The dowry


The dowry consists of any contribution of assets (furniture, property, credits and other entitlements) that his wife or his paterfamilias or a third side makes her husband sustain double charges.

The dowry was constituted by:
• promissio dotis, namely stipulation with which the constituent is obliged to transfer the assets of the dowry to her husband at a later date;
• dictio dotis, implemented through a verbal contract made only by his wife, the paterfamilias or her debtor;
• datio dotis, consists of the immediate transfer of the dowry to her husband.
The basic principle of the dowry was to support the obligations of marriage but, since in principle the husband was the absolute owner and he could have what he wanted, often it was improper, therefore with lex Iulia de adulteriis it was forbidden that the husband would alienate italic funds of the dowry or make a mortgage on them, then Justinian forbade the alienation of any property, even with the consent of the wife. The husband was responsible for movable property if there had been no return of the dowry in case of dissolution of marriage, following estimation of the assets.*

Salvatore Terranova - Noto

* Cfr. Sanfilippo C., “Istituzioni ecc”, op. cit. p. 152


Marriage and Conventio in Manum

Patria Potestas

Marriage sine manum

The weddings

Dissolution of Marriage



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