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PRAE´DIUM etymologically seems to be derived from the root hed (PRAEDA), through either praes or praeda: with the first it is connected by Varro, who says that it originally signified any property which was made security to the state by a praes ( “praedia dicta, item ut praedes, a praestando, quod ea pignori data publice mancupis fidem praestent,” L. L. 5.40): by others it is brought into relation with praeda: “quod antiqui agros quos bello ceperant ut praedae nomine habebant” (Gromat. Veter. ed. Lachmann, i. p. 369). Subsequently the term was limited to signify land generally, being used in contrast with fundus or solum especially when the situation of the land, or the purpose for which it was used, was in contemplation: thus praedia rustica are parcels of land devoted to tillage or pasture, even though they may be partly built upon, while praedia urbana are those which are not used for the production of the fruits of the earth, but for residence and commercial ends: though from different points of view a piece of land might be considered at once both urbanum and rusticum (Dig. 20, 2, 4, 1; 50, 16, 198). Rights over land which, though less in orbit than dominium, are yet real in their nature (e. g. rights of way), were mostly called jura praediorum: see SERVITUTES

Provincialia praedia were called either stipendiaria or tributaria, because the land tax was termed stipendium in those provinces which were considered to belong to the populus, and tributum in the provinces of the emperor (Gaius, 2.21: cf. Dig. 50, 16, 27, 1). This distinction, however, was merely nominal even in Gaius' [p. 2.476]time, and ceased entirely about the end of the second century.


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