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Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(from the Latin pecus, “cattle”), in ancient Rome, property set aside by the head of a family for use by members of the household (sons, slaves). A peculium could include shops, stores, plots of land with livestock and implements, and slaves, who from the third century B.C. often also received their own peculia. Originally peculia were given mainly to urban slave artisans, to slaves who administered their master’s villa or managed his commercial affairs, and sometimes to shepherds. From the second century B.C. slave farmers were also given peculia. Slaves were obliged to pay their masters a part of the income derived from peculia. The allotment of peculia led to a differentiation among slaves, some of whom came to occupy a position close to that of free property owners and colons.


Shtaerman, E. M. Rastsvet rabovladel’cheskikh otnoshenii v Rimskoi respublike. Moscow, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is always found combined with the limittation to the peculium, and is thus a clause by way of taxatio inserted in the condemnatio of the action, whatever it may be (60)".
Por otro parte, en la vida cultural y religiosa de los esclavos el calendario liturgico proporcionaba momentos festivos que combinados con el uso del peculium podian generar espacios de autonomia, como se deduce de los registros de sus deudas.
Jefferson allowed them a peculium, permitting them to possess personal property and raise chickens, vegetables, and eggs for sale to his family as well as for their own consumption.
In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Edmund Pendleton, "I cannot doubt any attachment to his country in any man who has his family and peculium in it ....
he manages money or property virtually as his own, though incapable of legal ownership, this money being a peculium.
peculium est pecunia quesita ex ovis et casiis, et inde peculiaris, quod est familiaris : familleus 98.
Esta naturaleza juridica, de limitacion patrimonial y responsabilidad patrimonial separadas, permite, desde la optica procesal, que se pueda demandar tanto a la empresa con la accion de peculio--si prius in peculium vertit pecuniam--como al dueno, con la actio in rem verso, por los beneficios adquiridos,--mox in rem domini, esse de in rem verso actio possit--.
(22) It has been suggested that the small sack containing jewelry might represent all or part of the peculium of the ancilla.
Latin legalese: 389c, 392c, legatum; 389c, fideicommissum; 392a, peculium; 393c, codicillus; other Latin words: 392c, 393b, 396b, notarius; 393b, pallium.