This term indicates generally a rule of law binding
universally on the citizens of a given state: “Lex est commune
praeceptum, virorum prudentium consultum, delictorum coercitio, communis
reipublicae sponsio” (Dig. 1
); “Legis virtus est
haec, imperare, vetare, permittere, punire” (ib. 7). In the works
of the Roman writers and jurists it is used to denote an enactment of any
body (or even individual) constitutionally empowered to legislate, but more
properly it is used only of the enactments of the Comitia Centuriata.
Definitions of lex
will be found in Cicero,
1.6 (cf. 2.16); in Aulus Gellius, 10.20
(by the jurist Capito); in Gaius, 1.3
(adopted in Justinian's Institutes, 1.2, 4); and in Dig.
The earliest leges of which we read were those made in the Comitia Curiata
(whence they are called Leges Curiatæ), which till the reforms of
Servius Tullius was the only legislative body at Rome. Some of these--the
so-called leges regiae
--were said to have been
enacted by the Comitia on the motion of Romulus, as well as of the kings who
succeeded him (Dig. 1
). Dionysius says
(3.36) that a collection of these leges regiae was made towards the end of
the regal period by one Sextus Papirius, a commentary on which, written in
the time of Julius Caesar by Granius Flaccus, is quoted in Dig. 50
; but it is improbable that they were anything more than formal
restatements of customary law already binding, and the fact that Sextus
Papirius was (according to Dionysius) a pontifex suggests that they may have
been only of sacerdotal import. (Some of their substance has been collected
in a fragmentary form by earlier writers, and there is an essay on the
subject by H. E. Dirksen: Versuche zur Kritik und Auslegung,
Leipzig, 1823). It may indeed be doubted whether any large proportion of the
enactments of the Comitia Curiata were genuine “laws,” though
the fifty leges of Servius mentioned by Dionysius (4.13
) seem to have made some general
changes; at any rate it is certain that after the establishment of the
Comitia Centuriata by Servius Tullius the assembly of the Curiae, as a
legislative body, fell almost entirely into disuse. We read of its
conferring the imperium
on the magistrates,
sanctioning testaments and adrogations, and confirming some of the
resolutions of the centuries which were held to require a religious
sanction, and in all these cases it acted by a resolution or lex,
but the difference between such a lex
and a true law is too obvious to need any
further exposition. And though even under Augustus a shadow of the old
constitution was preserved in the formal bestowal of the imperium
by a Lex Curiata only, the assembly of the Curiae
had ceased even before Cicero's time to consist of the old patricians: they
were merely represented by thirty lictors.
In the sense of a genuine enactment, establishing a rule of law, lex
denotes the legislation of the Comitia
Centuriata, in which the law was proposed (rogabatur
) by a magistrate of senatorial rank, usually by one or
both of the consuls for the year (Inst.
1.2, 4). Such leges
were also called populiscita
(Festus, s. v. Scitum
The resolutions of the Comitia Tributa, whose origin was almost
contemporaneous with that of the centurial assembly, had not at first the
force of law: they seem to have been regarded merely as expressions of
plebeian opinion, by which the patricians gauged the temper of the political
opposition, and were guided to the line of policy which party exigencies
rendered expedient. They were known as plebeiscita
because the Comitia Tributa was at first attended only by members of the
plebs, though every Roman was in fact enrolled in a tribe, and entitled to
attend. When the tribunate of the plebs was instituted (circ.
B.C. 494), a means was provided by which the resolutions of
the tribes might become law. The tribunes were permitted to appear at the
threshold of the building where the senate deliberated, and lay before it
the proposals of the order which they represented: if approved, these
proposals could then be referred in the ordinary way to the Comitia
Centuriata, and thereby become genuine enactments of the sovereign populus
(V. Max. 2.2
). After the enactment of the Lex Horatia Valeria (B.C. 449) the
patricians seem to have begun to take part in the business of the Comitia
Tributa, and it was perhaps provided by the same statute that plebiscita
which related to matters of purely private law should have binding force
without confirmation by the centuries. This exemption was apparently
extended to all plebiscita by the first of the Leges Publiliae, B.C. 339
; Gellius, 15.27
), and finally a Lex Hortensia (B.C. 287) dispensed with
the requirement of senatorial sanction to plebiscita. By this last change
they were placed on a footing of complete equality with leges passed in the
Comitia Centuriata (Dig. 2
1.2, 4): as the latter were proposed to the
centuries by a senatorial magistrate, so they were submitted to the tribes
by a tribune: leges related in the main to administrative and constitutional
matters, plebiscita to matters of private law. The result of the equal
legislative authority of the two comitia was that plebiscita came not
uncommonly to be called leges, lex
generic term (Dig. 1
), to which was
sometimes added the specific designation, as “lex plebeivescitum,”
“lex sive plebiscitum est” (e. g. the Tabula Heracleensis,
&c. vol. ix. p. 355). Cicero,
in his enumeration of the sources of Roman law (Top.
not mention plebiscita, which he undoubtedly included under leges: among the
so-called leges which in fact were plebiscita are the Lex Aquilia (Cic.
8, 11; Dig.
), the Lex Canuleia, Lex Rubria, &c. [p. 2.33]
The term rogatio
means any measure proposed
(bill, projet de loi
) to the legislative body,
whether on its enactment it would technically be a lex or a plebiscitum:
hence the expressions populum rogare
(Cic. Phil. 1.10.26
), plebem rogare
3.3, 9), legem rogare
2.29, 72; Dig. 9
), and, by analogy, magistratum
to offer a magistrate for election to the people (Liv. 3.65
; Cic. Att. 9.1. 5
, &c.; Sallust, Sal. Jug. 29
cf. Festus, s. v. Rogatio). The form of such rogation (in the case of an
adrogation effected before the Comitia Curiata) is given by Gellius, 5.19
: “Velitis jubeatis, uti L. Valerius L. Titio
tam jure legeque filius siet, quamsi ex eo patre matreque familias ejus
natus esset, utique ei vitae necisque in eum potestas siet, uti patri
endo filio est, haec ita uti dixi, ita vos quirites rogo.” Assent
to the proposal was expressed in the form “uti rogas” (which
explains the term sponsio
in the definition of
above from Dig.
by the verb antiquo
, &c.; Cic. de
Off. 2.2. 1
, 73; ad Att.
3.17, 38). The measures submitted were not unfrequently
even after their definite
enactment as leges or plebiscita; and in Dig. 35
, pr., an enacted
statute is termed “lex rogata.”
legem” denotes the
publication of its terms for the public information (see LEX CAECILIA DIDIA
), such publication being usually followed by
or meetings in which the bill was
explained and recommended to the people by its proposer or supporters
): this promulgation and informal
discussion is expressed by the phrase “ferre
legem” as contrasted with rogare,
which is confined to the solemn submission of the
measure to the Comitia for acceptance or refusal: the general term used for
acceptance is “rogationem accipere.
” is to carry a
rogatio, to convert it into a lex (Cic. Cornel. fragm.
Ascon.; Liv. 33.46
). Other terms
familiarly used in connexion with leges are explained by Ulpian
1, 3): “Lex aut rogatur, id est fertur: aut
abrogatur, id est, prior lex tollitur: aut derogatur, id est, pars
primae legis tollitur: aut subrogatur, id est, adjicitur aliquid primae
legi: aut obrogatur, id est, mutatur aliquid ex prima lege.”
By Festus rogatio
is described as equivalent to
what is otherwise called privilegium:
“a command of the populus relating to one or more persons, but not to
all persons, or relating to one or more things, but not to all:”
cf. Dig. 50
. Privilegia had been forbidden by the Twelve
Tables (Cic. de Leg. 3.1. 9
44; pro Domo,
17, 43), but in the sense of
statutes in favour of or directed against individuals they are common; e. g.
the Lex Centuriata by which Cicero was recalled from exile: “Non sunt
generalia jussa, ... sed de singulis concepta, quocirca privilegia
vocari debent, quia veteres priva
dixerunt quae nos singula dicimus” (Gellius, 10.20
). The term is generally used
by Cicero in the unfavourable sense (pro Domo,
17, 43; pro Sestio,
23, 89), and from the language in pro Domo,
11, 28, it may be inferred that privilegia were not
considered leges proper: cf. Ulpian in Dig. 1
: “Jura non in
singulas personas, sed generaliter constituuntur.” In the Corpus
is used generally to
denote a jus singulare
or privilege conferred
on classes by law: cf. Dig. 1
and 15: and see Savigny, System,
Of the form and style of Roman legislation we can judge to some extent from
the fragments which survive. The Romans seem to have always adhered to the
old expressions, and to have used few superfluous words. Great care was
taken with such clauses as were intended to alter a previous lex (whence the
standing clause “de impunitate si quid contra alias leges, ejus legis
ergo, factum sit,”
Cic. Att. 3.2. 3
), and to avoid all
interference with prior enactments when no change in them was contemplated
(whence the common formula “ejus hac lege nihil rogatur,”
E. H. L. N. R. Lex Tab. Heracl., Lex Rubria, Lex
Quinctia de aquaed.: cf. Valerius Probus; Cic.
pro Caec. 33
, 95; pro
14, 32): though the general principle seems to have
been that a subsequent repealed or modified a prior lex with which it was
inconsistent. The leges were often divided into chapters (capita
), e. g. the Lex Aquilia (Gaius, 3.210, 215, 217): cf.
also the tablet of the Lex Rubria or de Gall. Cisalp. and Cic. ad
l.c. In order to preserve a permanent record, the lex was
engraved on bronze (aes
) and deposited in the
Aerarium (Sueton. Jul.
28; Plut. Cat. min.
17): but it also seems to have been usual to cut statutes on tablets of oak
(Dionys. A. R. 3.36
), which were
whitened over and then fixed in a public place for all citizens to read,
though whether they were so exposed for any great length of time is
uncertain (Cic. Att. 14.1. 2
). The title
of the lex was generally derived from the gentile name of the magistrate who
proposed it, and sometimes from those of both the consuls or praetors (e. g.
Lex Aelia Sentia, Junia Norbana, Papia Poppaea, &c.): and it was
sometimes further described by reference to the topic to which it related
(e. g. Lex Cincia de donis et muneribus, Lex Furia de sponsu, Lex Furia
testamentaria, Lex Julia municipalis, &c.). Leges which related to a
common subject were often designated by a collective name, as Leges
agrariae, judiciariae, sumptuariae, &c. When a lex comprised very
various provisions, relating to matters essentially different, it was called
The terms in which a statute was expressed were fixed by the proposer, though
he would usually be assisted by others who possessed the requisite
familiarity with technical language: it was proposed to the Comitia for
acceptance or rejection in its entirety, there being no discussion of or
alteration in its clauses, which indeed in such an assembly would have been
injurious, if not impossible. One important part of the lex was its sanctio
--i.e. that part of it which provided a
penalty for, or declared what should be the effect of, its infraction
2.1, 10; Auct. ad Herenn.
Cic. de Invent. 2.4. 9
146; Papinian in Dig. 48
). If the sanctio declared that the
act against which the statute was directed should be void, the lex was said
to be perfecta;
if there was no such provision,
it was imperfecta
(e.g. the Lex Cincia): and if
an act was merely penalised, but not declared void, the lex is said by
1, 2) to be called “minus quam
perfecta” (e. g. the Leges Furiae [p. 2.34]
testamentaria and de sponsu): cf. Savigny, System,
The number of leges was largely increased towards the end of the republican
period (Tac. Ann. 3.25
), and Julius Caesar is said to have
contemplated a revision of the whole of them. Augustus, and perhaps his
immediate successors, was careful to conduct his legislation under
republican forms, though it may be doubted whether any statute was enacted
after the fall of the Republic except on the initiative of the emperor, or
at any rate without his sanction express or implied. The Comitia assembled
and gave the force of law to the proposals submitted to them for some time
after the constitution had lost all trace of real freedom (Tac. Ann. 1.15
relates to the election of
magistrates, not to legislation); and most of the Leges Juliae, a Lex
Visellia, an agrarian law of Caligula, and a law of Claudius (Gaius, 1.157,
171) were enacted in the ordinary way. The last statute which we know to
have been passed in this manner is a lex agraria of the time of Nerva (A.D.
96-98), mentioned in Dig. 47
speaks of the Comitia as in theory still a source of law ( “lex est,
quod populus jubet atque constituit,
plebiscitum, quod plebs jubet atque
” 1.3: cf. Inst.
1.2, 4, in
which the present tense has been turned into the past): but it is improbable
that they had been called upon to discharge legislative functions since A.D.
For some reigns after that of Augustus legislation was most ordinarily
conducted by resolutions of the senate [SENATUSCONSULTUM
], into which the proposed law was
introduced by a consul, or very often by an oration of the emperor [CONSTITUTIONES
Originally senatusconsulta did not acquire the force of law until they had
been confirmed by the Comitia, in which case they were leges proper: but
during the last half-century of the Republic the senate asserted and
established an independent right of legislation. Hence, when genuine
statutes ceased to be enacted with any frequency, senatusconsulta came to be
actually called leges.
1.2, 5), “Cum auctus esset populus Romanus
in eum modum ut difficile esset in unum eum convocari legis sanciendae
causa, aequum visum est senatum vice populi consuli:” a passage
based on similar language of Pomponius in Dig. 1
. The name comitia
came to be commonly
given to the sittings of the senate (Tac. Ann.
; Capitol. Max.
10). Gaius says (1.4) that a
senatusconsultum “vicem legis
obtinet,” and in 1.85 he terms a senatusconsult of Claudius a
for similar passages cf. Dig. 14
; ib. 14; 48, 16, 10. No
senatusconsulta occur after the reign of Septimius Severus (A.D. 193-211).
The constitutions of the emperors, which succeeded senatusconsulta as the
ordinary mode of legislation, were also called leges
(e.g. Lex Anastasiana, Cod. 4, 35, 22): cf.
1.2, 6, and Dig. 1
Imperator statuit, legem
constat.” [See CONSTITUTIONES
A less common and proper signification of lex, quite distinct from that of a
general rule of law, is that in which it denotes the conditions under which
a thing is to be done, or under which parties contract with one another: e.
g. “lex commissoria” [COMMISSORIA];
“leges venditionis” or “emptionis,” conditions
of sale, Dig. 18
(which explains why Cicero speaks of Marcus
Manilius' work on sales as “Manilianas venalium vendendorum leges,”
1.58, 246); “legem traditioni
; “lex donationis,”
, Accordingly we find the expression “leges
censoriae” to express the conditions on which the censors let the
public property or taxes to farm, which were perhaps embodied in certain
standing regulations (Fragm. de jure fisci,
). Similarly the term is used of conditions
imposed on a testamentary disposition: “legatario legem dicere,”
; cf. Dig. 32
, pr. Not unfrequently lex
denotes merely the statute of the Twelve Tables (e. g. Dig.
