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LENO

LENO, LENOCI´NIUM. Lenocinium is defined by Ulpian as the keeping of slaves or free women for prostitution and the profits of it: “Lenocinium facit, qui quaestuaria mancipia habet, sed et qui in liberis hunc quaestum exercet in eadem causa est” (Dig. 3, 2, 1; ib. 4, 2): cf. Dig. 23, 2, 6-9, “Lenas eas dicimus quae mulieres quaestuarias prostituunt.” The brothels of Rome (lupanaria) are mentioned by Plautus, Juvenal, and Quinctilian. In the Digest it is said more than once (e. g. 23, 2, 43, 1) that the keeping of a tavern was often no more than a cloak for this kind of trade; and Alexander Severus enacted (Cod. 4, 56, 3) that an ancilla who was sold under a condition that she should not be prostituted, should not either be sold into service in a public house, as if the two things were almost identical. The trade, however, was not forbidden, though it seems to have been requisite for lenones to be registered with the aedile, and by the praetor's edict they were one [p. 2.31]of the classes branded with the stigma of infamia (Dig. 3, 2, 4, 2): in the time of Caligula, too (Sueton. Calig. 40), a tax was imposed on all who kept brothels. Theodosius and Valentinian (Cod. 1, 4, 12) enabled slaves and children whom their masters or fathers forced to prostitution to obtain protection by application to the authorities of the church, and they also forbade the practice of lenocinium under pain of exile, corporal punishment, &c. (Cod. Theod. 15, 8, 1, 2; Nov. Theod. tit. 18). Justinian (Nov. 14) also attempted to suppress the business by banishing lenones from the city, and by making the owners of houses who allowed prostitution to be carried on in them liable to forfeit the houses and pay ten pounds of gold: those who by trickery or force got girls into their possession and gave them up to prostitution were punished with the “extreme penalties,” but it is not said what these were.

Most of the passages bearing on this subject in the writings of the jurists relate to the lenocinium which the Lex Julia de adulteriis (Dig. 48, 5, 2, 2; cf. Cod. 9, 9, 2) subjected to the penalties of adulterium itself, for which see Inst. 4.18, 4. Among such acts are allowing one's house to be used for adultery or stuprum; acquiescing in the adultery of one's wife in order to share the gain she made; to keep or take back a wife whom one has detected in an act of adultery (Sueton. Dom. 8; Paul. Sent. rec. 2, 26, 8); to let an adulterer detected in the act escape, or not to prosecute him. A husband who winked at his wife's adultery had no right to retain any portion of the dos (Dig. 24, 3, 47); but by Nov. 117, 9, 3, Justinian allowed a wife a divorce if her husband attempted to make her prostitute herself, and enabled her to recover both dos and donatio propter nuptias. With respect to other persons than the husband, it was lenocinium by the Lex Julia if a man married a woman convicted of adultery: if, having detected others in adultery, he held his peace for a sum of money, or if he commenced a prosecution for adultery and then discontinued it. (Rein, Criminalrecht der Römer, p. 883; Walter, Geschichte des römischen Rechts, § 811.)

[G.L] [J.B.M]

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