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As ususcapio is treated as a compound word, in which the letter a is pronounced long, just so pignoriscapio was pronounced as one word with a long a. These are the words of Cato in the first book of his Epistolary Questions: 1 “Pignoriscapio, resorted to because of military pay 2 which a soldier ought to receive from the public paymaster, is a word by itself.” 3 From this it is perfectly clear that one may say capio as if it were captio, in connection with both usus and pignus.
1 p. cviii., Jordan. It should be Varro rather than Cato.
2 That is, pay in arrears.
3 Ususcapio or usucapio is a “taking,” or claim to possession, by right of actual tenure (usus); pignoriscapio is a seizure of goods. On the latter see Mommsen, Staatsrecht, i.3, p. 160, and cf. Suet. Jul. xvii. 2. The a is not long in either word, but has the accent, which may be what Gellius means.
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