, &c.), and in one
passage it means nothing more than the nature or character of a thing:
danda operi talis, ne quid
. The extant
authorities for Roman leges are inscriptions and the works of the classical
writers and jurists. The Corpus Inscriptionum
of Mommsen of course comprises all extant records of
authentic legislation, along with a vast number of other inscriptions;
smaller collections, relating more particularly to leges, are those of
Göttling (Römische Urkunden auf Erz und
Halle, 1845) and Zell (Delectus inscriptionum cum
monumentis legalibus fere omnibus
): cf. also Rudorff,
§ 81-86. The best information as to the fragmentary citations from
or references to leges which are found scattered about in non-juristic Latin
writers is to be obtained from Haubold's Institutiones
juris Romani litterariae,
vol. i. pp. 241-44, 297-349
(Leipzig, 1809): of the imperial legislation (independently of the Codes
which have come down to us) there is a very full collection by Haenel,
&c. Fasc. i.
(Leipzig, 1857). But perhaps the most useful modern collection to the
classical student is that of Orelli (vol. viii. of his edition of Cicero)
Index legum Romanarum quarum apud Ciceronem ejusque Scholiastas,
item apud Livium, Velleium Paterculum, A. Gellium nominatim mentio
The following is a list of the principal Leges:--
DE COLONIIS DEDUCENDIS, B.C. 198 (Liv. 32.29
REPETUNDARUM, B.C. 102 (Cic. in. Verr. 1.17
2.1, 9). [REPETUNDAE
B.C. 68 (D. C. 36.21
enacted probably about B.C. 170 (for
the various views as to its precise date see Rudorff,
1.44, p. 106; Padelletti,
Hist. Roman Law,
ch. 32, note 2): it abolished the
legis actio procedure except in suits tried before centumviri, in cases
of damnum infectum, and for the voluntary jurisdiction employed for
adoptions, manumissions, in jure cessio, &c. (Gellius, 16.10
4.31). [JUDEX; ACTIO.] Another lex of the same
name prohibited the proposer of a lex which created any office or power
(curatio ac potestas
) from having such
office or power, and even excluded his collegae, cognati and affines
(Cic. de lege agr.
2.8, 21; de Domo,
20, 51). [p. 2.35]
This and a Lex Fufia passed towards the
end of the sixth century of the city (Cic. in
5, 10) gave every magistrate the right of declaring
beforehand his intention of taking the omens on a fixed day, and thereby
(on the plea of their being unfavourable) of preventing the assembly of
the Comitia (obnuntiatio
). This right was
frequently exercised against the tribunes of the people (Cic. in Vatin. 7
, 9), for
which reason Clodius (B.C. 58) got it temporarily taken away (D. C. 38.13
). The better opinion seems to be
that there were two distinct leges (see Walter, Geschichte des
§ 152, note 98); they
are frequently mentioned by Cicero, especially in Vatin.; pro
Sestio; in Pison.; ad Att.
1.16, 2.9, 4.16, 5. See also
Orelli's discussion of them in his Onomasticon; Index
where the passages in which they are mentioned are
collected; and Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht,
i. pp. 80, 107.
DE COLONIIS DEDUCENDIS, B.C. 195 (Liv. 34.53
This was passed A.D. 4,
mainly to prevent the true Roman population from being swamped by a too
free exercise of the master's right of making his slaves citizens of
Rome by manumission [LIBERTUS
]. It contained the following provisions:--
(i.) Slaves who had been put in irons or branded by their masters as a
punishment, or put to torture on a criminal charge and convicted, or
made to fight in the arena, or thrown into prison or consigned to the
gladiatorial school, were not by subsequent manumission to attain any
higher status than that of peregrini
(Gaius, 1.13; Ulpian, Reg.
Paul. Sent. rec.
4.12, 3-8: see DEDITICII
). (ii.) Slaves
under thirty years of age could not in future be manumitted so as to
unless the form of manumission
were “per vindictam,” and a sufficient reason for it were
proved before a consilium, consisting at Rome of five senators and five
equites, sitting on fixed days, and in the provinces of twenty
recuperatores or judges who were cives, and who sat for this purpose on
the last day of the conventus or judicial assize in different towns
(Gaius, 1.18, 20; Ulp. Reg.
1.12). Among the
“sufficient reasons” (justae
) were that the slave was a child or near relation of
the manumitter, or his paedagogus; or that he wished to make him his
agent, or (being a girl) to marry her (Gaius, 1.19). But even a slave
under thirty could be made a civis by his master's will if he were
instituted heres necessarius “cum libertate,” and the
master was insolvent (Gaius, 1.21). Slaves under thirty manumitted
otherwise than “vindicta apud consilium” at first remained
slaves in the eye of the law [LIBERTUS
], but by the Lex Junia Norbana, A.D. 19, they
acquired the status of Latini. The Lex Aelia Sentia, however, itself
provided one way in which they could rise to the condition of civitas;
that is to say, if they married a civis Romana, or a Latina coloniaria,
or a woman of the same class as themselves, had as evidence of this fact
the presence of five Roman citizens of full age, and begot a son who
attained the age of one year, they could prove these facts to the
praetor at Rome, or the governor in a province,; and on the magistrate
declaring the case “proven,” the man, his wife and child
became all Roman citizens. If the man died before he had proved his case
to the magistrate, the mother could do it, and the legal effect was the
same. There were also other modes in which a Latinus could become civis
[LATINITAS; cf. Poste's Gaius,
note on 1.35]. (iii.) Manumission by a master
under twenty was declared void unless made “per vindictam”
and on proof of a “justa causa” of the same kind as above
before the consilium (Gaius, 1.38). Thus, after this, though he could
make a will at fourteen, a master could not manumit his slaves by it
unless he was twenty (Gaius, 1.40); but Justinian permitted testamentary
manumission at seventeen (Inst.
1.6, 7) and (by
119, 2) even at fourteen. Even manumission in
one of the informal modes (e.g. inter
) by a master under twenty, which at the most could only
have made him a Latinus, was held void unless a “justa
causa” were proved before the consilium (Gaius, 1.41). (iv.)
Manumission being an act by which a man diminished his property,
manumission in fraud of creditors was by the statute made revocable by
the latter (Gaius, 1.37; Inst.
1.6, pr.--4), and this
provision was extended to peregrini by a senatusconsult under Hadrian
(Gaius, 1.47): but it did not apply to the institution of a slave as
“necessarius heres,” in order to save the testator from
the disgrace of posthumous bankruptcy (Inst.
Similarly the patron of a freedman who owned slaves was enabled to
prevent the libertus from prejudicing his contingent rights of
succession by revoking manumissions “in fraudem patroni”
(Gaius, 1.37). (v.) The statute also allowed a patron to bring a
criminal prosecution against his liberti if guilty of ingratitude (Dig. 40
, pr.: cf. Tac. Ann. 13.26
Of the above provisions only the third and fourth were in force under the
law of Justinian. The supposed reference to a Lex Aelia Sentia in Cicero
2, 10) is shown by Orelli to be a myth.
DE CENSORIBUS, passed by M. Aemilius when
dictator, B.C. 433: it gave the censors, though elected at intervals of
five years, only a year and a half instead of a whole lustrum for the
discharge of their functions (e. g. holding the census and letting out
the taxes and public works to farm), so that the state was without
censors for intervals of three years and a half (Liv. 4.24
; Mommsen, Röm.
ii. p. 336).
DE LIBERTINORUM SUFFRAGIIS, B.C. 116 (Aurel.
Vict. de Vir. illustr.
SUMPTUARIA, passed by Aemilius Lepidus, B.C.
179 (Macrob. Saturn.
2.13, p. 369). Pliny
(Plin. Nat. 8.223
) seems to be
referring to a different sumptuary law of the same name passed by M.
Aemilius Scaurus, B.C. 116, though this may have been identical with the
Lex Aemilia de libertinorum suffragiis.
LEGES: and LEX APULEIA; CASSIA; CORNELIA;
FLAMINIA; FLAVIA; JULIA; LICINIA; MAMILIA;, SEMPRONIA; SERVILIA;
a lex proposed by T. Ampius and [p. 2.36]
T. Labienus, trib. plebis, B.C. 64, by which Cn.
Pompeius was allowed to wear a crown of bay at the Ludi Circenses, and
the like (Vell. Paterc. 2.40; D. C.
a constitution of the Emperor
Anastasius, A.D. 506 (Cod. 4, 35, 22), providing that no purchaser of a
debt or “chose in action” should be able to recover more
from the debtor than what he had paid for it himself, with ordinary
interest, even though it was alleged that the transaction was in part a
gift (Vangerow, Lehrbuch der Pandekten,
were those statutes which determined at
what age a man might be a candidate for the several magistracies: if he
was elected to one at the earliest possible age, he was said to become
praetor, consul, &c., “anno suo” (Cic. de Off. 2.1. 7
5.17, 47 sq.;
Tac. Ann. 11.22
). The first of them was
a Lex Villia, proposed by L. Villius, a tribune, B.C. 180 (Liv. 25.2
by which a man could be elected quaestor at the age of thirty-one,
aedile at thirty-seven, praetor at forty, and consul at forty-three.
There seems to have been a Lex Pinaria on the same subject carried by
one M. Pinarius Rusca, a tribune, circ.
(Cic. de Orat. 2.65
, 261): see
Wex, Rhein. Museum,
1845, pp. 276-288;
Hofmann, Röm. Senat.
; Macrob. Saturn
DE TERMESSENSIBUS, a plebiscitum enacted circ.
72 B.C., by
which Termessus in Pisidia was recognised as libera. (See FOEDERATAE CIVITATES; Puchta,
§ 69; and Dirksen,
Bemerkungen über das Plebiscitum de
the name of various enactments
proposed or passed by the influence of M. Antonius after the death of
the dictator Julius Caesar (Cic. Phil.
; ad Fam.
12.14, 6). One abolished the
1.1, 3; D. C.
); others related to the constitution of the judicia
5.5, 12; 8.9, 27), to appeals after conviction
for Vis or Majestas (Phil.
1.9, 21), to permutatio of the
provinces (D. C. 45.9
; Vell. 2.20
; Appian, App. BC 3.27
), to honours to be paid to Caesar at the ludi Romani
2.43, 110), and to an agrarian division of
5.3, 7; D. C.
B.C. 102, gave one of two or more
sponsors or fidepromissors (sureties), who paid the whole debt which
they had guaranteed, the right of bringing an actio pro socio against
the rest for the recovery of what he had paid in excess of his fair
share (Gaius, 3.122). [INTERCESSIO
AGRARIA, proposed by the tribune L. Apuleius
Saturninus, B.C. 101 (Liv. Epit. 69
Appian, App. BC 1.29
; Cic. pro Sestio,
16, 37; 47, 101).
DE COLONIIS DEDUCENDIS, perhaps really a
chapter of the preceding lex: at any rate passed by the same tribune in
the same year (Aurel. Vict. de Vir. illust.
FRUMENTARIA, of the same date and author
(Auct. ad Herenn.
1.12, 21). [FRUMENTARIAE
MAJESTATIS, probably passed by the same
tribune and about the same time (Cic. de
Orat. 2.2. 5
B.C. 287. [DAMNI
B.C. 454, gave to all
magistrates the right, which had hitherto belonged only to the consuls,
of fining those who resisted their authority: the maximum of the fine,
which had been fixed by a Lex Valeria (B.C. 509) at two sheep and five
oxen, was raised to two sheep and thirty oxen: cf. PAPIRIA or JULIA PAPIRIA (Cic. de Republ. 2.35
Dion. Halic. 10.50; Gellius, 11.1
; Festus, s. vv.
Ovibus, Duobus, Peculatus; Paul. Diac.
s. v. Maximam Multam; Plin. Nat. 18.11
ii. p. 341 sq.;
i. p. 128; Huschke, Multa,
pp. 31, 46, 88; Puchta, Institutionen,
§ 53 ad fin.;
Geschichte des röm. Rechts,
DE SACERDOTIIS, B.C. 63, proposed by the
tribune T. Atius Labienus; it restored the regulations of the Lex
Domitia on the same subject, which had been repealed by Sulla (D. C. 37.37
; Ascon. in Div.
[JULIA LEX ET
B.C. 312, related to
the election of tribuni militum by the people (Liv.
passed perhaps B.C. 198, repeated the
rule of the Twelve Tables that stolen property should not be acquirable
by usucapio, and added that the vitium
should be removed, and the property admit of usucapio,
as soon as the owner recovered possession of it, or was in a position to
bring a vindicatio for its recovery (Gel.
2.6, 2; Dig.
: see FURTUM
a plebiscitum of the time of Sulla;
apparently enacted that tribuni plebis should be elected solely from
senators. The chief authority on its content is Gel.
(cf. Plin. Nat.
; Cic. pro Dom.
), which may also be interpreted to mean (1) that tribuni
plebis should become senators virtute officii
(Becker, 2.2, 277), or (2) that they might (but not
) be chosen from senators (Hofmann,
pp. 144-165). On the different
views, see Walter, Geschichte des röm. Rechts,
§ 140, note 128. There is a reference to certain Leges Atiniae
in Cic. Phil. 3.6
1.42, 109, of
which nothing further is known.
B.C. 62 (Cic.
Att. 1.1. 6
DE AMBITU (Cic.
ad Q. fratrem, 1.3
JUDICIARIA, B.C. 71 (Cornel. fragm.
26; Ascon. in Pis.
19, in Com.
p. 67, 78 sq.;
xcvii.; Veil. Pat. 2.32, 3).
TRIBUNICIA (Ascon. in
p. 66, 78). [TRIBUNI.]
B.C. 192, enacted that four and six
praetors should be chosen in alternate years; but the law was not
observed, and perhaps repealed (Liv. 40.44
Festus, s. v. Rogat; Meyer, Orator. Rom. fragm.
See CORNELIA BAEBIA.
DE CENSORIBUS or CENSORIA, carried by Metellus Scipio, B.C. 52: it repealed a
plebiscitum of Clodius (B.C. 58) which had prescribed a formal procedure
for the censors in [p. 2.37]
exercising their functions as
inspectors of Mores, by providing that they should not, in selecting the
senate, pass over and so cast a slur on any one who had not been
explicitly accused before them, and marked with the nota censoria by
both (Ascon. in Pis.
4, p. 9 (Orelli); Cic. pro Sest.
25, 55, and Schol. Bob. p. 360; D. C. 38.13
DE CN. POMPEIO, B.C. 63 (Schol. Bob. pro Sestio,
p. 302; D. C.
; Plut. Cato minor,
DE P. SULLA ET P. AUTRONIO (Cic. pro Sulla,
D. C. 37.25
: see Orelli,
DE VECTIGALIBUS, B.C. 62, released the
harbours of Italy from payment of direct taxes (portoria
) to the state (D. C.
; Cic. Att. 2.1. 6
ad Quint. fratr.
which, however, were re-imposed by Caesar (Suet.
