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Jus percipiendi pecuniam: credito e rendite fra XIII e XIV secolo


The article reconstructs the intellectual process through which the right to perceive annuities (jus percipiendi pecuniam) was identified. This conceptual and juridical instrument was of great importance for the functioning of an economy largely based on the circulation of annuities, such as that existing between the Middle Age and the Renaissance. At the centre of this intellectual process there were, on the one hand, the theory of the divided domunium, through which the dominium eminens was to be distinguished from the dominium utilis, and on the other the debate concerning the management of the res ecclesiae and the use of goods, which concentrated on the relations between usus-fructus and jus. Reflecting on the technical-legal materials deriving from the flourishing economic activities of the later Middle Ages, doctors on civil law, theologians and doctors in canon law worked out a conceptual instrument which allowed to make the real estates ‘movable’ and, at the same time, which permitted the sins of usury and simony to be avoided. To pursue this goal, it was necessary to give a juridical qualification to the usus-fructus and to recognise to the annuity its juridical autonomy, considering it as independent both from the propriety and from the possession. Thanks to the right to perceive annuities (jus percipiendi pecuniam) would have been possible to conclude a series of transactions that could have been censured from the ecclesiastical institutions, making available many assets which otherwise would have been excluded from trade.