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Emptio et Venditio

In Roman law the contract of buying and selling consists in the buyer agreeing to give a certain sum of money to the seller, and the seller agreeing to give to the buyer some certain thing for his money. After the agreement is made the buyer is bound to pay his money, even if the thing which is the object of purchase should be accidentally destroyed before it is delivered; and the seller must deliver the thing with all its intermediate increase. The seller must also guarantee a good title to the purchase (see Evictio), and he must also guarantee that the thing has no concealed defects, and that it has all the good qualities which he (the seller) attributes to it. It was with a view to check frauds in sales, and especially in the sales of slaves, that the seller was obliged, by the edict of the curule aediles (see Edictum), to inform the buyer of the defects of any slave offered for sale: Qui mancipia vendunt, certiores faciant emtores quod morbi vitiique, etc. In reference to this part of the law, in addition to the usual action arising from the contract, the buyer had against the seller, according to the circumstances, an actio ex stipulatu, redhibitoria, and quanti minoris. Horace, in the beginning of the second epistle of the second book, alludes to the precautions to be taken by the buyer and the seller of a slave.

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