The sacramenta in the legis actiones: from the "divine" process to a secular process
The most significant feature of the archaic Roman private process is the linking of the decision of the litigation to a judgment that was religious in nature, due to the close correlation of the ius with the fas. The term ius expresses religious values, when it is connected with the fas which, in this case, indicates the divine approval of a human conduct. Therefore, the sentence did not focus on the legal reasons of the parties, but had to establish conformity or not with the ius of the sacramentum. The latter was originally a solemn oath that coincided with a religious act carried out by each side, which thus created contact with the divinity and became a participant in its power. It emerges from the sources that the legis actiones in rem and in personam of the origins were based on a structure where religion played a preponderant role. At a later stage, the priests who interpreted the divine will formulated their evaluations using rational reasoning: already with the XII tables, the legis actiones underwent a change towards a process more marked by a judgment of a secular type.
Keywords: private process; ius; fas; sacramentum; legis actio sacramenti in rem; legis actio sacramenti in personam.