The Germ of the Conception of Legal Person in Roman Law


  • Giorgi Aladashvili



Ancient Roman Law, legal person, conception, corporation, societas, universitas, societas publicanorum.


The history of commercial associations takes us back to the oldest periods of human history. The notion, that human beings could cooperate, amass assets and thereby conduct their business activities, was present even among the very earliest of societies. Simultaneously, there was, in reality, no theoretical underpinning for such associations, nor aნ established conception of legal entity. Roman law too, in spite of its inarguable complexity and progressive institutions, did not recognize the notion of legal person, even if during the multiple centuries of its existence it did come close to it. Universitas and societas publicanorum are particularly important institutions. The former is interesting as the pinnacle of Roman legal ruminations on associations and the latter as a large-scale entity, which several modern authors even consider to be a precursor to a modern joint-stock company. 

Aside from aforementioned two entities, other asociations also existed, review of which as well as division and classification in types is significant to emphasize the point, that while Romans did not enjoy the honor of establishing the conception of legal entity, they did contribute greatly to formulating  this notion and research of this contribution is necessary not only from the viewpoint of legal history, but also to better understand modern legal entity.

Author Biography

Giorgi Aladashvili

Doctoral Student at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Law.


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How to Cite

Aladashvili, G. . (2020). The Germ of the Conception of Legal Person in Roman Law. Journal of Law, (2), 15–36.