CAECl‘LIA DI´DIA, B.C. 98, forbade the proposing of a
Lex Satura (i. e. of enactments relating to different matters in one
rogatio), lest people might be compelled either to vote for something
which they did not approve, or reject something which they did. It also
contained a provision that leges should be promulgated trinis nundinis
before they were proposed to the
Comitia (Cic. Phil. 5.3
; pro Dom.
16, 41; 20, 53;
64, 135; ad
2.9, 1: see LICINIA JUNIA).
B.C. 71. [TABELLARIAE
B.C. 99, by which Q. Metellus Numidicus
was recalled from exile (V. Max. 5.2
; Aurel. Vict. de Viris
100.62; Cic. pro Plancio,
CALI´GULAE LEX AGRA´RIA
CALI´GULAE LEX AGRA´RIA
DE AMBITU, B.C. 67 (D.
; Cic. pro Mur.
, 46; 32, 67). [AMBITUS
DE CONDICTIONE, B.C. 234. [PER
DE REPETUNDIS, B.C. 49 (Cic. Brut. 27
; de Off.
4.25, 56, &c.). [REPETUNDAE
B.C. 445, legalised conubium
between patricians and plebeians, which had been
denied by one of the two last tables of the decemviral legislation; so
that issue of such a marriage would in future be in the patria potestas
; Cic. de
B.C. 486, one of the
early concessions to the plebs (Liv. 2.41
Dionys. A. R. 8.76
B.C. 104, proposed by the tribune L.
Cassius Longinus: it deprived of their senatorial rank those who had
been. convicted in a judicium publicum, or whose imperium had been taken
from them by the populus (Cornel. fragm.
451: Ascon. in Cornel.
p. 78, ed. Orelli). Mommsen
conjectures that it also disabled such persons from all office
i. p. 464).
) empowered the dictator Caesar to add to the number of
the patricii, in order to prevent their extinction: cf. Sueton.
41. C. Octavius was made a patrician by this lex
B.C. 37 (Cic. Brut. 25
3.16, 37). [TABELLARIAE LEGES
CA´SSIA TERE´NTIA FRUMENTA´RIA
B.C. 73, provided for the distribution of
corn among the poorer citizens, and for the means of obtaining it from
Sicily (Cic. Ver. 3.70, 163
; 5.21, 52
enacted that a creditor on taking
sponsors or fidepromissors should first state publicly what the debt to
be guaranteed was, and also the number of sureties he was going to take:
if this were not done, they could, by taking action within thirty days,
procure their release (Gaius, 3.123; Dig. 50
§ 264, note s
a plebiscitum carried by the tribune M. Cincius Alimentus, B.C. 204
4; ad Att.
2.71, 286; de
4, 10; Liv. 34.5
entitled de donis et muneribus.
to gifts pure and simple, its enactments seem to have been two: (1) It
forbade gifts beyond a certain maximum, the amount of which is unknown
304; Ulp. Reg.
5.11, 6; Dig. 39
); but it did not avoid gifts in excess of the
limit, or even impose a penalty on the donee for taking the excess: it
was, in fact, a “lex imperfecta” (Ulp. Reg.
1.1, 2; Macrob. Somn. Scip.
2.17). (2) It prescribed a
form in which gifts must be made. A gift of a res mancipi was perfecta
only if the res donata were mancipated
and actually delivered (Fragm. Vat.
313), that of a res
nec mancipi only if it were delivered (ib. 293, 313); that of a res
mobilis was not perfected until the donee had possessed the thing for
the greater part of the preceding year, for not till then was he
entitled to the Interdictum Utrubi for his protection (ib. 293, 311).
Absence of the mancipation form, if requisite, could be compensated for
by usucapio (ib. 293). Thus the general effect of this provision was
that gifts made in any other fashion (e. g. release or stipulation) were
invalid (Fragm. Vat.
283, 310, 311; Dig. 20
§ 206) is of opinion that
a gift was originally revocable in the ways described below if either
of these provisions was disregarded: but
that after some time observation of the statutory requirement as to form
of conveyance was allowed to atone for violation of the rule as to
amount, so that the latter became tacitly repealed by disuse. If the
maximum of the Lex Cincia was no higher than that of the Lex Furia
testamentaria, only twenty years later in date, it certainly must in
time have come to be regarded as ridiculously small. Certain classes of
donees, however, were excepted (Legis Cinciae exceptae personae) from
the operation of both of these enactments, on the ground of being
connected with the donor by the tie of kinship, affinity, betrothal,
patronatus or guardianship (Fragm. Vat.
But though the lex was imperfecta,
were means by which gifts in violation of its provisions could be
rescinded, by the donor's having practically a power of revocation. If
he were sued by a persona non excepta
promise to give, he could defeat the action by “exceptio legis
Cinciae” (Fragm. Vat.
310), which was also
available if a res mancipi had been mancipated but not yet delivered
(ib., and Dig. 44
). If it were
mancipi, and had been tradita [p. 2.38]
but not yet
mancipated, the donor could assert his ownership in it by a vindicatio,
and meet the defendant's “exceptio rei donatae” by
“replicatio legis Cinciae:” and wherever the donee of a
res mobilis had not possessed it for six months, the donor could recover
possession by the Interdictum Utrubi. Where the gift was not revocable
in any of these ways (e. g. if it had been a release of a debtor by
acceptilatio, or by novation in favour of a third person, Dig. 39
), the donor was
allowed an actio rescissoria,
and he could
recover by condictio
any property of his
which had definitely passed to the donee “contra legem
Cinciam” (Fragm. Vat.
). If, however, the donor died without revoking or expressing
his intention of revoking a gift against the statute, it could not be
upset by his heir: “morte Cincia removetur” (Fragm.
259, 266, 294).
Under the later Empire the rules of the Lex Cincia gradually went into
disuse. Insinuatio (registration in the acta) of gifts to non exceptae personae
was first required by
Constantius Chlorus, and this rule was extended to exceptae personae
by Constantine (Cod.
3, 5, 1). Later still the exemption of gifts to exceptae personae
from the requirement of
appropriate conveyance was done away with, except as between parent and
child: and insinuatio was required by Theodosius II. only if the amount
exceeded 200 solidi in value (Cod. Theod.
3, 5, 8): this
maximum was raised to 500 solidi by Justinian, who also abolished the
necessity of conveyance in any form, thus making a mere promise to give
Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 11.5
) refers to
another enactment of this statute, forbidding a person to take anything
for his pains in pleading a cause, “ne quis ob causam orandanm
pecuniam donumve accipiat:”
13.42 is explained by the fact that this provision
was confirmed by a senatusconsult under Augustus, which imposed on the
advocate a penalty of four times the sum received (D. C. 54.18
). Under Claudius, however, advocates might take
fees, but not in excess of 10,000 sesterces for each suit; a sum which
under Nero was represented by 100 aurei: in this reign, too, further
regulations were made on the subject (Suet. Nero
), especially one subjecting those who took any sum in
excess of the specified maximum to a prosecution for repetundae. But
from Pliny (Plin. Ep. 5.21
) it seems
that in Trajan's time the fee could not be paid until the work had been
done. (Savigny, Die Lex Cincia
4.1; Verm. Schriften,
1.315-385; Rudorff, de lege Cincia,
Wenck, Preface to Haubold, Opusc. acad.
i. p. 37; Hasse,
§ 206; Francke, Civil.
1826, p. 1 sq.;
Quid conferant Vat. fragm. ad Melius cognosc. jus
1838, pp. 112 sq.
passed by the Emperor Claudius: it
abolished the tutela legitima
over women not in potestas or manus, thus in effect greatly enlarging
their control of their property (Gaius, 1.157, 171-2).
DE SENATORIBUS, a plebiscitum of 218. B.C.: it enacted that no senator or senator's
son should own a ship of larger cubic capacity than 300 amphorae (Liv. 21.63
): Cicero says that in his time it
was “antiqua et mortua” (in Verr.
DE SENATU COOPTANDO HALESINORUM, B.C. 95
(Cic. in Verr. 2.49,
DE SOCIIS, B.C. 177 (Liv.
a number of plebiscita carried by
Clodius when tribune, B.C. 58, and frequently referred to by Cicero and
Dio Cassius: among them are--
DE AUSPICIIS [see AELIA]: it is also enacted “ut omnibus fastis diebus legem
ferri liceret” (Cic. pro Sestio,
15, 33; 26,56; in Vatin.
17, 35; in
4, 5; D. C.
DE CENSORIBUS. [CAECILIA.]
DE CIVIBUS ROMANIS INTEREMTIS, which led to
Cicero's exile: it interdicted from fire and water [EXSILIUM
] those who had put
a Roman citizen to death uncondemned (Vell.
Dio Cass. xxxviii, 14). Cicero himself considered it a privilegium
3.15, 6; 23, 3; ad Fam.
2; in Pison.
13, 30; pro
24, 53; 32, 69; pro
18, 47, &c.).
DE COLLEGIIS restored the clubs or guilds
(collegia) which had been abolished by a senatusconsult, probably of
B.C. 64, and permitted the formation of new ones (Cic. Att. 3.1. 5
; pro Sest.
25, 55; in Pison.
4, 8; D. C. 38.13
). Nearly all of them were
subsequently swept away by Julius Caesar (Sueton. Jul.
DE LIBERTINORUM SUFFRAGIIS (Cic. pro Milon.
12, 33; 33, 89).
DE PESSINUNTIO MATRIS MAGNAE SACERDOTE (Cic.
DE PROVINCIIS CONSULARIBUS (Cic. in Pison.
DE REGE PTOLEMAEO ET DE EXSULIBUS BYZANTINIS
; Cic. pro
8, 20; 20, 52; pro
26, 57; D. C. 38.30
Plut. Cat. min.
FRUMENTARIA, directing the free distribution
of corn to the poorer citizens instead of its sale at a low rate (D. C. 38.13
; Cic. pro
25; Ascon. in Pison.
10, 26). [FRUMENTARIAE
the reading in Cic. Att. 4.1. 6
means the lex judiciaria of L. Aurelius Cotta. [AURELIA JUDICIARIA.]
a lex of B.C. 44,
regulating the constitution of this colony, established by Julius Caesar
on the site of Urso in Baetica: discovered on bronze at Osuna in 1870,
1875 (Bruns, Fontes juris Rom. antiqui,
1880, pp. 43-103, 109-127).
These comprise (I.) a large number of
leges passed by Sulla in his dictatorship (Liv. Epit.
lxxxix.); (II.) leges of L. Cornelius Cinna; and (IlI.) a number of
statutes passed by different magistrates bearing this name.
I CORNE´LIAE AGRA´RIAE, “quibus agri
perduellium publicati veteranisque assignati sunt” (Orelli):
apparently referred to in Cic. in Rullum,
2.28, 78; 3.2, 6; 2, 8; 3, 12.
DE CIVITATE (Liv. Epit.
lxxxvi.; Cic. pro Dom. 30
79; pro Caec.
35, [p. 2.39]
lib. i. orat. Lepidi): it took the full
civitas away from Volaterrae and other municipia.
DE FALSIS or TESTAMENTARIA (Cic. in
Verr. 1.42, 108
2.12, 5, 4.18,
7). [See FALSUM
DE MAGISTRATIBUS, making discharge of inferior
magistracies a necessary condition to the attainment of higher ones
(Appian, App. BC 100
), and re-affirming the provisions of
certain old plebiscita (Liv. 7.42
). The “lex de viginti
quaestoribus” (Tac. Ann. 11.22
was probably merely one of its chapters (see Puchta,
§ 79, note a;
Mommsen, Röm. Staatsrecht,
pp. 519-524, 548).
DE PROSCRIPTIONE (Cic. in Verr. 1.47, 123
; pro Sext.
43, 125-128; Vell. 2.29
Quintil. Inst. Or.
11.1, 85; Plut. Sull. 31
DE PROVINCIIS ORDINANDIS limited the costs
which might be incurred by provincial towns in sending public
deputations to Rome for the purpose of praising their governor before
the senate (Cic. Fam. 3.8
), and enacted (1) that those who had
provinces under the Lex Sempronia should retain their imperium till they
had re-entered the city on their return (Cic.
); and (2) that
provincial governors should leave their province not later than thirty
days after the arrival of their successors (Cic.
; ib. 6).
DE REJECTIONE JUDICUM allowed an accused
senator the right of challenging a larger number of his judges than
persons of lower rank, the latter's challenges being limited to three
(Cic. in Verr. 2.31,
; see Orelli's Onomasticon
DE REPETUNDIS (Cic. pro
4, 9). It was under this statute that Verres was
DE SACERDOTIIS (Liv. Epit.
lxxxix.; Pseudo-Ascon. in Div.
p. 102, Orelli: see SACERDOTIA).
DE SENTENTIA FERENDA enabled the accused to
say whether the votes of the judges should be given openly or by ballot:
probably only a chapter of the Lex Cornelia judiciaria (Cic. Clu. 20
DE SICARIIS ET VENEFICIS. From Pliny (Plin. Nat. 18.12
) we learn that the
Twelve Tables contained some regulations as to homicide, but probably
these were little more than a repetition of the law of Numa Pompilius
which punished intentional slaying with death (Festus, s. v. Parici):
unintentional killing was atoned for under the old religious law, and
possibly by the Twelve Tables (Cic. pro
17; Festus, s. v.
Subici, Subigere), by the offer of a ram (Serv. in Eclog.
A. R. 7.22
: cf. Festus, s. v. Sororium). The Twelve Tables
also penalised incantations (Plin. Nat.
; Sen. Nat. quaest.
Augustin. de Civ. Dei,
8.19) and poisoning, both of which
offences appear to have been included under parricidium [POMPEIA DE PARRICIDIIS]: the murderer of a
parent was sewed up in a sack (culleus
thrown into a river. It was under the provisions of some old law that
the senate by a consultum ordered the consuls P. Scipio and D. Brutus
(B.C. 138) to inquire into the murder in the Silva Scantia (Cic.
22). The Lex Cornelia de
sicariis et veneficis, passed circ.
inflicted penalties not only for actual killing, but for going about
with weapons for the purposes of murder or thieving; for incendiarism;
for preparing, having, or selling poisons for the destruction of human
life; for inciting a magistrate without cause to bring a capital charge;
for the taking of money by a magistrate for such a service, and for
bearing false witness in a capital prosecution (Collatio leg.
1.3; Cic. pro Cluentio,
54, 55, 57; Dig. 48
Paul. Sent. rec.
5.23, 1 and 10; Inst.
4.18, 5). By an enactment of
Antoninus Pius the killing of slaves without just cause was brought
within the statute (Gaius, 1.53), which by senatusconsulta and imperial
legislation was also extended to the offence of castration and to human
sacrifices. The penalty which it inflicted was aquae
et ignis interdictio
), to which Julius Caesar added forfeiture (Dig. 48
): in the case of
meaner criminals, even death (Dig. ib.).
