Montesquieu

A law of Rhodes

The Rhodians went fur­ther. Sextus Empiricus says that there a son could not avoid paying his father’s debts by renoun­cing the suc­ces­sion.1 The law of Rhodes was given to a repu­blic foun­ded on com­merce : now, I believe the rea­son of com­merce must itself have impo­sed this stric­ture, that the debts contrac­ted by the father since the son had begun to exer­cise the com­merce would not affect the pro­perty which the son had acqui­red. A mer­chant must always know his obli­ga­tions, and behave at every moment in func­tion of the state of his for­tune.

Hippotiposes, book I, ch. xiv.