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On this page: Accessio – Acclamatio – Accubatio – Accubita – Accusatio – Acerra


contract. In other words acceptilatio is the form of words by which a creditor releases his debtor from a debt or obligation, and acknowledges he has received that which in fact he has not received (veluti imaginaria solutio). This release of debt by acceptilatio applies only to such debts as have been contracted by stipulatio, conformably to a rule of Roman law, that only contracts made by words can be put an end to by words. But the astuteness of the Roman lawyers found a mode of complying with the rule, and at the same time extending the acceptilatio to all kinds and to any number of con­ tracts. This was the invention of Gallus Aquilius, who devised a formula for reducing all and every kind of contracts to the stipulatio. This being done, the acceptilatio would immediately apply, inasmuch as the matter was by such formula brought within the general rule of law above men­ tioned. The acceptilatio must be absolute and not conditional. A part of a debt or obligation might be released as well as the whole, provided the thing was in its nature capable of division. A pupillus could not release a debt by acceptilatio, without the auctoritas of his tutor, but he could be released from a debt. A woman also could not release a debt by stipulatio without the auctoritas of a tutor. The phrase by which a creditor is said to release his debtor by acceptilatio is, debitori ac­ ceptum, or accepto facere or ferre, or acceptum Jia- bere. When anything which was done on the behalf of or for the state, such as a building for instance, was approved by the competent authorities, it was said, in, acceptum ferri, or referri. (Dig. 46. tit. 4 ; 48. tit. 11. s. 7 ; Gaius, ii. 84, &c. iii. 169, &c.) [G. L.] •

ACCESSIO is a legal term which signifies that two things are united in such wise that one is considered to become a component part of the other ; one thing is considered the principal, and the other is considered to be an accession or addition to it. Sometimes it may be doubtful which is to be con­sidered the principal thing and which the accession. But the owner of the principal thing, whichever it is, became the owner of the accession also. The most undisputed kind of accessio is that which arises from the union of a thing with the ground ; and when the union between the ground and the thing is complete, the thing belongs to him who is the owner of the ground. Thus if a man builds on the ground of another man, the building belongs to the owner of the ground, unless it is a building of a moveable nature, as a tent; for the rule of law is "superficies solo cedit." A tree belonging to one man, if planted in the ground of another man, belongs to the owner of the ground as soon as it has taken root. The same rule applies to seeds and plants.

If one man wrote on the papyrus (chartulae) or parchment (membranae) of another, the material was considered the principal, and of course the writing belonged to the owner of the paper or parch­ment. If a man painted a picture on another man's wood (tabula) or whatever the materials might be, the painting was considered to be the principal (tabula picturae cedit). The principle which de­termined the acquisition of a new property by ac­cessio was this—the intimate and inseparable union of the accessory with the principal. Accordingly, there might be accessio by pure accident without the intervention of any rational agent. If a piece of land was torn away by a stream from one man's


land and attached to the land of another, it became the property of the man to whose land it was at­tached after it was firmly attached to it, but not before. This must not be confounded with the case of alluvio.

The person who lost his property by accessio had as a general rule a right to be indemnified for his loss by the person who acquired the new property. The exceptions were cases of mala fides.

The term accessio is also applied to things which are the products of other things, and not added to them externally as in the case just mentioned. Every accessio of this kind belongs to the owner of the principal thing: the produce of a beast, the produce of a field, and of a tree belongs to the owner. In some cases one man may have a right to the produce (fructus) of a thing, though the thing belongs to another. [Usus fructus.J

The term accessiones was also applied to those who were sureties or bound for others, as fidejussores. (Dig. 45. tit. 1. s. 91. ; Puchta, Cursus der Institu- tionen, ii. p. 661 ; Dig. 41. tit. 1 ; Gaius, ii 73, &c. confusio.) [G. L.]

ACCLAMATIO was the public expression of approbation or disapprobation, pleasure or dis­pleasure, &c. by loud acclamations. On many oc­casions, there appear to have been certain forms of acclamations always used by the Romans ; as, for instance, at marriages, lo Hymen, Hymenaee, or Talassio (explained by Liv. i. 9.) ; at triumphs, lo triumpJie, lo triumphe; at the conclusion of plays the last actor called out Plaudite to the spectators; orators were usually praised by such expressions as Bene et praeclare, Belle et festive, Non potest melius, &c. (Cic. De Orat. iii. 26.) Under the empire the name of acclamationes was given to the praises and flatteries which the senate bestowed upon the emperor and his family. These acclamationes, which are frequently quoted by the Scriptores His-toriae Augustae, were often of considerable length, and seem to have been chanted by the whole body of senators. There were regular acclamationes shouted by the people, of which one of the most common was Dii te servent. (Capitol. Maodm. duo, 16, 26, Gordian. tres, 11 j Lamprid. Alex. Sevei. 6—12 ; Vopisc. Tac. 4, 5, 7, Prob. 11.) Other instances of acclamationes are given by Ferrarius, De VeterumAcclamationibusetPlausu, inGraevius, TJiesaur. Rom. Antiq. vol. vi.

ACCUBATIO, the act of reclining at meals.


ACCUBITA, the name of couches which were used in the time of the Roman emperors, instead of the triclinium, for reclining upon at meals. The mattresses and feather-beds were softer and higher, and the supports (fulcra) of them lower in pro­ portion, than in the triclinium. The clothes and pillows spread over them were called accubitalia. (LampricC Heliog. 19, 25 ; Schol. ad Juv. Sat. v. 17.) [J. Y.]

ACCUSATIO. [judex.]

ACERRA (Ai£cw«Tpis), the incense box used in sacrifices. (Hor. Carm. iii. 8. 2 ; Virg. A en. v. 745.) The incense was taken out of the acerra and let fall upon the burning altar: hence, we have the expression de acerra libare. (Ov. ex Pont. iv. 8. 39 ; Pers. ii. 5.) [turibulum.] The acerra represented below is taken from a bas-relief in the museum of the Capitol.

The acerra was also, according to Festus (s. v.\ a small altar, placed before the dead, on which

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