DE VADIMONIO. [VADIMONIUM.]
DE VI PUBLICA. [VIS PUBLICA.]
JUDICIARIA took the judicia away from the
equites exclusively, and divided them between equites and senators
(Tac. Ann. 11.22
; Veil. Pat. 2.32,
3: see JUDEX
MAJESTATIS (Cic. in
21, 50; Ascon. in Cornel.
in Verr. 1.42, 108
; Macrob. Saturn.
2.13; Plut. Sull.
). [SUMPTUARIAE LEGES
in Verr. 1.42, 108
4.18, 7). [FALSUM
TRIBUNICIA took away to a large extent the
tribunes' right of intercession, and disabled those who had served this
office from attaining a patrician magistracy (Vell.
; Appian, App. BC
; Caesar, Caes. Civ. 1.5
; Cic. in Verr.
, 155: see POMPEIA
UNCIARIA, perhaps passed about the same time
as Sulla's Lex sumptuaria. It seems to have lowered the rate of interest
(Festus, s. v. Unciaria).
DE NOVORUM CIVIUM ET LIBERTINORUM SUFFRAGIIS,
B.C. 87 (Cic. Phil. 8.2
; Veil. Pat. 2.20: cf. Appian, App. BC 1.64
DE RECIPIENDO MARIO (Vell. 2.21
DE REVOCANDIS EXSULIBUS (Aurel. Vict.
de Vir. illustr.
III CORNE´LIA BAE´BIA
III CORNE´LIA BAE´BIA
DE AMBITU, B.C. 181, passed by the consuls P.
Cornelius Cethegus and M. Baebius Tamphilus (Liv.
; Schol. Bob. in
p. 361, Orelli).
DE CN. POMPEIO, B.C. 57, gave Cn. Pompeius
extraordinary powers for five years for the management of the corn
supply of Rome (Cic. Att. 4.1
; Liv. Epit.
civ.; D. C. 39.9
). [FRUMENTARIAE LEGES
DE EDICTIS, passed by C. Cornelius, [p. 2.40]
tribunus plebis, B.C. 67: it enacted that
praetors should not vary the rules proclaimed in their perpetual edicts
issued on their entry on office by subsequent Edicta
or apply a different law from that which they
had proclaimed claimed they would observe (Ascon. in
, Orelli, p. 58; D. C.
: cf. Cic. in Verr.
, 36). [EDICTUM
DE INJURIIS, B.C. 81, perhaps a statute of
Sulla. Its original object was the criminal prosecution of injuriae
(assaults and batteries) “quae manu fiant” (Dig. 47
, pr.); but by gradual usage a civil action was
developed under its provisions, which had the advantage over the
ordinary actio injuriarum in not being barred by a year's prescription
4.4, 8). [INJURIA
DE LUSU allowed betting at gymnastic exercises
DE NOVIS TABULIS, passed by P. Cornelius
Dolabella, B.C. 47 (Liv. Epit.
cxiii.; D. C. 42.32
; Plut. Antonius,
DE RESTITUENDO CICERONE, B.C. 57 (Cic.
DE SPONSORIBUS (B.C. 81), probably enacted by
Sulla: it provided that (with a few exceptions) no one should become
surety for the same debtor to the same creditor in any one year for a
larger sum than 20,000 sesterces (Gaius, 3.124, 5). See INTERCESSIO
NE QUIS LEGIBUS SOLVERETUR, passed by C.
Cornelius, tribunus plebis, B.C. 67, and directed against the reckless
exercise by the senate of its usurped power of granting dispensations
from the laws: in future such a dispensation required the presence of
200 members in the senate, and also confirmation by the Comitia Tributa;
but no tribune was to be able to veto the proposal (Ascon. in Corn.
p. 57, 72, Orelli; D. C. 36.22
a lex of the Second Punic War, which
regulated the coinage by fixing the relation between as, sestertius, and
denarius (Plin. Nat. 33.45
; Cod. 8,
54, 37); according to Studemund, it is the lex mentioned in Gaius,
DE ADOPTIONE (Gel.
; Cic. Att. 2.7
; de prov. Consul.
15, 39; pro Sest.
7, 16; Tac. Hist.
; Sueton. August.
DE IMPERIO (Cic.
de Rep. 2.13
, 25, 2.17, 18, &c.;
Tac. Ann. 11.22
; Liv. 5.46
DE DUUMVIRIS NAVALIBUS, B.C. 312 (Liv. 9.30
a chapter of the Lex Papia Poppaea,
limiting the amount which a wife could take under her husband's will,
and vice versâ,
if they had no
children, to a tenth of what was actually given (Fragm.
264; Quint. 8.5; Cod. 8, 58, rubr.).
B.C. 144 (Macrob. Saturn.
2.13). [SUMPTUARIAE LEGES
DE SACERDOTIIS, B.C. 105 (Cic. in Rull. 2.7
Epist. ad Brut.
; Vell. 2.12
a plebiscitum of 449 B.C., imposing severe penalties on the tribune
responsible for the choosing of his own and his colleague's successors
who omitted to see that they were duly elected, and on those who created
new magistrates from whom there was no appeal (Liv.
: see VALERIAE HORATIAE).
DE UNCIARIO FENORE, B.C. 357, establishing or
confirming a rate of interest at 8 3/4 per cent. (12 unciae to 100
asses) per annum (Liv. 7.16
). The same tribunes Duilius and Maenius
carried a measure for the prevention of such unconstitutional
proceedings as the enactment of a lex by the soldiers out of Rome on the
consul's proposal (Liv. 7.16
: see Mommsen,
i. p. 69, note
The enactment of
the Twelve Tables was the outcome of plebeian agitation for an
“exaequatio juris” between the two orders in the state.
In the year B.C. 462 the tribune of plebs C. Terentilius Arsa had
obtained a resolution of the plebs for the appointment of five persons,
with the object of enacting laws for the definition of the consular
imperium; but this the senate, the stronghold of the patricians, had
refused to send on to the Comitia Centuriata (Liv.
). In the next year he proposed a codification or definite
statement of the whole law by a commission of ten; but this, though
carried by the plebs, was equally unsuccessful in its later stages
; Dionys. A. R. 10.3
). In B.C. 454, however (Dionys. A. R. 10.52
), the senate so far yielded as to
assent to a plebiscitum, pursuant. to which three commissioners were to
be sent to Athens and the Greek cities in order to make themselves
acquainted with their laws. On their return, after two years' absence,
it was proposed (B.C. 451) that all the ordinary magistracies should be
suspended, and the whole authority of the state vested in ten patrician
commissioners, including the three who had been to Greece (
“decemviri legibus scribundis” ) from whom there was to
be no provocatio,
and who were directed to
codify the public and private law of Rome (Dionys. A. R. 10.54
). The plebeians consented to stand out of the commission only
under express reservation of their previously established rights and
liberties (Liv. 3.32
). This proposal was
carried through the Comitia Centuriata and Curiata without opposition
; Dionys. A. R. 10.32
). The decemviri were appointed by the
comitia of the centuries, being presided over by Appius Claudius, Consul
designate; but they took the administration of affairs by turn, the
insignia of office being used only by him who for the time being
represented the executive (Liv. 3.33
Tables of laws were prepared during the year, and after being approved
by the senate were confirmed by the Comitia. Centuriata and Curiata: two
further tables (which Cicero, de Rep.
“tabulae iniquarum legum” ) were added in the next
year, these having been prepared by decemviri among whom were (according
to Dionys. A. R. 10.58
plebeians, though Livy (4.3
) does not suggest
that there had been any change in the constitution of the commission.
Cicero's remark may be due to the fact that the prohibition of conubium
between plebs and patricians was
enacted by the eleventh Table (Dirksen, Uebersicht,
&c., p. 740). In their integrity, the whole [p. 2.41]
Twelve Tables were first published in B.C. 449, after the
downfall of the decemviri (Liv. 3.54
); they are mentioned by the Roman writers
under a great variety of names (e. g. Leges Decemvirales, Lex
Decemviralis, Leges Duodecim, Duodecim Tabularum, or lex
being the only attempt at codification of the jus
until Justinian's time, are spoken of by classical
writers throughout Roman history as the fundamental element of the
system: by Tacitus as “finis aequi juris,” by Livy as
“corpus omnis Romani juris” and “fons publici
Some doubt has been cast, but without reason, on the story of the embassy
to the Greek states, which preceded the enactment of the Twelve Tables.
Pomponius (Dig. 1
and 4) also
refers to assistance given to the decemviri by an Ephesian named
Hermodorus, who was living as an exile in Italy; but the assistance
consisted perhaps more in interpreting the laws brought back by the
commissioners from Greece than (as Pomponius hints) in the suggestion of
new legislation. At any rate, this last tradition was confirmed by the
fact of a statue having been erected in the Comitium at Rome in memory
of Hermodorus; but it did not exist in the time of Pliny (Plin. Nat. 34.21
). The foreign source of
some of the laws was acknowledged by the Romans themselves: e. g. Cicero
attributes to Solon the original of the rules as to burial (de
2.25, 64). Similarly Gaius, in his Commentary on the
Twelve Tables, where he is speaking of Collegia (Dig.
says that the members of Collegia may make what terms they please among
themselves, if they thereby violate no “publica lex;” and
he adds that this rule seems to be taken from the legislation of Solon,
to whom also (Dig. 10
) he refers for the origin of
certain rules as to boundaries and the actio finium
But that the decemviral legislation contained
any considerable element of foreign law is in the highest degree
improbable. The law as previously established seems to have been handed
down in the main, if not entirely, by oral tradition; and whether it be
true or not that the patricians were especially cognisant of it, it is
certain that the plebeians had suffered largely from having no certain
or full knowledge of its intricate rules and formulae. What they desired
primarily was a plain and clear statement in writing ( “legibus
scribundis” ) of the law as it stood: it was only in the
that they wished for
change, and that only so far as was required to place the two orders on
a tolerable equality in respect of civil and political rights. The
caprice of the magistrate who administers the law is best guarded
against by those over whom it is administered having a clear knowledge
of its provisions.
The laws were cut on tablets of bronze and put up in a public place
), though Pomponius, in the passage of the Digest
already referred to, says that the material of the Tablets was ivory
(see Zimmern, Geschichte des röm. Privatrechts,
vol. i. p. 101). It is commonly supposed that they were destroyed in the
burning of the city by the Gauls some sixty years after their enactment,
but the passage of Livy on which this is based (6.1) is just as
conclusive against as for the supposition. The Romans of the age of
Cicero had no doubt of the genuineness of the collection which then
existed; and if we may believe Cyprian (Ep.
Donat. de gratia
), the Twelve Tables, were exposed in the forum as late
as the third century of our era. Cicero speaks of learning the text of
them by rote ( “ut carmen necessarium” ) when a boy
2.4, 23), and up to his time the chief
juristic work of the lawyer class seems to have been their interpretatio
--the extension of a rule of the
Twelve Tables (or of other early statutes, such as the Lex Aquilia) to
cases not strictly within its letter: but shortly before the fall of the
Republic, as he tells us (de Leg.
1.5, 17), the jurists
had abandoned the jus civile,
and taken to
commenting instead on the Praetor's Edict. Of actual commentaries on the
Twelve Tables we hear of one by Sextus Aelius Paetus Catus in his
a work which existed in the
time of Pomponius [JUS
]. Others. were written by another Aelius, by Atilius
(Cic. de Leg. 2.2.
, 59; Dig. 1
), by Labeo
), and finally by Gaius:
this was in six books, from which twenty excerpts are preserved in the
Digest. The decemviral legislation, though largely modified (especially
in the parts of it relating to public law) by subsequent enactments, was
not formally repealed till the time of Justinian, nearly 1000 years
after its first establishment. No complete copy of its text has come
down to us, but about 100 fragments, partly incomplete, have bees
collected from citations and references in classical and juristic
It remains to give a short account of the contents of the Twelve Tables,
so far as they can be gathered from the extant fragments and the notices
of earlier writers.
- I. The personal freedom and civil equality of citizens was
secured by the exclusion of all capital sentences except those
delivered by the Comitia Centuriata (Cic. de Leg. 3.1. 9, 44; de
Republ. 2.36, 61; pro
Sest. 30, 65), by the recognition as provisionally
free of a man whose free status was called in question, and by
the prohibition of privilegia.
- II. Freedom of individual action within the domain of private
law was secured by the recognition of contracts and testaments.
- III. Certain points of private law were more precisely defined
which would otherwise have endangered the security of rights of
property, or opened the door to harshness and oppression:
especially as regards (a) usucapion
and the restrictions imposed on property in the interest of
neighbours; (b) the law of debt and
the rights of unsatisfied creditors; (c）
family law (manus, patria potestas,
tutela, and conubium
between patricians and plebeians); and (d) inheritance, especially on intestacy.
- IV. Capital penalties were prescribed for false witness,
judicial partiality or corruption, incendiarism, nocturnal theft
of crops, and libel; and the right of appeal from condemnation
to any of these was given to every citizen (Cic. de Republ.
- V. Private poenae were
established for injuria, theft, and
certain kinds of damnum.
- VI. The mode of summons and the procedure in actions generally
were defined and regulated, especially with a view to preventing
capricious [p. 2.42]exercise of his authority and
jurisdiction by the magistrate; and
- VII. Certain sanitary and sumptuary rules were laid down as to
the interment of dead bodies.
The most celebrated attempt to re-arrange the extant fragments of the
Twelve Tables in the order in which they originally stood, or to
reconstruct the Tables themselves, is that of Jacobus Gothofredus
(Heidelberg, 1616): on this and similar works there is an admirable
critique by Dirksen, Uebersicht der bisherigen Versuche zur
Kritik und Herstellung des Textes der
1824; and especially M.
Voigt, Civil und Criminalrecht der Zwölf Tafeln.
Cf. also Schöll, Leg. XII. Tab. reliquiae,
Leipzig, 1866; Bruns, Fontes juris Rom.
ed. 4 (Tübingen, 1880), pp. 14-37; and
vol. 1. § § 54,
DE PLAGIARIIS (Cic. Rab. Perd. 3
Paul. Sent. rec.
9, 20). [PLAGIUM
DE NUMERO SECTATORUM (Cic. pro Murena,
34, 70, 71).
DE REDITU CICERONIS (Cic. pro Milone,
B.C. 161 (Gel.
2.9, 13; Plin. Nat. 10.139
; Athen. 6.274
an agrarian law for the distribution
of lands in Gaul and Picenum, proposed by C. Flaminius, tribunus plebis
(Cic. Brut. 14
2.17, 52; V. Max.
). According to Polybius, who here seems more reliable
than Cicero, the date of the law was B.C. 232.
MINUS SOLVENDI, B.C. 217, reduced debts by
more than a third by allowing sixteen asses to be paid by ten (Festus,
s. v. Sestertii).
