Montesquieu
 

XXIX.8 That laws that appear the same do not always have the same purpose

In France we accept most of the Roman laws on sub­sti­tu­tions, but sub­sti­tu­tions here have a com­ple­tely dif­fe­rent pur­pose than they did for the Romans. For them, here­dity was tied to cer­tain sacri­fi­ces1 that had to be made by the heir, and which were deter­mi­ned by the law of the pon­tiffs ; as a result, they held it a disho­nor to die without an heir, they took their sla­ves as heirs, and they inven­ted sub­sti­tu­tions. The com­mon sub­sti­tu­tion, which was the first inven­ted, and which applied only in the case where the appoin­ted heir should not accept the suc­ces­sion, is strong proof of this : its objec­tive was not to per­pe­tuate the inhe­ri­tance in a family of the same name, but to find someone who would accept the inhe­ri­tance.

When the inheritance was not too laden, the right of the pontiffs was eluded by certain kinds of sales, whence the expression sine sacris hæreditas.