When ancient Romans didn’t provide for children

“The Romans were also wont to set aside testaments [wills] as being inofficiosa, [irresponsible, unobliging] deficient in natural duty, if they disinherited or totally passed by (without assigning a true and sufficient reason) any of the children of the testator.
But if the child had any legacy, though ever so small, it was a proof that the testator had not lost his memory or his reason, which otherwise the law presumed;
Hence probably has arisen that groundless vulgar error, of the necessity of leaving the heir a shilling or some other express legacy, in order to disinherit him effectually:”

 

Sir William Blackstone, translations added in [ ],
Of Title by Testament, and AdministrationChapter 32,
Commentaries on the Laws of England, Book II, 1723-1780.
New York Garland Pub. 1978, reprint of the 9th (1783) ed. printed
for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, London, and D. Prince, Oxford.