（厦门大学 法学院，福建 厦门 361005）
Behind the Mistranslation of "slave is a talking tool"
On Instrumentum in Roman Private Law
Abstract：The mistranslation of "slave is a talking tool " is based on the misunderstanding of the Latin legal term instrumentum, which is not the meaning of "tool" but the meaning of "accompanied by", including both inanimate and animate elements. Under the conditions of the agricultural economy, the Latin author regards the land as the central object and regards the elements that help the land to be effective as the companion of the land. In the case where the testator has expressly stated, the land should be transferred together with his companion in order to keep it productive. In the opposite case, the two can be transferred separately. In the Roman private law there are also professional instrumentum, instrumentum in the business premises, and instrumentum as living material. The existence of the instrumentum concept in Roman private law shows that the Romans had a systematical idea, convincing that things do not exist in isolation, but exist in interrelated or systematic existence, and that human beings depend on certain things. Therefore, the relationship between the central role and its partner should be handled in a systematic manner.
Key word: Farm Fundus cum instrument Slave Legacy Enterprise