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DOMICI´LIUM This word signifies a man's permanent home. The following is the wellknown definition of domicilium given in the Corpus Juris (Cod. 10.40, 7):--“In eo loco singulos habere domicilium non ambigitur, ubi quis larem rerumque ac fortunarum suarum summam constituit, unde rursus non sit discessurus, si nihil avocet, unde cum profectus est peregrinari videtur, quo si rediit peregrinari jam destitit.” In a passage of the Digest a man's home is thus defined (Dig. 50, 16, 203): “Sed de ea re constitutum esse (respondit) eam domum unicuique nostrum debere existimari, ubi quisque sedes et tabulas haberet suarumque rerum constitutionem fecisset.” A man acquired domicilium by making a place his residence and intending to remain in it permanently (animus manendi). Domicilium was lost by abandonment. The question of the existence of domicile was treated as one of fact to be determined by the circumstances of each case.

Thus it is determined (Dig. 50, 1, 27.1) that a person must be considered to have his domicilium in a municipium if he buys and sells there, attends the public spectacles, keeps the festival days there, and in fine enjoys all the advantages of the municipium and none of the colonia, where he is merely for the purpose of cultivation (ubi colendi ruris causa versatur). The terms incolam esse and domicilium habere are equivalent (Dig. 50, 1, 5; cf. Cod. 10, 39, 7 “Cives quidem origo, manumissio, allectio, vel adoptio, incolas vero domicilium facit” ).

The word domicilium was used in a fixed sense in the Lex Plautia Papiria, which was enacted B.C. 89: “Si qui foederatis civitatibus adscripti fuissent, si turn cum lex ferebatur in Italia domicilium habuissent et si sexaginta diebus apud praetorem essent professi” (Cic. pro Arch. ch. 4). Cicero in the same passage indirectly describes domicilium in a way which partly agrees with the definition of the Code above cited. “At domicilium Romae non habuit: is qui tot annis ante civitatem datam sedem omnium rerum ac fortunarum suarum Romae collocavit.”

It might be necessary for many purposes to determine where a man had his permanent abode. An incola was bound to obey the magistrates of the place where he was an incola, and also the magistrates of the place where he was a civis; he was not only subject to the municipal jurisdiction in both municipalities, but he was bound to perform all public functions (publica munera). A plaintiff was bound to bring his action in the forum of the defendant (actor sequitur forum rei), but the plaintiff had the choice of suing the defendant either at the place of his domicile (forum domicilii) or at the place of which the defendant was a citizen (forum originis). A man's legal relations were governed by the law of the place in which he was a citizen (lex originis), and not by that of the place of domicile; but if he was not a citizen of any municipium, he was subject to the lex domicilii. In the praescriptio longi temporis decem vel viginti annorum, it was enacted by Justinian, that the ten years' prescription should apply, if both parties had their domicilium in the same provincia; otherwise the prescription of twenty years was required.

The conception of domicile has far more important consequences in modern systems of law than in ancient; it is the foundation of a branch of what is sometimes called private International law, but more correctly the conflict of laws. (Savigny, System, 8. § § 353, 354.)

[G.L] [E.A.W]

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