The Reception of Roman Law into the Anglo-American Common Law of Mixed Goods

39 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2016

See all articles by David Fox

David Fox

School of Law, University of Edinburgh

Date Written: June 1, 2016


This article considers the development of the common law of mixed goods from the middle of the fifteenth century through to the late twentieth. It is a neat example of a Roman legal doctrine being directly received into the common law. That the reception happened when it did – late in the eighteenth and early in the nineteenth centuries – testifies to the state of the English and American high legal culture at the time, and to the intellectual interests of the legal writers, judges and practitioners who brought about this instance of “Romanisation” in common law doctrine.

The study explains much about the modern state of the law governing mixtures of money and goods. The study also underscores some fundamental similarities and differences in common law and civil law analyses of property, their approach to evidential uncertainty, and the relationship between actions and substantive rights.

Keywords: mixed goods, roman law, mixture, mixed moneys, legal history

JEL Classification: K11, K19

Suggested Citation

Fox, David, The Reception of Roman Law into the Anglo-American Common Law of Mixed Goods (June 1, 2016). University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 23/2016, Available at SSRN: or

David Fox (Contact Author)

School of Law, University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

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