B.C. 60: by this the
tribune L. Flavius proposed a distribution of lands among Pompeius'
soldiers (Cic. Att. 1.1. 8
; D. C. 37.50
; Marquardt, Röm.
i. p. 446).
A.D. 4, limited the number of slaves who
could be manumitted by will (Gaius, 1.42-46; Inst.
1.24, 25; Paul. Sent. rec.
4.14; Cod. 7, 3; Sueton. Aug.
40). It is also sometimes
called Furia or Fusia Caninia. [MANUMISSIO
DE RELIGIONE, B.C. 61, a plebiscitum of the
tribune Q. Fufius Calenus, relating to the mode of selecting the judges
who were to try Clodius for his outrage on the rites of the Bona Dea
(Cic. Att. 1.1. 3
; ib. 16, 2).
JUDICIARIA (B.C. 59?) apparently provided that
the senators, knights, and tribuni aerarii should vote separately in the
judicia (D. C. 38.8
; Schol. Bob. pro Flacco,
p. 235, Orelli).
a plebiscitum of 137
B.C. enacting the surrender of C. Mancinus to the Numantines (Cic. de Off. 3.3. 0
DE SPONSU (Gaius, 3.121, 122). [INTERCESSIO
TESTAMENTARIA, B.C. 183 (Gaius, 2.225, 4.23;
Cic. pro Balbo,
8, 21). [LEGATUM
DE SENATU LEGATIS DANDO, a plebiscitum of
Aulus Gabinius, tribunus plebis B.C. 67, appropriating the sittings of
the senate in the month of February to the reception of embassies (Cic. ad Quint. fratr. 2.1.
, 3; ad Fam.
DE UNO: IMPERATORE, &c., passed by the
same tribune in the same year, and conferring extraordinary powers on
Cn. Pompeius for conducting the war against the pirates (Vell. 2.31
D. C. 36.6
; Plut. Pomp. 25
pro lege Manilia,
DE VERSURA, passed by the same tribune in the
same year, and forbidding all loans of money at Rome to legationes from
foreign parts, its object being to prevent the senate from being bribed
by such embassies (Cic. Att. 5.2. 1
TABELLARIA, B.C. 139 (Cic. Lael. 16
, 41). [TABELLARIAE
B.C. 72, gave to Cn.
Pompeius the extraordinary power of conferring the Roman civitas on
Spaniards in Spain with the advice of his council (Cic. pro Balbo,
8, 14 and 19; 14, 32, 33).
DE FENORE, B.C. 343, forbade taking interest
for the use of money (Liv. 7.42
; Tac. Ann. 6.16
). It was persistently
evaded (Liv. 35.7
), and eventually altogether
disregarded (Plut. Cato Major,
21; Appian, App. BC 1.54
DE CONSULATU, B.C. 343, a proposal by the same
tribune Genucius for opening both consulships to plebeians (Liv. 7.42
). In 8.12 Livy represents the law as
having actually been passed; but we do not read of both consuls being
plebeians till the 6th century, and he is probably incorrect: see
§ 57, note 1; Mommsen,
ii. p. 76.
a statute supposed by Cujacius as the
origin of the querela inofficiosi
but apparently without reason (see Vangerow,
7th edit. ii. p. 218).
a name sometimes given to the Lex
Burgundiorum of King Sigismund, otherwise known as
“Papian,” A.D. 517.
B.C. 60 (Cic. Att. 1.1. 8
Vol I. p. 605.]
49 B.C. (Cic.
B.C. 449, made the persons of the
tribunes, aediles, and decemviri sacrosancti
). [VALERIAE ET HORATIAE.] Another Lex Horatia
mentioned by Gellius (6.7
) was a privilegium relating to
a vestal virgin named Caia Tarratia.
DE PLEBISCITIS, B.C. 287 (Plin. Nat. 16.37
; Gel. 15.27
; Gaius, 1.3;
1.2, 4). [PLEBISCITUM;
DE NUNDINIS, of about the same date, enacted
that the market days, which had hitherto been Feriae, should be dies fasti.
This was done for the purpose of
accommodating the inhabitants of the country (Macrob. Saturn.
1.16; Plin. Nat.
enabled the actio
to be [p. 2.43]
brought by an agent on
behalf of any person who (or whose tutor) was in foreign captivity or
absent reipublicae causa
DE AVENTINO PUBLICANDO, a plebiscitum proposed
by L. Icilius, B.C. 456, granting the Aventine, hitherto possessed by
the patricians, as a dwelling-place to the plebs, who thereby acquired a
right to the buildings which they erected on it (Liv. 3.31
; Dionys. A. R. 10.31
; cf. Niebuhr, Rom. Hist.
2.301: and see SUPERFICIES
DE SECESSIONE, B.C. 449 (Liv. 3.54
TRIBUNICIA, B.C. 469, enacted that any person
who interfered with a tribune in the exercise of his constitutional
powers should be put to death unless he gave sureties for the payment of
the fine to which he rendered himself liable (Dionys. A. R. 7.17
; Cic. pro Sestio,
39, 84; Becker-Marquardt, 2.3,
most of which were passed in the
time of C. Julius Caesar and Augustus: among them are--
AGRARIA, passed by Julius Caesar in his first
consulate, B.C. 59: it provided for an assignment of lands in Campania
(whence Lex Campana in Cic. Att. 2.1.
) to the Pompeian veterans and the poorer citizens generally,
especially such as had three children (D. C.
; Veil. Pat. 2.44; Appian,
App. BC 2.10
20; Cic. Att. 2.1.
, ad Fam.
5.19, 53; Plut. Cato Minor,
31-33; Dig. 47
Ackergesetzgebung C. Julius Caesar,
CADUCARIA, identical with the Lex Julia et
DE ADULTERIIS. [ADULTERIUM.]
DE AMBITU. [AMBITUS.]
DE ANNONA, directed against attempts to raise
in any way the price of corn, and making it a criminal offence
4.18, 12; Dig. 47
, pr.; 48, 12,
DE BONIS CEDENDIS. Up to nearly the end of the
Republic an insolvent debtor was unable to escape from the two severe
forms of bankruptcy execution (manus
and bonorum emptio
) by a voluntary composition.
This statute (whether due to Julius or Augustus Caesar is uncertain)
enabled him, at any moment before his creditors took steps to have him
adjudged a bankrupt, to make a cessio
to them, though the right could not be exercised if
his insolvency was due entirely to his own fault (Cod. 7, 71, 8, pr.).
He surrendered his property, which was dealt with in much the same way
as if the procedure had been by bonorum
but he escaped infamia
and the liability to personal arrest, and was entitled to the beneficium competentiae:
i.e. his creditors were
bound to let him retain so much of his means as was sufficient to
provide him with the necessaries of life. The provisions of the statute,
originally intended to benefit cives
were extended to the provinces by imperial constitutions, Cod. 7, 71, 4
(Caes. Civ. 3.1
42; Tac. Ann. 6.16
D. C. 58.21
; Gaius, 3.78).
DE CAEDE ET VENEFICIO (Sueton. Nero,
33), perhaps the same as the Lex Julia de
DE CIVITATE, B.C. 90 (Cic. pro Balbo,
8, 21; Gel. 4.4
[CIVITAS; FOEDERATAE CIVITATES.]
DE CRETA (Cic. Phil.
DE EXSULIBUS (Cic.
DE FENORE (or DE PECUNIIS
MUTUIS or CREDITIS), passed by Julius
Caesar when dictator, B.C. 49. It compromised the claims of creditors
and debtors by estimating property at the value it had held before the
depreciation occasioned by the Civil War, and compelling the creditors
to take it at this valuation; and by allowing debts to be discharged
without payment of the accumulated interest. It was calculated that the
creditors lost about one-fourth of what was their due (Caes. Civ. 3.1
42; Plut. Caes. 37
Appian, App. BC 2.48
DE FUNDO DOTALI, a chapter of the Lex Julia de
adulteriis: it absolutely prohibited mortgages of Italian land which
formed part of a dos
by the husband, and
allowed its alienation only with the wife's consent. It was commented on
by Papinian, Ulpian, and Paulus (Gaius, 2.63; Inst.
pr.; Paul. Sent. rec.
2.21, 2; Dig.
). See ADULTERIUM
DE LIBERIS LEGATIONIBUS (Cic. Att. 15.1. 1
; de Legg.
DE MARITANDIS ORDINIBUS. [JULIA ET PAPIA
DE PROVINCIIS, passed by Julius Caesar: it
limited the governorship of a praetorian province to one year, that of a
consular one to two. Orelli also ascribes to this lex certain
regulations of Caesar as to provincial expenses, which Ernesti considers
to have been part of the Lex Julia repetundarum (Cic. Phil. 1.8
; Ferrat. Epist.
DE PUBLICANIS (Cic. pro
14, 35; Appian, App. BC
; D. C. 38.7
DE REGE DEIOTARO (Cic. Phil. 2.37
DE RESIDUIS, part of the Lex Julia peculatus
4.18, 12; Dig. 48
DE SACERDOTIIS (Cic. ad Brut. 1.5
; cf. Phil.
DE SACRILEGIS. [PECULATUS.]
DE SICULIS (Cic.
Att. 14.1. 2
DE VI PUBLICA ET PRIVATA. [VIS.]
One of Julius Caesar
deprived the tribuni aerarii of their share in the judicia publica
; Cic. Phil. 1.8
); others, more
probably of Augustus than Julius, instituted an “album selectorum
judicum” for the hearing of civil causes (Suet.
32; Gel. 14.2
perhaps fixed at twenty years the age under which a person could not be
compelled to be a judex (Dig. 4
); limited the
jurisdiction of the centumviri (Gaius, 4.30; see Keller, Civil
§ 23); and divided actions in respect of
their pendency into judicia legitima
judicia quae imperio continentur
(Gaius, 4.104). For the whole subject, see JUDEX
. 1.9, 23; Inst
. 4.18, 3; Dig. 48
avoiding a condition annexed to
the institution of a heir or a legacy to the effect that the person
benefited should [p. 2.44]
not marry: probably a clause of
the Lex Julia et Papia Poppaea (Dig. 35
; ib. 72, 4,
&c.; Cod. 6, 40).
the Tabula Heracleensis. It was discovered on bronze in two fragments at
Tarentum (Heraclea) in 1732 and 1735, which have been united and kept in
the Museo Borbonico at Naples since 1760. The inscription on one side is
a Greek psephisma of the town of Heraclea, that on the other is a copy
of part of a Roman lex (clearly made for the use of the citizens of the
town), which contains police regulations for the city of Rome: rules for
the constitution of communities of Roman citizens (municipia,
coloniae, praefecturae, fora, conciliabula civium
), and others relating to capacity for the decurionatus
and magistracies, to the census in the Italian towns, and to changes in
local regulations. It was thus a lex of the class called Satura.
It seems that the lex of the year B.C. 49, which gave the civitas to the
Transpadani, enacted that a Roman commissioner should be sent to all the
towns for the purpose of framing regulations for their municipal
organisation. The Lex Julia empowered the commissioners to continue
their labours for one year from its date, and included the whole of
Italy within the scope of their authority. The name of the lex (which
for a long time was called simply Tabula Heracleensis) was determined by
Savigny by means of an inscription discovered at Padua in 1696 (Orelli,
2.3676): its date is now regarded by the
authorities to be fixed at B.C. 45 by a passage of Cicero (Cic. Fam. 6.18
), so that its determining
cause seems to have been the admission of the Transpadani to the
civitas, B.C. 49.
(A lithographed copy of the Table is given by Ritschl,
xxxiii. xxxiv.: the text may also be found in
Orelli's Inscriptions, 1.206, and Spangenberg's Monumenta
1830, No. 16, p. 99 sq.
first work on the subject is that of Mazochi, Naples, 1754, 1755: the
best is Savigny's Essay (with two appendices) in his Vermischte
vol. iii. pp. 279-413: cf. Puchta,
JU´LIA ET PA´PIA POPPAEA
JU´LIA ET PA´PIA POPPAEA
of this statute to the Lex Julia de maritandis ordinibus is not
perfectly clear. Augustus appears in his sixth consulate (B.C. 28) to
have issued an edict (Tac. Ann. 3.28
the subject of marriage, which he followed up (B.C. 18) by proposing a
law to the senate regulating certain marriages, imposing disabilities on
unmarried persons (caelibes
), and establishing
rewards for those who had married and reared children (D. C. 54.16
). This he carried with difficulty
through the senate, but, apparently owing to the organised resistance of
the equites, it was tumultuously rejected at the Comitia (Suet. Aug. 34
). Towards the end of his
reign, however (A.D. 3), he succeeded in carrying it, with its rewards
increased and its penalties mitigated: it is referred to in the Carmen Saeculare
of Horace, which was written
B.C. 17, and is mentioned under the name Lex Julia de maritandis
ordinibus in Dig. 38
opposition of the knights was overcome by a provision that it should not
come into force for three, a period subsequently extended to six, years;
and taking advantage of this, Augustus passed in A.D. 9 another statute
(called Papia Poppaea from the consules
for the year, M. Papius Mutilus and Q. Poppaeus
Secundus: D. C. 56.1
), containing further enactments on the same subject. Some
writers are of opinion that there was but one lex (Papia Poppaea), in
which the earlier unsuccessful law was incorporated, and it is true that
the frequent mention of them together as one lex (Julia et
Papia Poppaea) lends some colour to the
supposition: but the view here taken seems more in accordance with the
information given by historians, and to be confirmed by the provisions
of the statutes being sometimes distinguished in close juxtaposition.
Sometimes they are cited by reference to their various chapters: e. g.
Lex Caducaria, Lex Decimaria, Lex Miscella, &c.
Many commentaries were written on these leges by the Roman jurists, of
which considerable fragments are preserved in the Digest: Gaius wrote
fifteen books, Ulpian twenty, and Paulus at least ten. The joint statute
contained at least thirty-five chapters (Dig.
as a rule it is impossible to say to which of the two leges included
under the general title of Lex Julia et Papia Poppaea the several
provisions as now known to us belong. Attempts have been made both by J.
Gothofredus and Heineccius to restore them, on the assumption that their
provisions are reducible to the two general heads of a Lex Maritalis and
a Lex Caducaria (cf. Puchta, Institutionen,
Among the enactments of these statutes are the following:--
(i.) Prohibition of certain marriages under penalties: viz. of ingenui
with infames (e. g. actresses and prostitutes); and of senators or their
children with freedwomen, freedmen, and actors' daughters (Ulpian,
13.1, 16.2; Dig. 23
, pr. and 1).
Marriages between a senator or his issue and libertini were declared
void by a senatusconsult passed under M. Aurelius (Dig. 23
, pr.), and the rule was subsequently extended to actors and
actresses (Dig. ib. 42, 1).
(ii.) Avoidance of conditions against marriage annexed to legacies and
inheritances. [JULIA MISCELLA.]
