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lex , lēgis, f. perh. Sanscr. root lag-, lig-, to fasten; Lat. ligo, to bind, oblige; cf. religio,
I.a proposition or motion for a law made to the people by a magistrate, a bill (cf. institutum).
II. Transf.
A. A bill which has become a law in consequence of its adoption by the people in the comitia, a law (cf.: jus, fas; decretum, edictum, scitum): legem constituere alicui, Cic. Caecin. 14, 40: “legem gravem alicui imponere,id. Ac. 2, 8, 23: “legem neglegere, evertere, perfringere,id. Cat. 1, 7, 18: “neglegere, perrumpere,id. Leg. 1, 15, 42: “leges ac jura labefactare,id. Caecin. 25, 70: “legem condere,Liv. 3, 34: leges duodecim tabularum, the laws composed by the decemvirs, the foundation of Roman legislation, Liv. 3, 33 sq.: “nunc barbaricā lege certumst jus meum omne persequi,” i. e. by the Roman law, that of the Twelve Tables, Plaut. Capt. 3, 1, 32.—
B. Esp. in phrases.
1. Lege and legibus, according to law, by law, legally: “ejus morte ea ad me lege redierunt bona,Ter. And. 4, 5, 4: “Athenas deductus est, ut ibi de eo legibus fieret judicium,Nep. Phoc. 3, 4.—
3. Hence, in partic.: lege agere, to proceed strictly according to law.
a. Of the lictor, to execute a sentence: “Fulvius praeconi imperavit, ut lictorem lege agere juberet,Liv. 26, 15, 9. —
b. To bring a legal or statutory action: una injuria est tecum. Chr. Lege agito ergo, Ter. Phorm. 5, 7, 90: lege agito dicebatur ei cujus intentio contemptibilis adversario videbatur, Don. ad Ter. l. l.: lege agito mecum; “molestus ne sis,Plaut. Aul. 3, 3, 11: “lege egit in hereditatem paternam exheres filius,Cic. de Or. 1, 38, 175; 1, 36, 167; Cic. Verr. 2, 1, 45, § 115.—
4. Fraudem legi facere, to evade the law: “ut ne legi fraudem faciant aleariae, adcuratote ut, etc.,the law against dicing, Plaut. Mil. 2, 2, 9: “quod emancupando filium fraudem legi fecisset,Liv. 7, 16, 9; cf. Val. Max. 8, 6, 3; cf. “also: facio fraudem senatus consulto,Cic. Att. 4, 12, 1.—
C. In gen., a law, precept, regulation, principle, rule, mode, manner: “qui disciplinam suam legem vitae putet,Cic. Tusc. 2, 4, 11: “communis condicio lexque vitae,id. ib. 4, 29, 62; id. Balb. 7, 18: “haec lex in amicitia sauciatur,id. Lael. 12, 40: “quaero cur vir bonus has sibi tam gravis leges imposuerit,id. Ac. 2, 8, 23: “lex veri rectique,id. ib. 2, 9, 27: “aliquam legem vitae accipere,Sen. Ep. 108, 6: “ad legem naturae revertamur,id. ib. 25, 4: “leges in historia observandae,Cic. Leg. 1, 1, 5: “quis nescit primam esse historiae legem, ne quid falsi dicere audeat?id. de Or. 2, 15, 62; id. Fam. 5, 12, 3: “vetus est lex amicitiae, ut idem amici semper velint,id. Planc. 2, 5: “hanc ad legem formanda est oratio,id. de Or. 3, 49, 190: “versibus est certa quaedam et definita lex,id. Or. 58: “legibus suis (i. e. philosophiae) parere,id. Tusc. 5, 7, 19: “leges Epicuri,id. ib. 5, 37, 108; 4, 4, 7; Sen. Ep. 94, 15; Suet. Ner. 24: “vetus lex sermonis,Quint. 1, 5, 29: “contra leges loquendi,id. 1, 8, 13: “lex et ratio loquendi,Juv. 6, 453: “secundum grammaticam legem,Gell. 13, 21, 22: “legem esse aiunt disciplinae dialecticae, etc.,id. 16, 2, 1: “citharae leges,Tac. A. 16, 4: “beneficii,Sen. Ben. 2, 10, 4: “sic ingens rerum numerus jubet atque operum lex,Juv. 7, 102: “scimus hujus opusculi illam esse legem, etc.,Plin. Ep. 4, 14, 5: “qui titulus sola metri lege constringitur,id. ib. 4, 14, 8.—Of things: “quā sidera lege mearent,by what law, what rule, Ov. M. 15, 71.—Hence, sine lege, without order, in confusion, confusedly: “exspatiantur equi ... quaque impetus egit, Hac sine lege ruunt,Ov. M. 2, 204: “jacent collo sparsi sine lege capilli,id. H. 15, 73: “haec in lege loci commoda Circus habet,quality, nature, id. Am. 3, 2, 20; cf.: “sub lege loci sumit mutatque figuras,id. Hal. 32.—
D. A contract, agreement, covenant: “oleam faciundam hac lege oportet locare, etc.,Cato, R. R. 145: “in mancipii lege,a contract of sale, Cic. de Or. 1, 39, 178; cf.: “Manilianas venalium vendendorum leges ediscere,id. ib. 1, 58, 246: collegii Aesculapii, Inscr. ap. Fabrett. p. 724, n. 443.—
E. A condition, stipulation (cf. condicio).
1. In gen. (mostly ante-class.): “ego dabo ei talentum, primus qui in crucem excucurrerit, Set ca lege, ut offigantur bis pedes,Plaut. Most. 2, 1, 13: “quia nequit, qua lege licuit velle dixit fieri,id. Stich. 3, 1, 58: estne empta mi haec? Pe. His legibus habeas licet, id. Ep. 3, 4, 39: “hac lege tibi adstringo meam fidem,Ter. Eun. 1, 2, 22: “legibus dictis,Liv. 9, 5, 3: “dicta tibi est lex,Hor. Ep. 2, 2, 18: “sed vos saevas imponite leges,Juv. 7, 229.—
F. In eccl. Lat. esp., the law of Moses: “nolite putare quoniam veni solvere legem,Vulg. Matt. 5, 17; 11, 13; “often called lex Moysi,id. Luc. 2, 22; id. Act. 15, 5; “but more freq. lex Domini,id. Luc. 2, 23; id. Psa. 4, 2: “lex Dei,id. 2 Esdr. 10, 28 sq.; “also cf.: lex Altissimi,id. Eccl. 19, 21: “lex tua,id. Psa. 39, 8; 118, 18: “lex mea,id. Prov. 3, 1.—Also of a precept of the Mosaic law: “ista est lex animantium,Vulg. Lev. 11, 46: “istae sunt leges quas constituit Dominus,id. Num. 30, 17.
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