Residual value and assessement of damages under the lex Aquilia

Harry Dondorp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Nowadays it is generally held, that the owner who brought an actio legis Aquiliae usually claimed no more than his loss, perhaps already in Ulpian's time, for certain in Justinian's. For the sum of condemnation based upon the estimation-clauses of the lex Aquilia would only then exceed his damages, if either the injured object's value had decreased in the last year or 30 days (Inst. 4,3,9) or the wrongdoer had denied having caused the damage (C. 3,35,4). There is, however, a third reason, which the Roman texts fail to mention: A possible residual value of killed lifestock, wounded slaves, and damaged objects, which benefitted the owner. Only a few later jurists took this into account: In medieval times Jacques de Révigny and Pierre Jacobi, Johann Oldendorp in the Early Modern era. The notion prevailed that the lex Aquilia obliged to pay at least the object's full value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalThe Legal History Review
Issue number1-2
Early online date18 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Aestimatio damni
  • Canon law
  • Interesse
  • Ius commune
  • Lex Aquilia
  • Sum of condemnation


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