(iii.) Provisions to encourage marriage. Caelibes
disabled by the Lex Julia from taking either as heirs or as legatees
(Gaius, 2.111, 144, 286) under a will, unless the testator were related
to them within the sixth degree (Ulpian, Reg.
216, 219), or unless they married within
100 days (Ulpian, Reg.
17.1; 22.3). Spadones
and vestal virgins were exempted from the
operation of the statute, as were widows for twelve months, and divorced
women for six: these periods were extended by the Lex Papia to two years
and eighteen months respectively (Ulp. Reg.
the penalty of the statute could be evaded by an engagement to marry, if
carried out within two years (Sueton. Octav.
34; D. C. 54.16
; Dig. 23
). Finally, males were released
from its provisions in this respect on attaining sixty, women on
attaining fifty years of age; but a Senatusconsultum Persicianum passed
under Tiberius enacted that they should be regarded as caelibes
in perpetuity if they postponed
marrying till so late in life. A Senatusconsultum [p. 2.45]
Claudianum so far modified the strictness of the new rule as to give a
man who married after sixty the same advantage that he would have had if
he had married under sixty, provided he married a woman who was under
fifty; but it was enacted by a Senatusconsultum Calvisianum under Nero,
that if a woman over fifty married a husband under sixty, even the
latter should not escape the disabilities imposed by the statute
16.4). Similarly, by the Lex Papia,
(persons who had been married, but
had no children living) were disabled from taking more than a moiety of
what was left them by way of either inheritance or legacy (Gaius, 2.111,
286; Ulpian, Reg.
16.1; Sozomenus, 1, 9), unless related
to the testator within the sixth degree. Males escaped the penalties of
by having a single (even
adoptive) child (Juv. 19.83
), but by a
Senatusconsultum Memmianum adoption was deprived of this effect when
resorted to merely in order to evade the statute: but women were not so
well off, ingenuae being released only by three, libertinae only by four
children (Paul. Sent. rec.
4.9, 1-3). There were
exceptions to these rules if the wife was under twenty or over fifty, or
the husband under twenty-five or over sixty, and also if the husband was
residing away from the wife reipublicae causa
16.1). Legacies and inheritances which
could not be taken either in whole or part, owing to these provisions of
the Lex Julia or Lex Papia Poppaea, became caduca
], the law upon which subject was considerably modified
by these statutes.
(iv.) Some other provisions have been noticed elsewhere [DECIMARIA; JULIA MISCELLA]. To these may be
added the rule giving a preference to candidates for office according to
the number of their children (Tac. Ann.
; Plin. Ep. 7.16
release of ingenuae with three and libertinae with four children from
tutela (Gaius, 1.144, 145), and of libertini with a certain number of
children from operarum obligationes
exemption of persons from discharging the office of tutor or curator
1.25, pr.; Dig. 27
) was based on these statutes, which also
introduced changes (besides those already noticed) into the law of
succession, both testamentary and intestate, especially in connexion
with libertini (Gaius, 3.42-50, &c.: see PATRONUS
). And the Lex
Julia also fixed the date at which wills were opened as that at which
the rights of legatees should become indefeasible (dies cedit:
), which previously had been the decease of the
testator; but the old rule was restored under Justinian.
After the enactment of the Lex Papia Poppaea, it became not unusual to
obtain a grant of a fictitious jus
by special favour from the senate, and later from
the emperor (D. C. 55.2
19; Plin. Ep.
Paul. Sent. rec.
4.9, 9), whereby those who had no
children, or not enough, were enabled to escape its disabilities and
even enjoy most of its benefits (Fragm. Vat.
privilege is mentioned in some inscriptions, on which the abbreviation
I. L. H. (jus liberorum kabens
occurs. The Emperor M. Aurelius enacted that children should be
registered by name within thirty days of their birth with the Praefectus
Aerarii Saturni (Capitol. Marc.
9; cf. Juv. Sat.
The penalties of caelibatus
were abolished by Constantine and his
sons (Cod. Theod.
8, 16), as were the disabilities
contained in the “Lex Decimaria” by Theodosius II.
8, 17, 2, 3), so that little is left of
these statutes in the law of Justinian.
, ET PLAU´TIA
uncertain date, enacted that res vi
should stand on the same footing with res furtivae
and be incapable of acquisition by usucapio. It related solely to land,
for robbery of res mobiles
was theft itself
(Gaius, 3.209), and land could not be stolen (Inst.
7). (Gaius, 2.45, 51; Inst.
2.6, 2; Dig. 41
.) It would seem from Theophilus
on the passage of the Institutes last referred to that there were really
two statutes, Julia and Plautia, perhaps the two of those names
passed B.C. 49 by
Julius Caesar (Cic. Att. 13
7, 26, 2; 9, 15, 5). Augustus, too, seems to have
re-enacted with additional severities the earlier sumptuary laws (Gel. 2.24
40; Plin. Nat.
) permitted Roman equites, in case they or their parents had
ever had a census equestris, to sit in the fourteen rows of the theatre
appropriated to them by the Lex Roscia Theatralis, B.C. 67.
, ET TI´TIA
(supposed to have been passed B.C. 31) assigned to the governors of
) the duty of
appointing guardians for women and impuberes who were not in patria
potestas, or already provided with one. A Lex Atilia, which was in
existence in the seventh century of the city, had already given the same
power in Rome to the praetor urbanus, acting with a majority of the
tribuni plebis (Gaius, 1.185; Inst.
1.20, pr.; Ulpian,
Augustus, A.D. 6 (D. C. 55.25
; Plin. Paneg.
DE LIBERTINORUM SUFFRAGIIS. [CLODIA;
DE PEREGRINIS, or JUNIA PENNI, a plebiscitum
of M. Junius Pennus, B.C. 126, expelling peregrini from the city (Cic. de Off. 3.1. 1
28, 109). By a Lex Fannia (possibly merely an
edict of the Consul Fannius) B.C. 122, Latins and Italians were
similarly treated (Appian, App. BC 1.23
Plut. C. Gracchus,
, pro Sest.
13, 31), as were all persons who had
not an Italian domicile by a Lex Papia, B.C. 65 (D.
; Cic. in Rull.
, 11; de Off.
loc. cit.; ad
probably A.D. 19 (see
§ 213, note u), created
the status of Latinus Junianus by enacting that slaves manumitted
otherwise than by one of the manumissiones
or against the provisions of the Lex Aelia Sentia,
should have the rights of Latini (i.e. commercium
The statute, however, expressly deprived
them of the right of making, or taking under a will, or of being
testamentary guardians: see AELIA SENTIA LEX;
LIBERTUS; MANUMISSIO. (Gaius, 1.16, 17, 22,
&c., 3.56; Ulpian, Reg.
i., 20.8, 22.3.)
, enacted that if the judges in a
suit relating to personal freedom were evenly divided, the person whose
status was in question should be declared free (Dig.
cf. Dig. 42
, pr.). Whether it is the same statute as the
Lex Petronia is doubtful.
A.D. 10, made it
possible (which hitherto had not been allowed) to either institute or
disinherit certain postumi sui
descendants who after the making of a will come into the immediate
potestas of the testator). Those to whom this lex related were (a
) children of the testator born in his
lifetime, but after the execution of his will; (b
) grandchildren of the testator born after their father's
death, but in the lifetime of the testator; (c
grandchildren born before the execution of the grandfather's will, but
who become sui heredes
by their father's
decease after that event (Ulpian, Beg.
22.19; Dig. 28
; Gaius, 2.134, and Mr. Poste's note on
the same as PLAETO´RIA [CURATOR
]. Sometimes the lex
proposed by Volero for electing plebeian magistrates at the Comitia
Tributa is cited as a Lex Laetoria (Liv.
(Cic. ad Fam
really a magisterial decretum relating to the provincial organisation of
Cyprus: cf. the “decretum Rupilii” for Sicily (Cic. in Verr. 2.13
In B.C. 375 C. Licinius Stole and L.
Sextius, two of the tribunes of the plebs, proposed a number of rogationes,
partly in the political, partly in
the economical interests of the plebeians (Liv.
). The latter were aggrieved by their practical exclusion
from the chief magistracies: but they were still more distressed by the
burden of their debts. They had suffered heavily through the sacking of
the city by the Gauls (Liv. 6.11
&c.), and in comparison with the patricians were taxed out of
all proportion to their real means (Liv.
1.645); they were largely
indebted to the other order, which was rapidly buying them out of their
land (Liv. 34.4
), and cultivating its new
acquisitions by slave labour, so that the plebeians were debarred from
making their livings even as farmers holding under their own creditors
(Appian, App. BC 1.8
The Licinian rogation which was intended to settle the financial question
proposed that all sums which had been paid by way of interest should be
struck off the capital debts, and that three annual periods should be
allowed for the payment of the residue (Liv.
). The precise content of the
second (de modo agrorum,
; Veil. Pat. 2.6, 3;
Appian, App. BC 1.8
; Plin. Nat. 18.3
) is less certain.
According to one view (Puchta, Institutionen,
57) it proposed that no one should own
of land, or pasture on the ager
publicus more than 100 cattle and 500 sheep or smaller beasts: others
(e. g. Niebuhr, and Walter, Gesch. des röm.
§ 62) hold that it prescribed the limit of 500
merely for the
“possessiones” of ager publicus: a third view (advanced
by Huschke, Ueber die Stelle des Varro,
Rudorff, Röm. Feldmesser,
1.38) is that both
ownership and possession were comprised in the enactment. The first of
these theories at any rate seems to be disproved by Livy, 6.37
and 39 ( “agris occupatis . . .
injustis possessoribus” ), Plin.
, and Appian, App. BC 1.8
and perhaps that of Niebuhr is best
supported by the authorities. It was also proposed, in the interest of
those plebeians who were too poor to buy land, that a certain number of
free persons should be employed on every estate (Appian, loc. cit.
). A third rogatio
was for the abolition of the military tribunate (an
office created some years previously in order to relieve the consuls of
some of their less important duties, to which the plebeians had been
eligible, though Livy says, 6.37, that in B.C. 369 it had not been
occupied by any of them for forty-four years), and for the election of
one of the consuls every year from the ranks of the plebeians (Liv. 6.35
; Gel. 17.21
; Schol. Bob. pro
p. 375; Orelli). The patricians prevented the
enactment of these rogations by inducing the other tribunes to veto
them: Stole and Sextius, according to Livy, retaliated in the same way,
and, being repeatedly re-elected tribunes, persevered for five years in
preventing the election of any curule magistrates.
In B.C. 368, encouraged by the support of one of the tribuni militum, M.
Fabius, Licinius' father-in-law, and by the decreasing opposition of
their colleagues, the two tribunes proposed, and after two years'
violent agitation carried (B.C. 366), a new rogatio
that, instead of the duumviri
hitherto established, there should be a collegium of
for the custody of the Sibylline
books, and the performance of the sacra
therewith connected, and that one-half of these decemviri
should be plebeians (Liv.
). This paved the way for the admission of the plebeians to
the consulship: and in the next year (B.C. 365) the three original
rogations were at last carried together in the form of a Lex Satura
; Dio Cass.
33), and L. Sextius was elected consul, being the
first plebeian who attained that dignity. The patricians were in some
degree compensated by retaining the monopoly of the praetorship
): but the incorrectness of Livy
in representing them also as solely eligible to the curule aedileship,
established about this time, has been shown by Niebuhr, 3.39-49.
The penalty fixed for an infraction of the Lex Licinia de modo agrorum
was an arbitrary fine sued for before the
populus by the plebeian aediles. Curiously enough, Licinius Stolo
himself was (B.C. 357) the first person against whom the statute was put
in force (V. Max. 8.6
). Livy (7.16
says that together with his son he held a thousand jugera
emancipating his son fraudulently evaded the provisions of his own law:
which apparently means that he emancipated the son in order that the
latter [p. 2.47]
might get 500 jugera
nominally for himself, but which would practically be
at his father's disposal: at any rate, he was fined 10,000 asses. From
this story (which is also told by Columella, 1.3, and Pliny, Plin. Nat. 18.17
) it is clear that the
plebeians had now acquired the right of holding (possidere
) the ager
probably under the Lex Licinia itself; and it would
seem that the estates which the patricians had to surrender as being
against the statute came for the most part into the possession of
plebeians. Niebuhr (Röm. Geschichte,
attributes to the lex a genuinely agrarian character, and believes that
there was a regular distribution of land among them; but the passages on
which he relies (especially Varro, de Re
1.2, and Columella, loc. cit.
hardly bear out his view, which is directly contradicted by Appian
(App. BC 1.8
). The history of the
later agrarian legislation, however, makes it clear that in some way or
other the Lex Licinia de modo agrorum
it related at all to the possessiones of ager
which Puchta denies) was persistently evaded.
(Besides the works of Niebuhr, Puchta, Huschke, and Rudorff, already
referred to, cf. Göttling, Geschichte der röm.
p. 354; the Classical
Nos. v. vi. and vii.; and AGRARIAE LEGES
of uncertain date, containing
provisions similar to those of the second Lex Aebutia noticed above, in
connexion with which it is mentioned by Cicero (in Rull.
2.8, 21; cf. pro Domo,
DE CREANDIS TRIUMVIRIS EPULONIBUS, B.C. 197
; cf. Cic. de Orat. 3.19
DE LUDIS APOLLINARIBUS, B.C. 209 (Liv. 27.23
DE SACERDOTIIS, B.C. 146 (Cic. de Am. 25
DE SODALITIIS, B.C. 56 (Cic. pro Planc. 15
8, 2, 1: see Wunder's Prolegomena, cited in
full by Orelli, Ciceronis opera,
pp. 200, 201; and AMBITUS
sometimes called JUNIA
LICINIA, passed B.C. 62 by the consuls L. Licinius Murena and Junius
Silanus, perhaps to enforce more strictly the provisions of the Lex
Caecilia Didia, in connexion with which it is sometimes mentioned (Cic. Phil. 5.3
; ad Att.
2.9, 1; 4.16, 5; in
14, 23; pro Sestio,
135). But it also seems to have enacted that a copy of every proposed
statute should be deposited before witnesses in the Aerarium (Schol.
Bob. p. 310; Mommsen, Röm. Staatsrecht,
DE CIVIBUS REGUNDIS (probably REDIGUNDIS), passed B.C. 95 by the consuls L.
Licinius Crassus the orator, and Q. Mucius Scaevola, Pontifex Maximus;
ordained a strict examination into the title to citizenship, as many
had contrived to get
themselves put on the census, and ordered back to their own civitates
all who could not make out a good
title. This. measure partly led to the Marsic war, and is cited by
Cicero as an instance how even the wisest men sometimes pass bad laws
(Cic. de Off. 3.1.
, 47; Brut.
16, 63; pro
21, 24; pro Sestio,
30: Ascon. in Cornel.
