Research Article

DOI :10.26650/mecmua.2023.81.1.0007   IUP :10.26650/mecmua.2023.81.1.0007    Full Text (PDF)

Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law

Halil İbrahim Yüksel

Literal contracts are the least widely known and least common type of contract in the Roman law contract system. Gaius’ Institutiones and other literary texts are the main source of information concerning nomina transscripticia, as a type of the literal contract. Gaius’ Institutiones mentions two types of nomina transscripticia: nomina transscripticia a re in personam and nomina transscripticia a persona in personam. A debt arising from another legal ground is inscribed as a literal contract via nomina transscripticia a re in personam. The creditor inscribes another person as a debtor instead of the original debtor with nomina transscripticia a persona in personam. The entries in nomina transscripticia a re in personam and nomina transscripticia a persona in personam terminate the previous debt and result in a new contractus. These entries function as a novatio allowing changes to be made to the basis and parties of the legal transaction. Together with these entries, a strict law contract is concluded and the debtor, whose name is recorded in the ledger called codex accepti et expensi, is obliged to pay the amount of debt entered in the ledger. As a valid contractus under ius civile, nomina transscripticia benefits from legal protection through actio. Developments and needs in commercial life played a key role in the emergence of nomina transscripticia. Being not widely practiced until the end of the classical period, nomina transscripticia disappeared during the reign of Iustinianus. The emergence of constitutum agreements in this period was effective in the abandonment of nomina transscripticia.

DOI :10.26650/mecmua.2023.81.1.0007   IUP :10.26650/mecmua.2023.81.1.0007    Full Text (PDF)

Roma Hukukunda Yazılı Bir Akit Olarak Nomina Transscripticia

Halil İbrahim Yüksel

Roma hukuku akitler sisteminde hakkında en az bilgi sahibi olunan ve en az yaygınlaşmış akit türü yazılı akitlerdir. Yazılı akitler arasında yer alan nomina transscripticia’nın da hakkında bilinenler ağırlıklı olarak Gaius’un Institutiones’inde ve diğer edebi metinlerde yer almaktadır. Nomina transscripticia’nın Gaius’un Institutiones’inde belirtilen türleri nomina transscripticia a re in personam ve nomina transscripticia a persona in personam’dır. Nomina transscripticia a re in personam vasıtasıyla başka bir hukuki sebeple ödenmesi gereken borç yazılı akit olarak kaydedilir. Nomina transscripticia a persona in personam ile ise alacaklı, asıl borçlu yerine bir başkasını borçlu olarak kaydeder. Nomina transscripticia a re in personam ve nomina transscripticia a persona in personam kayıtlarıyla birlikte önceki borç sona erer ve yeni bir contractus ortaya çıkar. Novatio işlevi gören bu kayıtlarla hukuki işlemin sebebinde ve taraflarında değişiklik yapılabilmektedir. Aynı zamanda bu yazılı kayıtlarla birlikte dar hukuk akdi kurulmuş olur ve codex accepti et expensi olarak adlandırılan deftere ismi kaydedilen borçlu, deftere kayıtlı borç miktarını ödeme yükümlülüğü altına girer. Nomina transscripticia, ius civile’ye göre geçerli bir contractus olduğu için actio vasıtasıyla himaye edilir. Nomina transscripticia’nın ortaya çıkışında ticari hayatta yaşanan gelişmeler ve ihtiyaçlar önemli rol oynamıştır. Klasik devrin sonlarına kadar yaygın şekilde olmasa da uygulanan nomina transscripticia, Iustinianus devrine gelindiğinde uygulamadan kalkmıştır. Bu devirde constitutum anlaşmalarının ortaya çıkışı nomina transscripticia’nın uygulamadan kalkmasında etkili olmuştur.


Basic knowledge about nomina transscripticia, among the literal contracts in the contractus system of Roman law, has been gathered from Gaius’ Institutiones and other literary works. Based on these texts, this article analyzes the main features and components of nomina transscripticia as a literal contract within its historical background as well as its process of emergence and disappearance. This literal contract was unable to achieve widespread usage because it had begun being used in the period when the verbal formalist structure of early law had started to cease due to the emergence of consensual contracts. Literal contracts have advantages over verbal contracts in some aspects, such as being able to be established at a distance, not being in need to be stated with words according to certain patterns and being able to be used to validate contracts for those with hearing and speech impediments. However, literal contracts have become useless compared to consensual contracts that can be formed through consensus only. Entries for the formation of nomina transscripticia were inscribed in a ledger called codex accepti et expensi. Whether the double-entry accounting technique was applied while keeping this ledger is a matter of controversy. In this regard, however, the prevailing view is that the ledger was filled out using two complementary entries, with the second one demonstrating that the previous debt had been eliminated. Nomina transscripticia is an institution of ius civile, and a contractus protected by actio that burdens one party with a monetary debt. Gaius mentioned two types of nomina transscripticia in his book Institutiones: nomina transscripticia are in personam and nomina transscripticia a persona in personam. When executing the nomina transscripticia a re in personam, a debt that had arisen from a consensual contract would be transformed into an obligation arising from a literal contract, thus resulting in a contract that has iudicia stricti iuris. Besides, when executing nomina transscripticia a persona in personam, the debtor changes, a new debtor goes into the debt and creditor has iudicia stricti iuris against new debtor. Within the context

of both types of this contract, the previous debt is hypothetically eliminated as if the payment had been made, but no actual payment has occurred. Monetary debt, arising from a legal ground such as a sale is deemed to be lent to the same person as

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Yüksel, H.İ. (2023). Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law. Istanbul Law Review, 81(1), 113-132.


Yüksel H İ. Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law. Istanbul Law Review. 2023;81(1):113-132.


Yüksel, H.İ. Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law. Istanbul Law Review, [Publisher Location], v. 81, n. 1, p. 113-132, 2023.

Chicago: Author-Date Style

Yüksel, Halil İbrahim,. 2023. “Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law.” Istanbul Law Review 81, no. 1: 113-132.

Chicago: Humanities Style

Yüksel, Halil İbrahim,. Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law.” Istanbul Law Review 81, no. 1 (Dec. 2023): 113-132.

Harvard: Australian Style

Yüksel, Hİ 2023, 'Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law', Istanbul Law Review, vol. 81, no. 1, pp. 113-132, viewed 11 Dec. 2023,

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Yüksel, H.İ. (2023) ‘Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law’, Istanbul Law Review, 81(1), pp. 113-132. (11 Dec. 2023).


Yüksel, Halil İbrahim,. Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law.” Istanbul Law Review, vol. 81, no. 1, 2023, pp. 113-132. [Database Container],


Yüksel Hİ. Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law. Istanbul Law Review [Internet]. 11 Dec. 2023 [cited 11 Dec. 2023];81(1):113-132. Available from: doi: 10.26650/mecmua.2023.81.1.0007


Yüksel, Halilİbrahim. Nomina Transscripticia as a Literal Contract in Roman Law”. Istanbul Law Review 81/1 (Dec. 2023): 113-132.


Published Online30.03.2023


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