. 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
; ib. 4, 2): cf. Dig.
, “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]
the classes branded with the stigma of infamia
): 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.
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
; cf. Cod. 9, 9, 2) subjected to the
penalties of adulterium
itself, for which see
4.18, 4. Among such acts are allowing one's house
to be used for adultery or stuprum;
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.
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
); but by
117, 9, 3, Justinian allowed a wife a divorce if her
husband attempted to make her prostitute herself, and enabled her to recover
and donatio propter
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,
883; Walter, Geschichte des römischen Rechts,