Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bibliography on the Irregular Deposit (depositum irregulare) in Roman Law

In Roman law, the irregular deposit (depositum irregulare in Latin) was a real contract in which when money was left with a banker the ownership (dominium) of the money passed to the bank and he could use it. In return, the banker returned the same quantity (tantundem) of money to the depositor, not the same money itself (Zimmermann 1990: 215–216). The contract was very similar to the mutuum. One difference that has been proposed is that, in the irregular deposit, the money was lent out directly by the banker for the benefit of the “depositor” in an investment or loan to earn him interest: that is to say, the depositum irregulare was for the financial benefit of the “depositor,” not the banker (Watson 1998: 29).

This institution has been important in the legal history of fractional reserve banking, certainly in Continental Europe (but not in the Anglo-American world).

There has been a long debate about when the depositum irregulare arose in Roman law, and various solutions are proposed. Opinion ranges from the view that the irregular deposit was (1) an invention of the Byzantine jurists, (2) was developed in the 3rd century AD, (3) was known in the Classical period of law but only developed later, and (4) existed even in the late Republic.

The highly unorthodox definition of depositum irregulare used by Huerta de Soto (2012) appears to be derived from Coppa Zuccari 1901 and 1902. But this definition is contrary to that held in Roman law.

I have posted a detailed bibliography below on the irregular deposit.

For the complex debate on when the depositum irregulare was formulated in Roman law, see the following:
Niemeyer 1889;
Naber 1906;
Longo 1906;
Segrè 1907;
Bonifacio 1948;
Schulz 1949;
Seidl 1951;
Schulz 1951: 519–520;
Adams 1962;
Geiger 1962;
Klami 1969;
Litewski 1974;
Litewski 1975;
Gordon 1982;
Andreau 1987: 529–544;
Vigneron 1984;
Klami 1986;
Bürge 1987;
Zimmermann 1990: 217;
Petrucci 1991;
Oudshoorn 2007.
Many scholars think that the irregular deposit was a Roman interpretation of the Greek παρακαταθήκη or παραθήκη (“deposit” or “loan”), a banking practice and concept from the Hellenistic world. For treatments of Greek deposit banking and the Greek and Hellenistic παρακαταθήκη, see the following:
Paoli 1974: 21–22;
Beauchet 1897: 333–337;
Lipsius 1905–1915: 735–738;
Frezza 1956;
Simon 1965;
Roth 1970;
Taubenschlag 1972: 67–68 and 349;
Vigneron 1984;
Klami 1986.

Adams, B. 1962. “Haben die Römer ‘depositum irregulare’ und Darlehen unterschieden?,” Studia et documenta historiae et iuris 28: 360–371.

Andreau, J. 1987. La vie financière dans le monde romain: les métiers de manieurs d’argent: (4e siècle av. J.–C.–3e siècle ap. J.–C.), Ecole Française de Rome, Rome. pp. 529–544.

Andreau, J. 1999. Banking and Business in the Roman World (trans. J. Lloyd), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York.

Andreau, Jean. 2006. “Roman Law in Relation to Banking and Business: A Few Cases,” in Peter F. Bang, Mamoru Ikeguchi and Hartmut G. Ziche (eds.). Ancient Economies, Modern Methodologies. Archaeology, Comparative History, Models and Institutions. Edipuglia, Bari. 201–214.

Beauchet, Ludovic. 1897. Histoire du droit privé de la République Athénienne. Vol. 4 Le Droit des Obligations. Chevalier-Marescq & cie, Paris.

Bonifacio, F. 1948. “Ricerche sul deposito irregolare in diritto romano,” Bullettino dell’istituto di diritto romano 49/50: 80–152.

Borkowski, A. and Paul du Plessis. 2005. Textbook on Roman Law (3rd edn.). Oxford University Press, Oxford. pp. 302–303.

Buckland, William Warwick. 1963. A Text-book of Roman Law from Augustus to Justinian (3rd edn.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Bürge, A. 1987. “Fiktion und Wirklichkeit: Soziale und rechtliche Strukturen des romischen Bank-wesens,” ZRG 104: 465–558.

Cohen, Edward E. 1992. Athenian Economy and Society: A Banking Perspective. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.

Coppa Zuccari, Pasquale. 1901. Il deposito irregolare. Modena.

Coppa-Zuccari, Pasquale. 1902. “La natura giuridica del deposito bancario,” Archivio giuridico “Filippo Serafini”, n.s. 9: 441–472.

Crook, J. A. 1984. Law and Life of Rome. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y. p. 209.

Frezza, P. 1956. “Παρακαταθήκη,” in Isabella Biezuanska-Maowist (ed.), Symbolae Raphaeli Taubenschlag dedicatae (vol. 1), Ossolineum, Vratislaviae-Varsaviae. 139–172.

Geiger, K. 1962. Das Depositum irregulare als Kreditgeschäft. Schubert, Munich.

Gordon, W. M. 1982. “Observations on ‘depositum irregulare,’” in Studi in onore di Arnaldo Biscardi, III. Milan, 363–372.