; Macrob. Saturn
Festus, s. v
. Centenaria). [SUMPTUARIAE
Various enactments carried by M. Livius
Drusus the younger, when tribunus plebis B.C. 91, for establishing
colonies in Italy and Sicily (Appian, App. BC
), distributing corn among the poorer citizens at a low
rate (Liv. Epit. 71
), and admitting the
to the Roman
citizenship (ib. Appian, loc. cit.
). He was also
the author of a lex judiciaria,
the judicia equally between the senate and the Equites (Vell. 2.13
; Liv. Epit.
; Cic. pro Cluentio,
and instituting a penal procedure against judges who allowed themselves
to be bribed (Cic. loc. cit.;
Appian, App. BC 1.35
); and he is said by Pliny
(Plin. Nat. 33.46
) to have
proposed a measure for adulterating silver by mixing with it an eighth
part of brass. Drusus was assassinated, and the senate declared his laws
not binding, either because they had been carried “contra
auspicia” (Ascon. in Cornet.
p. 68), or because
they were in violation of the Lex Caecilia Didia (Cic. pro Domo,
16, 41). Cf. Cic. de Leg. 2.6
, 12; Florus, 3.17
; Plut. C. Gracchus,
DE VI [VIS]. The supposed existence of such a
lex (based on Cicero, pro Caelio,
is now much discredited but see Rein, Criminalrecht,
probably passed by Maenius, tribunus
plebis, B.C. 287. It is mentioned only by Cicero (Cic. Brut. 14
), who says that “M. Curius Dentatus compelled the
Patres ante auctores fieri,
in the case
of the election of a plebeian consul, which was a great thing to
accomplish, as the Lex Maenia had not yet been passed.” The
statute seems to have enacted that the senatorial auctoritas to the
Comitia Curiata (by a vote of which the magistrates acquired their
imperium) should be given before instead of after the assembly of the
centuries in which the magistrates were elected (cf. Liv. 1.17
; Cic. pro Plancio,
8; Licinius Macer in Sallust. Frag.
iii. p. 972, ed.
Cort; Puchta, Institutionen,
§ 59, notes l and
n; Walter, Geschichte des röm. Rechts,
§ 66; and AUCTORITAS
DE DOTE, B.C. 186: see Voigt's treatise on the
subject, Weimar, 1866, and Puchta, Institutionen,
§ 74, note k, and § 292, note b.
DE MAGISTRIS AQUA´
DE MAGISTRIS AQUA´
RUM: (Haubold, Spangenberg,
DE COLONIIS. It was supposed that Rudorff had
9.12) that the Lex Mamilia, Roscia,
Peducaea, Alliena, Fabia, is the same as the “Lex agraria quam
Gaius Caesar tulit” (Dig. 47
), and that this
Gaius Caesar is the Emperor Caligula. But Mommsen (Schriften der
ii. p. 223) believes that the
so-called Lex Mamilia related to the appointment of C. Julius
Caesar's agrarian commission: and this
seems to be confirmed by the discovery of the Lex Coloniae
DE JUGURTHAE FAUTORIBUS established a special
tribunal of three quaesitores
investigate cases of bribery among Romans by Jugurtha (Sallust, Jugurtha,
40, 65; Cic. Brut. 33
Mommsen, Röm. Staatsrecht,
vol. ii. pp. 646,
FINIUM REGUNDORUM (B.C. 110, Ernesti; B.C.
165, Pighius) re-enacted the provision [p. 2.48]
Twelve Tables, that a space of 5 ft. along the boundaries of landed
estates (extending 2 1/2 ft. into each) should be excluded from
usucapio, and ordained a new procedure in cases of dispute (Cic. de Leg. 1.2. 1
x. pp. 355-363).
proposed by the tribune C. Manilius
B.C. 66, and conferring on Cu. Pompeius the command in the war against
Mithridates. It was supported by Cicero when praetor in his speech
pro lege Manilia
(cf. Vell. 2.33
Liv. Epit. 100
; D. C. 36.25
; Appian, Bell.
DE LIBERTINORUM SUFFRAGIIS (D. C. 36.25
; Ascon. in
pp. 64, 65): perhaps the same as the Lex Manilia de
suffragiorum confusione (Cic. pro
, 47), which seems to have enacted that the
libertini should vote in all and not only in the four urban tribes.
(Cic. de Orat
246). These were not statutes at all, but forms which it was prudent for
parties to observe in contracts of sale, whence they are called actiones
by Varro, de Re
2.5, 11. They seem to have been invented by a jurist
called M‘. Manilius, who was consul B.C. 149.
a name wrongly given to the Lex Licinia
de creandis triumviris epulonibus, because P. Manlius was one of the
first triumviri appointed under its provisions (Liv. 33.42
DE LIBERTINORUM SUFFRAGIIS, B.C. 58, probably
identical with the Lex Manilia of the same title (Ascon. in
DE VICESIMA MANUMISSORUM, B.C. 357, imposed a
tax of one-fifth on the value of all manumitted slaves (Liv. 7.16
; cf. 27.10). [MANUMISSIO
prescribed the procedure per manus
recovering from them four times any sum which they had taken by way of
illegal interest (Gaius, 4.23; Liv.
proposed by L.
Marcius Philippus, tribunus plebis, B.C. 104 (Cic. de Off. 2.2. 1
DE LIGURIBUS, B.C. 172 (Liv. 42.22
proposed by C. Marius, when tribune B.C.
119, for narrowing the pontes
(Cic. de Legg. 3.1.
, 38; Plut. Marius,
seems to have in some way limited the
magistrate's power of inflicting arbitrary fines: see ATERNIA TARPEIA.
enacted that the children of parents, either of whom was a peregrinus,
should be peregrini
themselves: and thus (where a civis Romana
married a peregrinus
) introduced an exception to the rule that
where there was no conubium
between man and
wife the issue should follow the condition of the mother (Ulpian,
DE CN. POMPEII IMPERIO (Cic. Att. 4.1
DE REVOCANDO CICERONE (Cic. post Red. in Sen. 8
B.C. 217 (Liv.
(Gaius, 1.78, Studemund ad
.): see MENSIA.
DE TRIUMVIRIS MENSARIIS, B.C. 46 (Liv. 23.21
a plebiscitum of 141 B.C.: resulted in the exile of L. Hostilius Tubulo (Cic.
the latest known instance of a
lex passed at the Comitia (Dig. 47
probably B.C. 87 (Cic. de Off. 2.2. 1
62, 222). [FRUMENTARIAE LEGES
proposed by two Ogulnii, who were
tribunes B.C. 300: it increased the number of the Pontifices and Augurs
from four each to eight and nine respectively, and enacted that four of
the former and five of the latter should be taken from the plebs (Liv. 10.6
B.C. 215 (Liv.
; V. Max.
). It was repealed twenty
years after its enactment. [SUMPTUARIAE LEGES
B.C. 171 (Macrob. Saturn.
2.13). [SUMPTUARIAE LEGES
enacted probably circ.
B.C. 312: apparently assigned to the censors the
function of selecting the senate, but required them to choose the
persons best qualified without distinction between patricians and
plebeians (Festus, p. 246). Perhaps the strict meaning of Festus' text
is that on coming into office they revised the list of the senate, those
whose names were passed over ipso facto
losing their seats (Hoffmann, Röm. Senat,
The nature of the Lex Ovinia mentioned by Gaius (4.109) is unknown.
DE PEREGRINIS. [JUNIA DE PEREGRINIS.]
DE VESTALIUM LECTIONE (Gel. 1.12
DE MULTARUM AESTIMATIONE, B.C. 430,
substituted money fines for those of cattle and sheep fixed by the Lex
Aternia Tarpeia, a sheep being valued at ten, a bullock at a hundred
asses (Liv. 4.30
; Cic. de Rep. 2.35
). Gellius (11.1
) and Festus are wrong in making this
change a part of the Lex Aternia Tarpeia itself.
fixed the value of the as
at half an ounce: one
of the numerous enactments which tampered with the coinage (Plin. Nat. 33.46
DE ACERRANORUM CIVITATE, B.C. 332, proposed by
L. Papirius when praetor, and giving the civitas sine
to the people of Acerrae (Liv. 8.17
; cf. Veil. Pat. 1.14, 4).
DE CONSECRATIONE AEDIUM,
enacted that no land, temple, or altar should be consecrated without a
plebiscitum (Cic. pro Dom.
, 50; Liv. 9.46
DE SACRAMENTO, a plebiscitum of L. Papirius,
providing that the tres viri capitales
should be elected by the people, and should exact from unsuccessful
litigants the stake (sacramentum
they lost in the legis actio
of that name,
and which was forfeited to the aerarium (Festus, s. v. Sacramento: cf.
Mommsen, Röm. Staatsrecht,
ii. pp. 580, 585).
§ 161, note g)
conjectures that the statute also put an end to the actual deposit of
the stake in sacro,
and substituted the
giving of security (praedes
) for its
B.C. 89, enacted
that all cives
who [p. 2.49]
at the date of the
statute were domiciled in Italy, should be able to obtain the Roman
civitas by giving in their names to the praetor urbanus at Rome within
sixty days (Cic. pro Archia,
B.C. 132. [TABELLARIAE
B.C. 44, interdicted from fire and water
all who had taken part in the murder of Julius Caesar (Vell. 2.69
a privilegium of B.C. 114, relating to
incest committed by certain Vestal Virgins (Cic. de Nat. Deor. 3.3. 0
, 74; Ascon.
seems to have extended to dogs the
rule of the Twelve Tables (Inst.
4.9, pr.; Dirksen,
&c. p. 532), that if damage were
done by an animal the owner must either surrender it or pay compensation
(Paul. Sent. rec.
DE PECUNIA REGIS ANTIOCHI, B.C. 186 (Liv. 38.54
; cf. 39.6).
lex of this name
(de decimatione militum
) applying in
cases of mutiny is mentioned in the old editions of Appian (de
2.47), but the true reading is πατρίῳ νόμῳ.
forbade masters to make their slaves
fight with wild beasts, unless they had committed some serious offence,
and the magistrate had assented to their being so treated (Dig. 48
; Gel. 5.14
); it was followed by a number of
senatusconsulta to the same purpose. Puchta
§ 107) is of opinion that it
provided for the appointment of special magistrates in the towns to deal
with the matter; but the inscriptions on which he relies (cited in
Marquardt, Röm. Staatsverwaltung,
i. p. 494)
seem to relate to a different Lex Petronia (de praefectis). Whether
there were two leges or one, the first mention of legislation by this
name occurs in the fasti
of Venusia, B.C.
(Gaius, 4.15). Its effect is merely
matter of conjecture. According to Studemund and Walter, a single judge
was originally appointed at the close of the formal proceedings before
the praetor, to try sacramenta:
was altered by the statute, which prescribed an interval of thirty days
between the proceedings before the praetor and the appointment of the
judex. Keller supposes that its effect was not to create a necessary
interval of thirty or any other number of days at all, but to transfer
the hearing of sacramenta
from the standing
collegia of judges (decemviri and centumviri) to a single judex.
Bethmann-Hollweg (Civil Process,
i. p. 65) holds that it
required all actions of debt for less sums than 1000 asses to be tried
before a single judge.
ANNALIS. [ANNALES LEGES.]
DE INTERCALANDO, B.C. 472 (Varro in Macrob.
(Cic. de Off
. 3.15, 61; de Nat. Deor
3.30, 74). [CURATOR
allowed the praetor to fix any time
he pleased for the termination of legal proceedings, the Twelve Tables
having enacted that they should not close till sunset (Varro, L.
6.5; Censorin. de Die Nat.
, B.C. 98 or 89 (Cic. Att. 1.1. 8
DE REDITU LEPIDANORUM (Sueton. Caesar,
DE VI (Ascon. in
35; Cic. Att. 2.2. 4
de Harusp. Resp.
8; Sallust. Cat.
see C. G. Wächter's paper on the subject in the Neues
Archiv des Criminalrechts,
xiii. p. 8 sq.,
cited at length in Orelli's Cicero,
vol. viii. pp. 233-243, and VIS
, B.C. 89, enacted that fifteen persons
should be selected annually from each tribe, without reference to their
rank, to act as judges in criminal trials. It was repealed by the Lex
Cornelia judiciaria of Sulla (Cic. pro Cornel.
Ascon. in Cornel.
a plebiscitum of B.C. 358: the first
law against ambitus
the name usually
given to a lex, supposed to have been passed B.C. 326, for the relief of
the nexi (Liv. 8.28
; Cic. de Republ. 2.34
, 59; Varro, L.
B.C. 89, passed by Cn. Pompeius Strabo,
father of the great Pompeius, when consul: it conferred Latin rights
] on the
Transpadani, and probably the civitas on the Cispadani (Strabo v. p.213
DE AMBITU (D. C.
; Ascon. in Mil.
p. 37). [AMBITUS
DE IMPERIO CAESARI PROROGANDO, B.C. 55 (Vell. 2.46
Appian, App. BC 2.18
; Cic. Phil. 2.10
DE JURE MAGISTRATUUM (Sueton. Caesar,
28; Cic. Att.
2.10, 24; D. C. 40.56
forbade candidature for public offices by persons who were not at Rome:
but C. Julius Caesar was excepted from its operation. This was doubtless
the old law, but it appears to have become obsolete.
DE PARRICIDIIS, B.C. 52. It is difficult to
come to any definite conclusion as to the precise meaning of parricida
in early Roman history and literature. From a
quotation which Cicero makes from some old source ( “sacrum
sacrove commendatum qui cleperit rapsitque parricida esto,”
2.9, 22), the offence seems at one time not to
have been confined to killing; and even when it had acquired this
narrower signification, it apparently denoted the taking of the life of
any free person ( “si quis hominem liberum dolo sciens morti duit
parricida esto,” law of Numa Pompilius in Festus, s. v.
Parici Quaestores: cf. Rein, Criminalrecht,
449). The Romans themselves seem to have had great doubts about the
etymology of the word: συστέλλοντες τὴν πρώτην
συλλαβὴν καὶ βραχεῖαν ποιοῦντες, τοὺς γονέας
(pārentes), ἐκτείνοντες δὲ, τοὺς
(Johannes Lydus, de Mag. Rom.
1.26). “Parricida, quod vel a pari componitur, vel a patre:
quibusdam a parente videtur esse” (Prisc.
i.: cf. Cic. pro
11, 32; Liv. 40.24
8.6, 35). But by the time of Cicero
seems to have acquired the
specific sense of killing near relatives: the application of it to
Catiline and to the murderers of Caesar (Sueton. [p. 2.50]Jul.
88) may perhaps be regarded merely as an
oratorical survival of older usage. There seems to be no doubt that the
Lex Cornelia de sicariis et veneficis contained provisions as to the
killing of near relations (Dig. 48
4.18, 6 ad fin.
