The Roman Division of Wrongs: A New Hypothesis

Eric Descheemaeker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the rationale of the Justinianic division of wrongs into delicts and “quasi-delicts”. Taking as its starting point the assumption that the distinction corresponded to that between fault (culpa)-based and situational liability, it hypothesizes that the quasi-delictal appendix arose after the time of Gaius’ Institutes from a contraction of the Roman concept of a civil wrong (delictum): its scope would have narrowed from an unlawful liability-creating act to a blameworthy such act, thereby rejecting outside of the delictal class proper instances of liability regardless of fault.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalRoman Legal Tradition
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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