Testamentum holographum denotes a testament written by the testator in his own hand. It is in this sense that the term is found in papyrological texts in Greco-Roman Egypt. In Roman Law, it appears as late as the fifth century in the constitutions of the Emperors Theodosius II and Valentinian III as an acceptable form of testament written in the testator’s own hand – per holografam scripturam, without witnesses. Emperor Justinian failed to accept this novelty into his code and restored the classical forms of drafting a testament. However, the concept of holographic testament survived in Germanic legal codes (Lex Romana Burgundionum; Lex Romana Visigothorum) and it was through them that it has found its way into modern legislations, indirectly into the Polish civil law as well.