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AFFI´NES

AFFI´NES, AFFI´NITAS, or ADFI´NES, ADFI´NITAS. Affinitas is the term used in Roman law to express the relationship of the husband to the cognati of his wife, and of wife to the cognati of her husband. The cognati of the husband and of the wife are not affines to one another.

Affinitas is created by and continues only during marriage, but its legal consequences may come into operation after the termination of the marriage on which it was founded. (Gaius, 1.63; Frag. Vat. § 303.)

By mere betrothal a relationship was created which is treated to some extent as equivalent to affinitas. It is sometimes described by that term. (Dig. 38, 10, 6.1.)

Although affines may be more or less nearly connected, they are not, like cognati, distinguished by degrees (gradus), but by particular terms.

The father of a husband is the socer of the husband's wife, and the father of a wife is the socer of the wife's husband; the term socrus expresses the same affinity with respect to the husband's and wife's mothers. A son's wife is nurus or daughter-in-law to the son's parents; a wife's husband is gener or son-in-law to the wife's parents. Thus the avus, avia--pater, mater--of the wife become by the marriage respectively, the socer magnus, prosocrus, or socrus magna--socer, socrus--of the husband, who becomes with respect to them severally progener and gener.

In like manner, the corresponding ancestors of the husband respectively assume the same names with respect to the son's wife, who becomes, with respect to them, pronurus and nurus. The son and daughter of a husband or wife born of a prior marriage are called privignus and privigna, with respect to their step-father or step-mother; [p. 1.43]and with respect to such children the step-father and step-mother are severally called vitricus and noverca. The husband's brother becomes levir with respect to the wife, and his sister becomes glos (the Greek γάλως).

Affinity in the direct line was always impediment to marriage, but not collateral (Cic. de Div. 1.4. 6; V. Max. 1.5.4). Marriage with a brother's widow and with a wife's sister were prohibited by imperial Constitutions (Cod. 5.5, ss. 5, 8, 9; Dig. 38, 10, 4.3; Puchta, § 196).

[G.L] [E.A.W]

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