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PLA´GIUM This crime was the subject of a Lex Fabia, which is mentioned by Cicero (pro Rabirio Perd. 3, 8), and is assigned by some writers to the consulship of Quintus Fabius and M. Claudius Marcellus, B.C. 183; but without sufficient reason. The chief provisions of the lex are collected from the Digest (48, 15, 6: cf. Paul. Sent. Rec. 5.30, 13): “If a freeman concealed, kept confined, or knowingly with dolus malus purchased an ingenuus or libertinus against his will, or participated in any such acts; or if he persuaded another person's male or female slave to run away from a master or mistress, or without the consent or knowledge [p. 2.432]of the master or mistress concealed, kept confined, or purchased knowingly with dolus malus such male or female slave, or participated in any such acts, he was liable to the penalties of the Lex Fabia.” The penalty of the lex was pecuniary, and the consequence was infamia; but this fell into disuse, and persons who offended against the lex were punished, either by being sent to work in the mines or by crucifixion if they were humiliores, or with confiscation of half of their property or perpetual relegation if they were honestiores. These punishments were imposed by the praefectus urbi and the praesides provinciarum (Paul. l.c. and Colt. 14.2, 2: “Et olim quidem hujus legis poena nummaria fuit; sed translata est cognitio in praefectos urbis; itemque praesidis provinciae extra ordinem meruit animadversionem” ). The crime of kidnapping men became a common practice, and required vigilant pursuit (Suet. Aug. 32). For a remarkable instance, which has been introduced in modern romance, see Socrates, Hist. Eccl. 5.8, cited by Marquardt. A senatusconsultum ad legem Fabiam did not allow a master to give or sell a runaway slave, which was technically called fugam vendere; but the provision did not apply to a slave who was merely absent. A bonâ--fide possessor of a slave or freeman could not be made liable on account of plagium. The name of the senatusconsultum by which the Lex Fabia was amended, does not appear. The word plagium is said to have come from the Greek πλάγιος “oblique,” “indirect,” dolosats. But this is doubtful. Schrader (Inst. 4.18.10) thinks that the derivation from plaga (a net) is more probable. He who committed plagium was plagiarius, a word which Martial (1.53) applies to a person who falsely gave himself out as the author of a book; and in this sense the word has come into common use in our language. (Dig. 48, 15; Cod. 9, 20; Paulus, ll. cc.; Geib, Das Röm. Strafrecht, p. 52; Rein, Das Criminalrecht, p. 386; Rudorff, Rom. Rechtsg. 2.117; Mizerski, de Crimine Plagii, Berol. 1865; Marquardt, Privatleben, 1.168.)

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