
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- School of History - Professor in Medieval History, Deputy Head of School
- St Andrews Centre for the Receptions of Antiquity
- Centre for Minorities Research (CMR)
- Centre for Late Antique Studies
- Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research
- Centre for Global Law and Governance
- St Andrews Institute of Medieval Studies