There were also no less than five witnesses; and an anomalous personage, the Libripens, who brought with him a pair of scales to weigh the uncoined copper money of ancient Rome.
At the execution of the Mancipatory Testament seven persons had been present besides the Testator. Seven witnesses were accordingly essential to the Prætorian Will: two of them corresponding to the libripens and familiæ emptor, who were now stripped of their symbolical character, and were merely present for the purpose of supplying their testimony.
The seller brought the property of which he intended to dispose a slave, for example the purchaser attended with the rough ingots of copper which served for money and an indispensable assistant, the libripens, presented himself with a pair of scales. The slave with certain fixed formalities was handed over to the vendee the copper was weighed by the libripens and passed to the vendor.
The Testator was the grantor; the five witnesses and the libripens were present; and the place of grantee was taken by a person known technically as the familiæ emptor, the Purchaser of the Family. The ordinary ceremony of a Mancipation was then proceeded with. Certain formal gestures were made and sentences pronounced.