Contracts Similar to locatio-conductio of Work and Servicesin Graeco-Roman Egypt

Rafał Marek


In the papyri various leases and rents were designated by the collective term misthosis, which includes so-called locatio conductio rei, as well as l.c. operarum and l.c. operis. In Egyptian legal practice leases had an informal character. Free persons were leased out by their relatives. The papyri contain a variety of agreements which can be considered to be more closely equivalent to locatio conductio operarum. They are conducted by free people, who let out their services. We also know of employment agreements shaped in a manner similar to those relevant to manual labor in which people of relatively high social standing were engaged as professionals. Use of a written form was beneficial to an employee, as it prompted him to give greater consideration to contractual provisions. Although there was no jurisprudence in the Greek system, the complex economy of Graeco-Roman Egypt functioned adequately, and the experience of notaries allowed parties to satisfy their interests.

Słowa kluczowe: historia prawa zatrudnienia, prawo umów, gospodarka starożytna, prawo i społeczeństwo hellenistyczne, prawo i papirusy.


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