Nursia, 20 January 427 AD
Menas met with Belisarius in the main square of the city during that morning. He was looking for a second horse since his cart was way too heavy for the only horse in his possession, especially that day, when he was planning to transport the entire produce of his harvest. Belisarius, as always, was interested in engaging with his city neighbours. He owned many horses, and he could certainly spare one of them for a few days. Therefore, he immediately offered one of his black stallions, named Rocco, to Menas. Menas grabbed the horse from the horse-saddle, and said: “Dear friend Belisarius, Thank you for the horse! I will return you a horse in two days!” And off he went, while Belisarius yelled: “OK, and good luck with the harvest!”
Two days later, at the same main square, Menas showed up with a beautiful white stallion, named Hadrian. As every morning, Belisarius was present, eager to engage with his neighbours. The first reaction of Belisarius was to shout: “Where is Rocco, my beloved animal?” Menas answered: “He was not feeling well, because he had a fight with Apollo. I brought beautiful Hadrian instead. She is as good as Rocky, I mean Rocco! And after all, I was only obliged to return you a horse, not necessarily Rocco.” Belisarius immediately exclaimed: “You are wrong my friend. You indeed had to return to me the exact same horse. That is to say, I want Rocco back!” At that moment Paulus, a great connoisseur of the law who was walking past and had heard everything, noticed that both friends had a different understanding of the type of contractus they had entered into. He explained them the characteristics and differences of the two contractus they might have in mind. Menas immediately understood the differences, and went home to look for Rocco. Two hours later, Belisarius was riding Rocco, and was happy again.
After the departure of Belisarius, Menas engaged in an academic discussion with Paulus. After all, Menas had also studied law! Menas told Paulus that there were different understandings of the two contractus, and that jurists that had lived more than 200 years earlier might have disagreed on some aspects of these two contractus. Paulus agreed with Menas, but stated that according to a recent enactment only the opinion of one of these jurists would prevail if the opinions were tied. Menas acknowledged that Paulus was right on the recent enactment. He would not dare to disagree since he did not want to get into trouble with someone called Valentinianus!
1. Assume that the parties did enter into a contractus. Identify which category and type of contractus Menas had in mind. Discuss the essential requirements for that type of contractus. (max. 200 words)
2. Assume again that the parties did enter into a contractus. Identify which category and type of contractus Belisarius had in mind. Discuss the essential requirements for that type of contractus. (max. 200 words)
3. Paulus referred in his answer to a recent enactment. Identify the name of that enactment. Inform on the time when the enactment was adopted and explain the contents of that enactment. (max. 300 words)
4. Paulus and Menas agree that the opinions of a certain group of jurists are to be considered. One of these jurists wrote a text-book for law students. Identify the name of that jurist. Provide information on the contents of the text-book and explain the importance the text-book had in the sixth century in the Eastern Roman Empire. (max. 300 words)
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