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IT is a circumstance decidedly calling for laughter and ridicule, when many grammarians assert that necessitudo and necessitas are unlike and different, in that necessitas is an urgent and compelling force, but necessitudo is a certain right and binding claim of consecrated intimacy, and that this is its only meaning. But just as it makes no difference at all whether you say suavitudo or suavitas (sweetness), acerbitudo or acerbitas (bitterness), acritudo or acritas (sharpness), as Accius wrote in his Neoptolemus, 1 in the same way no reason can be assigned for separating necessitudo and necessitas. Accordingly, in the books of the early writers you may often find necessitudo used of that which is necessary; but necessitas certainly is seldom applied to the law and duty of respect and relationship, in spite of the fact that those who are united by that very law and duty of relationship and intimacy are called necessarii (kinsfolk). However, in a speech of Gaius Caesar, 2 In Support of the Plautian Law, I found necessitas used for necessitudo, that is for the bond of relationship. His words are as follows: 3 “To me indeed it seems that, as our kinship (necessitas) demanded, I have failed neither in labour, in pains, nor in industry.” I have written this with regard to the lack of [p. 423] distinction between these two words as the result of reading the fourth book of the History of Sempronius Asellio, an early writer, in which he wrote as follows about Publius Africanus, the son of Paulus: 4 “For he had heard his father, Lucius Aemilius Paulus, say that a really able general never engaged in a pitched battle, unless the utmost necessity (necessitudo) demanded, or the most favourable opportunity offered.”
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