One sense of this word is that of
“forfeited,” which is derived from the sense of the verb
“to attach legal effect to,”
“to make operative.” So committere
is to occasion an edict to come into force (Dig. 37
; 14, 10.5, 11 pr.); committere poenam
make oneself liable to a penalty (Cic. Clu.
); stipulatio committitur
means that a stipulation is become operative by the occurrence of a
condition precedent or otherwise. Hence property forfeited by the coming
into effect of a condition was said to be commissum,
as when a lex commissoria
was attached to a mortgage (pignus
Cicero (Cic. Fam. 13.56
) speaks of a
hypothecated thing becoming commissa;
becoming the absolute property of the creditor for default of payment.
is an inheritance
forfeited as a penalty (Cic. Ver. 1.10,
is specially applied to anything [p. 1.513]
such as merchandise confiscated because revenue
duty had not been paid on it, or a proper return of it made to the publicani.
A thing thus forfeited (vectigalium nomine
) ceased to be the property of the
owner and belonged to the fiscus.
exportation of which was prohibited, such as arms and ships, might likewise
be subject to forfeiture (in causam commissi
). In early times the publicani
had the remedy of distraint on account of unpaid taxes (Gaius, 4.28). The
principle of forfeiture may have been made applicable to such cases by a
is used by mediaeval writers to
signify property forfeited, as e. g. to the lord of whom a fief
was held, and commissio
is found in a corresponding sense. (Dig. 39
; Paul. Sent.
5.1; Fragm. de jure fisci.