Huerta de Soto, J. 2012. Money, Bank Credit and Economic Cycles (3rd edn.; trans. M. A. Stroup), Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Ala.

Johnston, D. 1999. Roman Law in Context. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K. and New York. p. 87.

Kaser, Max. 1980. Roman Private Law (3rd edn; trans. R. Dannenbring), University of South Africa, Pretoria.

Klami, H. T. 1969. “Mutua magis videtur quam deposita”: über die Geldverwahrung im Denken der römischen Juristen. Keskuskirjapaino, Helsinki.

Klami, H. T. 1986. “Depositum und Παρακαταθήκη,” in Hans-Peter Benöhr (ed.), Iuris professio: Festgabe für Max Kaser zum 80. Geburtstag. Böhlau, Vienna. 89–100.

Lipsius, Justus Hermann. 1905–1915. Das attische Recht und Rechtsverfahren, mit Benutzung des attischen Processes von M.H. Meier und G.F. Schomann. Reisland, Leipzig.

Litewski, W. 1974. “Le dépôt irrégulier,” Revue internationale des droits de l’Antiquité 21: 215–262.

Litewski, W. 1975. “Le dépôt irrégulier (II),” Revue internationale des droits de l’Antiquité 22: 279–315.

Löwenstein, Arthur. 1896. Depositum irregulare und Darlehn. Gummersbach.

Longo, C. 1906. “Appunti sul deposito irregolare,” Bullettino dell’istituto di diritto romano 18: 121–156.

Melville, R. D. 1915. A Manual of the Principles of Roman Law Relating to Persons, Property, and Obligations, with a Historical Introduction, Green, Edinburgh. p. 345.

Millett, Paul. 1991. Lending and Borrowing in Ancient Athens. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York.

Naber, J. C. 1906. “Observatiunculae de iure Romano,” Mnemosyne n.s. 34.1: 59–72.

Nicholas, B. 1969. An Introduction to Roman Law (with corr.), Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Niemeyer, T. 1889. Depositum irregulare. Halle.

Oudshoorn, J. G. 2007. The Relationship between Roman and Local Law in the Babatha and Salome Komaise Archives. Brill, Leiden and Boston. pp. 134–141.

Paoli, Ugo Enrico. 1974. Studi di diritto attico. Cisalpino, Milan.

Petrucci, Aldo. 1991. Mensam exercere: studi sull’impresa finanziaria romana (II secolo a.C.–metà del III secolo d.C.). Jovene, Naples.

Roth, W. D. Untersuchungen zur Kredit-ΠΑΡΑΘΗΚΗ im römischen Ägypten. Ein Beitrag zum Zinsrecht der Papyri und zum νόμος τῶν παραθηκῶν. Dissert. Marburg, 1970.

Schmid, A. C. J. 1847. “Ueber das depositum irregulare,” Archiv für die civilistische Praxis 30.1: 77–107.

Schulz, F. 1949. “The Postclassical Edition of Papinian’s «Libri Quaestionum»,” in A. Gemelli (ed.), Scritti in onore di Contardo Ferrini: pubblicati in occasione della sua beatificazione (vol. 4). Società editrice “Vita e pensiero,” Milan. 254–267.

Schulz, F. 1951. Classical Roman Law. Clarendon Press, Oxford. pp. 519–520.

Segrè, G. 1907. “Sul deposito irregolare in diritto romano,” Bullettino dell’istituto di diritto romano 19: 197–234.

Seidl, E. 1951. “Der Eigentumsübergang beim Darlehen und Depositum irregulare,” in Festschrift für F. Schulz. Weimar. 373–379.

Simon, D. 1965. “Quasi-ΠΑΡΑΚΑΤΑΘΗΚΗ. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Morpholögie griechisch-hellenistischer Schuldrechtstatbestände,” ZSS 82: 39–66.

Taubenschlag, Raphael. 1972. Law of Greco-Roman Egypt in the Light of the Papyri 332 B.C.–640 A.D. (2nd rev. edn.), Cisalpino-Goliardica, Milan.

Thomas, J. A. C. 1976. Textbook of Roman Law. North-Holland, Amsterdam and Oxford.

Thomas, P. J. 1986. Introduction to Roman Law. Kluwer Law and Taxation Publishers, Deventer, Netherlands and Boston.

Van Warmelo, P. 1976. An Introduction to the Principles of Roman Civil Law. Cape Town. p. 158.

Vigneron, R. 1984. “Résistance du Droit romain aux influences hellénistiques: le cas du dépôt irrégulier,” Revue internationale des droits de l’Antiquité 31: 307–324.

Visky, K. 1983. Spuren der Wirtschaftskrise der Kaiserzeit in den romischen Rechtsquellen. Habelt, Bonn. p. 197.

Watson, A. 1965. The Law of Obligations in the Later Roman Republic. Clarendon Press, Oxford. p. 165.

Watson, Alan. 1998. Ancient Law and Modern Understanding: At the Edges. University of Georgia Press, London. p. 29.

Zimmermann, R. 1990. The Law of Obligations: Roman Foundations of the Civilian Tradition, Juta & Co, Cape Town. p. 217.

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