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APH´ANES OUSIA (ἀφανὴς οὺσὶα) and the correlative term φανερὰ οὐσία have been variously explained. First, that ἀφανὴς οὐσία answered to the Roman res incorporales or intangible property, i. e. rights. [DOMINIUM] But this distinction did not exist in the older Roman law, and it is still less likely to have occurred to the simpler legal conceptions of the Greeks. Secondly, that φανερὰ οὐσία denoted immovable (in English law, real) property, ἀφανὴς οὐσία movable property or personalty. This is the opinion of Böckh, K. F. Hermann, and Schömann, founded on the express testimony of the grammarians (Harpocrat., Suid., Bekk. Anecd. 1.468); and it is by much the most probable. A third explanation, originating with M. de Koutorga (Essai sur les trapézites ou banquiers d'Athènes), is supported by Caillemer in Daremberg and Saglio: that φανερὰ οὐσία meant unconcealed property, en évidence before the tax-gatherer; ἀφανὴς of course the reverse. It would seem that this view rests upon a confusion between the technical legal phrase φανερὰ οὐσία and the ordinary expressions φανερὸν ἀργύριον, φανερὰ χρήματα for “ready money” or “balance at the banker's.” The following passages, not cited by M. Caillemer, are, we think, decisive against his view, all referring to the conversion of real property into money:--Isaeus, Philoctem. § 38; Dem. de Pace, p. 59.8, and c. Nausim. p. 986.9. The words of Harpocration are worth quoting for their brevity and clearness: Ἀφανὴς οὐσία καὶ φανερά: ἀφανὴς μὲν ἐν χρὴμασι καὶ σώμασι καὶ σκεύεσι, φανερὰ δὲ ἔγγειος. Schömann in his latest work (Antiq. 1.180 n., E. T.) remarks on (φανερὰ οὐσία or immovable property: “This is at least the predominant signification of the expression, although it is sometimes used in a more general sense of all property of every kind which was not concealed.” He refers, as does M. Caillemer, to Isocr. Trapezit. § 7, where however the expression is τὰ φανερὰ τῶν χρημάτων.


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