Institutes of Justinian

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David Bollier:

"The ancient Romans were the first society in recorded history to have made explicit laws regarding distinct categories of property, including common property and other categories of things that should not be privately owned. In 535 CE, the Codex Justinianus, or Institutes of Justinian, details the legal divisions of things, which included res communes, or things owned in common to all such as the seashore and rivers. This was the first known legal recognition of the commons. Other categories of things that cannot be privately owned included res publicae, or things that were crated by public authorities such as buildings and theaters; and res sacrae, or things that are sacred and dedicated to the service of God and cannot be sold or mortgaged."