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Latin. n. Fictitious marriage to a free heiress, mock sale of an estate to free it of burdens.


 - A mutual purchase. This word signified, among the Romans, a land of mutual purchase (emptio; venditio;) when a man and woman were married, by delivering to one another a small piece of money, and repeating certain words. The man asked the woman an sibi mater familial esse vellet whether she would be the mother of the family; she answered se velle that she was willing. In the same manner the woman asked the man, and he made a similar answer. The woman was to the husband in the place of a daughter, and he to her as a father. She assumed his name, together with her own. She resigned to him all her goods and acknowledged him as her lord and master. In the first days of the republic, dowries were very small. But afterwards, upon the increase of wealth, the marriage portions of some women became greater.


Sometimes the wife reserved to herself part of the money, and a slave, who was not subject to the power of the husband.


The right of purchase ...

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