DATIVE (Lat. dativus, giving or given, from dare, to give), the name, in grammar, of the case of the " indirect object," the person or thing to or for whom or which anything is given or done. In law, the word signifies something, such as an office, which may be disposed of at will or pleasure, and is opposed to perpetual. In Scots law the term is applied to persons, duties or powers, appointed or granted by a court of law; thus an " executordative " is an executor appointed by the court and not by a testator. It answers, therefore, to the English administrator (q.v.) In Roman law, a tutor was either dativus, if expressly nominated in a testament, or optivus, if a power of selection was given.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)