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1. Athenian.

At Athens adoption (εἰσποίησις or θέσις) took place either in the adopter's lifetime or by will; or again, if a man died childless and intestate, the state interfered to bring into his house the man next entitled by the Attic law of inheritance as heir and adoptive son, so that the race and the religious rites peculiar to it might not die out. None but the independent citizen of respectable character could adopt, and he only while he was as yet without male heirs. If there were daughters, one of them was usually betrothed to the adopted son, and the rest portioned off with dowries. If after that a male heir was born, he and the adopted had equal rights.

2> Roman.

At Rome there were two kinds of adoption, both requiring the adopter to be a male and childless: arrogatio and adoption proper. The former could only take place where the person to be adopted was independent (sui iuris), and his adopter had no prospect of male offspring; at the instance of the pontifex, and after full proof of admissibility, it had to be sanctioned by the Comitia Curiata. (See Comitia.) Adoption proper applied to those still under paternal rule (patria potestas), the father selling his son by formal mancipatio (q. v). to the adopter, who then, the paternal power being thus abolished, claimed the son before the court as his own, and the father allowed him to be adjudged to him. By either transaction the person adopted passed completely over into the family and rank of the adopter, and naturally took his name in full, but with the addition of a second cognomen formed from his own former nomen gentile by the suffix -anus, e. g. Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus (son of Lucius Aemilius Paulus). Women, too, could be adopted, but not arrogated; neither could they adopt. At the latter end of the Republic we find a testamentary adoption in existence, which at first likewise produced a change of name, but not of status. See Nomen.

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