The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

MANCIPATIO Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

Lat. In Roman law. A certain ceremony or formal process anciently required to be performed, to perfect the sale or conveyance of res mancipi, (land, houses, slaves, horses, or cattle.) The parties were present, (vendor and vendee,) with five witnesses and a person called “libripens,” who held a balance or scales. A set form of words was repeated on either side, indicative of transfer of ownership, and certain prescribed gestures performed, and the vendee then struck the scales with a piece of copper, thereby symbolizing the payment, or weighing out, of the stipulated price. The ceremony of mancipatio was used, in later times, in one of the forms of making a will. The testator acted as vendor, and the heir (or familial emptor) as purchaser, the latter symbolically bulling the whole estate, or succession, of tlie former. The ceremony BL.LAW DICT.(2D ED.)


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.