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Interdictum

The intervention by the praetor or proconsul in certain legal controversies to command the abstention from some act—e. g. to forbid the disturbance of some possessions or the desecration of consecrated ground. An order requiring the performance of some act is called decretum. Orders of restitution are styled restitutoria; of production, exhibitoria; of abstention, prohibitoria. (Cf. Gaius, iv. 139, 140, with Poste's note.) The interdict probably arose in cases where there was no statutory action, but where the intervention of the supreme authority was necessary to maintain law and order. In later times, the praetor ceased to intervene absolutely, but made his action conditional, referring the case to a iudex and directing the interested parties to stake a wager (sponsio) on the question at issue. See Machelard, Théorie des Interdits; and Muirhead, Historical Introduction to the Private Law of Rome. 73.

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