Graeci salarium interpretantur

Hylkje De jong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In classical law and Justinianic law, the contract of ντολή (mandatum, mandate) had to be gratuitous. Any remuneration in this case was not agreed upon, but given out of a feeling of moral obligation as a token of gratitude. The so-called honorarium was used in classical law mainly for the remuneration of a lawyer or teacher in the liberal arts in recompense for their services. In early Byzantine law the sixth-century legal scholar Stephanos regularly spoke in this respect of an ντίδωρον (a gift in return). In addition to an honorarium or ντίδωρον, a salarium or σαλάριον could also be paid. This payment had to be appropriate to the efforts made by the mandatory to that effect and could only be claimed extra ordinem. A shift apparently took place here from a pure, (moral) natural obligation (honorarium or ντίδωρον) to a semi-natural obligation (salarium or σαλάριον) that was indeed enforceable by law. This distinction between the two kinds of remuneration can clearly be derived from a new reading of a scholion by Stephanos. It appears that in later Byzantine law the 'new' terms ψώνιον, σιτηρέσιον and δόμα were used for salarium or σαλάριον. These terms came from the military.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-58
Number of pages26
JournalJahrbuch der Osterreichischen Byzantinistik
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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