): the Lex Pompeia de
parricidiis, some thirty years later, apparently re-enacted these, and
defined the crime of parricidium
deliberate and wrongful slaying of ascendants, husbands, wives, consobrini,
brothers and sisters, uncles and
aunts, stepfathers and mothers, fathers and mothers in law, patrons and
descendants; but the killing of a child by its father was excepted
). Hadrian sentenced a man who killed his son to
(Dig. ib. 5); but it was not
to kill one's own children
till the age of Constantine, who prescribed for it the punishment of the
sack described below (Cod. 9.17; Inst.
loc. cit.). For
most cases of parricidium
no change was
made in the penalties of the Lex Cornelia (death, banishment, and
forfeiture) by the statute of Pompeius; but for the murder of a father,
mother, grandfather or grandmother, the old punishment of the cullcus
was ordained (Dig.
; Paul. Sent. rec.
consisted in the guilty person being first whipped till he bled, sewn up
in a sack with a dog, a cock, a viper, and an ape, and thrown into the
sea or a river: if there was no water near, Hadrian sanctioned his being
torn in pieces by wild beasts (Dig. 48
, pr.), and in Paulus'
time he seems sometimes to have been burnt. The antiquity of this
punishment is attested by Valerius Maximus, who records that it was
inflicted on M. Tullius by Tarquinius when king (1.1, 13: cf.
, pr. and 1; and Cic.
pro Rosc. Am. 25
, 70, ad Quint.
1.2; Juv. Sat.
). The selection of animals was supposed
to be symbolical: μετὰ ἀσεβῶν ζώων ἀσεβὴς
(Dosith. 3.16): τὰ δὲ
προειρημένα θήρια ἐμβάλλεται διὰ τοῦτο, ἐπειδὴ ὁμοιότροπα
αὐτῷ ἐστί τὰ μὲν γὰρ ἀναιρεῖ τοὺς γονεῖς, τὰ δὲ πρὸς
αὐτοὺς οὐκ ἀπέχεται μάχης
to the crime were punished as severely as principals under the Lex
Cornelia (Cod. 9, 16, 7).
DE VI, a privilegium relating to the trial of
Milo by a quaestio extraordinaria
killing Clodius, though there was a permanent commission for trying
offences of this class (Cic. Phil. 2.9
): it also seems to have
contained some general provisions as to the procedure and penalty in
cases of violence (Ascon.; and Schol. Bob. pro
cf. Wächter's note, cited by Orelli,
vol. viii. pp. 247-250, and
Walter, Geschichte des röm. Rechts,
834, note 7).
FRUMENTARIA (D. C.
; in Pison.
39, 73; Ascon. in
p. 16; Sall. de Rep. Ord.
TRIBUNICIA, B.C. 70, restored the old tribunicia potestas
which Sulla had almost
destroyed (Sueton. Jul.
; Cic. de Leg.
, 11; Liv. Epit. 97
probably B.C. 197, appears to have
enacted that a Roman citizen might save himself from the punishment of
death or flogging by withdrawing into exile (Sal.
; Cic. pro Rabirio,
5.63, 163; Liv.
; Gel. 10.3
). Cicero (de Rep.
ii, 31, 54) alludes to
three leges Porciae on this or similar matters, but nothing more is
known about them.
DE PROVINCIALIBUS SUMPTIBUS, apparently due to
M. Portius Cato, praetor B.C. 298, and perhaps referred to in Liv. 32.27
: it is mentioned in the Plebiscitum
de Termessensibus (Lex Antonia), which enacts “nei quis
magistratus prove magistratu legatus neu quis alius neive imperato
quo quid magis iei dent praebeant ab ieisve auferatur nisei quod eos
ex lege Portia dare praebere oportet oportebit” (Haubold,
the reading in some editions of
Gaius (4.28); but the true reading, according to Studemund, is lege censoria.
permitted betting at certain games
which required strength, such as running and leaping (Dig. 11
and 3). [CORNELIA; TITIA.]
proposed by Publilius Volero, tribunus
plebis, and carried after much opposition B.C. 471. It provided
“ut plebeii magistratus (tribunes and plebeian aediles)
tributis comitiis fierent” (Liv.
); but this apparently should not be taken to mean that these
magistrates had previously been elected in the Comitia Centuriata (as is
held by Mommsen, Röm. Tribus,
Becker-Marquardt, 2.2, 253-260, &c.): the choice had practically
been made by the plebs, but in a less organised fashion than became the
rule after it had by this statute been definitely assigned to the
Comitia in which the plebeians had the preponderance (Schwegler, 26.7:
cf. Walter, Geschichte des röm. Rechts,
§ 44; for another view, see Mommsen, Röm.
2.2). “From this time onward,” says
), “up to my
own day, the election of tribunes and aediles was made without birds
(augural ceremonies) and all the rest of the religious forms in the
Comitia Tributa.” By the same enactment the number of the
tribunes was raised from two to five (Liv.
; Diod. 2.38
), and B.C. 454 to
ten (Liv. 3.30
; Dionys. A. R. 10.30
), who were elected in equal proportions
from the five classes of the Servian Constitution (Ascon. in
p. 77): this change was readily acquiesced in and
perhaps even suggested by the patricians, who foresaw in the larger
number increased chances of disagreement, and were more likely to win
over to their own side one of many than one of few plebeian magistrates.
Possibly, too, the office of tribune was opened to the patricians, two
of whom were tribuni plebis B.C. 448 (Liv.
), though these, according to Mommsen (Röm.
ii. p. 265), were only coopted members of the
We are told by Dionysius (9.43
) that when Publicius failed in the
first attempt to carry his measure, he added a fresh provision, enabling
the Comitia Tributa to discuss and resolve on matters of public
importance (cf. Zonaras, 7.17
): this was
carried along with his earlier proposal, and was of considerable
constitutional significance: for it thus became easy for the tribunes to
unite the plebeians on any matter on which they had to vote in the
Comitia Centuriata, and also to consult them as to the submission of
proposals for legislation to the senate: these, if approved, could then
be referred in the ordinary way to the centuries, [p. 2.51]
and thereby become genuine enactments of the sovereign populus (V. Max. 2.2
Dionys. A. R. 10.30
). For the further history, see PUBLILIAE and PLEBISCITUM
DE SPONSU gave the kind of surety called a
to recover twice the sum which he had paid for his
principal unless reimbursed within six months, and enabled him after
obtaining judgment to proceed at once by manus
injectio pro judicato
(Gaius, 3.127, 4.22). [INTERCESSIO
carried B.C. 339 by the
Dictator Q. Publilius Philo: their substance is thus described by Livy
): “Tres leges secundissimas
plebei, adversas nobilitati tulit: unam ut plebiscita omnes Quirites
tenerent: alteram, ut legum quae comitiis centuriatis ferrentur,
ante initum suffragium Patres auctores fierent: tertiam, ut alter
utique ex plebe, quum eo ventum sit ut utrumque plebeium consulem
fieri liceret, censor crearetur.” The first of these seems to
stand in connexion with one of the leges Valeriae Horatiae, B.C. 449,
which enacted “ut quod tributim plebs jussisset populum
teneret” (Liv. 3.55
): i. e. it
restored the Comitia Tributa after the second secession of the plebs,
and perhaps also provided that plebiscita which had no constitutional
import, or which related purely to matters of private law, should have
the force of statute, even without subsequent confirmation or enactment
by the centuries. In B.C. 339, the patricians having now brought
themselves to take regular part in the business of the Comitia Tributa,
confirmation by the centuries must have seemed a superfluity in any
case; and accordingly the first Lex Publilia seems to have dispensed
with it for all plebiscita whatsoever. They still, however, required to
be sanctioned by the senate before they acquired complete validity; but
the necessity of this seems to have been abolished by the Lex Hortensia,
B.C. 287, which enacted “ut eo jure, quod plebs statuisset, omnes
Quirites tenerentur” (Gaius, 1.3; Dig.
; Laelius Felix in Gel.
; Plin. Nat. 16.37
There is, however, great difference of opinion as to the real import of,
and the relation between, these three leges, which, if literally taken,
seem all to have enacted the same thing. Walter (Geschichte des
§ 65) thinks that the last
two dispensed with the senatorial confirmation of plebiscita which were
not proposed “ex senatus auctoritate;” Niebuhr (2.415;
3.170, 171, 491), that the Lex Publilia did away with the necessity of
confirmation by the Comitia Curiata,
that the senatorial approval was dispensed with by the Lex Hortensia:
while Mommsen (Röm. Geschichte,
2.3) and Lange
(1.469-473) take the accounts given to us literally, and hold the last
two laws to be merely re-enactments of the Lex Valeria Horatia, which
got rid of confirmation by the senate and the Comitia Curiata as well.
The view adopted above is that of Puchta (Institutionen,
As to the meaning of the second Lex Publilia, there is also some
difference of opinion, occasioned by our uncertainty as to the
signification of “Patres” in the text of Livy cited above.
According to one view, it simply re-affirmed the constitutional doctrine
that no measure should be submitted for enactment to the Comitia
Centuriata without having been previously approved by the senate: such
re-affirmation seeming desirable in consequence of the recent changes in
respect of plebiscita, which were sanctioned by the senate after, and
not before, being passed by the Comitia Tributa. But Livy's remark that
all the leges Publiliae were “adversae nobilitati” makes
the view of Niebuhr more probable, that by “Patres” is
meant the Comitia Curiata; the assent of which was by this statute
reduced to a mere formality by the requirement that it should be given
the centuries had considered whether
they should pass any given measure or not.
The third Publilian law requires no explanation. We read of a plebeian
being censor as early as B.C. 351 (Liv. 7.22
this statute required that one of the censors should always be selected
from the plebs.
(Cic. ad Q. Fratr
. 1.4) enacted that the senate should not sit
on dies Comitiales. Previously it could deliberate on any day whatsoever
(see Cic. Fam. 12.5. 5
; ad Q.
2.1, &c.; ad Att.
4.2; Liv. 39.39
). Its date was perhaps B.C.
a lex proposed by T. Quintius Crispinus
(consul B.C. 9) for the preservation of the Aquaeductus. It is preserved
by Frontinus (de Aquaeduct. Roman.).
properly LEX DE
IMPERIO PRINCIPIS. The nature of the imperium, and the mode in
which it was conferred, are explained under IMPERIUM
Augustus united in his own person most
of the republican powers and magistracies, though they were bestowed
upon him by the populus separately and at different times. After holding
the consulship for nine years in succession, he received the proconsulare imperium
and the potestas consularis
for life: the powers of the censorship were
granted him at first for five years, but were periodically renewed
without interruption: he was also Pontifex Maximus and Princeps Senatus,
whence, according to some, he took the title “Princeps” by
which the earlier emperors were known, and which personally he preferred
to the style of “Imperator,” which, though it belonged to
him, he never asserted within the city of Rome. [PRINCEPS
] The practice of
investing the emperor with these various powers or authorities by
distinct leges was followed for a considerable time. The preservation of
the Lex de imperio Vespasiani (which seems to have been only a
senatusconsultum representing the old Lex Curiata de imperio) has led to
the belief that in the time of that emperor all the powers enjoyed by
Augustus were conferred on the sovereign by a single statute. The
fragment which is extant (Haubold, Spangenberg, Monum.
p. 221) empowers Vespasian to make treaties, originate
senatusconsulta, propose persons to the people and the senate for
election to magistracies, extend the pomoerium,
and make edicts with the force of law: it releases him from the same
laws from which Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius had been released; and
provides that all that he had done before its enactment should have the
same effect as if it had been done by the people. But, sweeping as the
form seems to be, it is clear that the senate continued even after
Vespasian “to dispense the various prerogatives of sovereignty,
one by one, with affected hesitation.”
It was not really till the time of Alexander
Severus that the whole of the imperial powers (including the proconsulare imperium,
the principatus senatus,
and the tribunicia potestas
) were conferred on the emperor
and Severus himself remarks
upon this as a novelty ( “quae omnia novo
uno die in me contulistis,” Lamprid.
1): but from his time the practice became
usual, the formal imperium however being bestowed first by a separate
resolution of the senate (cf. Capitol. Max. et Balb.
2). For the meaning of legibus solutus
as applied to the emperor, see Mommsen,
ii. p. 728, and Merivale,
Hist. of the Romans under the Empire,
iii. p. 466 sq.
The Lex de Imperio is in the Corpus Juris of Justinian sometimes called
“Lex Regia,” an expression which occurs in Dig. 1
, pr. (Ulpian), transcribed in
1.2, 6, and in Cod. 1, 17, 1, 7. The title of
Dominus was applied to the emperor as early as Trajan, but the phrase
“lex regia” does not appear to occur before the third
century, when to avoid the comparison between “rex” and
“imperator” would have been mere affectation. For the
whole subject, see D. C. 53.16
; Tac. Hist.
; and Merivale, Hist.
p. 32 a supr.;
and JUS CIVILE
(Cic. pro Rosc. Am
a term used to denote those portions of
the Rhodian maritime code (referred to by Strabo xiv. p.652
; and Cic. pro lege
18, 54) which were adopted into the Roman law,
and on which information may be obtained from Dig.
, and Schryver, Sur la loi
Rhodia de jactu,
Brussels, 1884. Its main principle was
that, where property was thrown overboard to lighten and so assist in
saving a ship, the loss should be portioned out among all in whose
interest the sacrifice was made.
carried by the
tribune L. Roscius Otho, B.C. 67: it assigned to the Equites the
fourteen rows of seats in the theatre next to those of the senators, who
sat in the orchestra, to which apparently (Vell.
) they had a kind of
prescriptive right (Liv. Epit. 99
; D. C. 36.25
; Cic. pro
19, 40; ad Att.
2.19; Juv. 14.324
; Hor. Epod.
This provision was re-enacted by the Lex Julia theatralis. The statute
also seems to have assigned seats in the theatre to persons who had lost
their property, whether by their own fault or by misfortune (decoctores
. The law
caused some popular disturbances when Cicero was consul, which he
allayed by a speech (ad Att.
2.1; Plut. Cic. 13
. When Cisalpine Gaul ceased to be a
province and became part of Italy, it was necessary to provide for the
administration of justice, as the usual forms of provincial
administration would cease with the determination of the provincial mode
of government. This was done (B.C. 49, Mommsen and Rudorff; B.C. 42,
Savigny and Puchta) by a plebiscitum proposed by an otherwise unknown
tribune, named Rubrius, of which a portion was discovered in 1760 on a
tablet in the ruins of Veleia, which is preserved in the Museum at
Parma. The whole lex probably covered five Tables, and was divided into
chapters, of which we have caps. 20-22 complete, and parts of the 19th
and 23rd: it apparently followed the order of the praetorian edict, and
regulated the judicial competence and procedure of the Cisalpine
municipia. Its policy seems to have been restrictive: e. g. it is
provided that the municipal magistrates shall have jurisdiction to try
by judices (in the ordinary Roman fashion) all suits in which the sum
involved does not exceed 15,000 sesterces, and some even irrespective of
their amount: as for actions to which their jurisdiction does not
extend, they may conduct the preliminary inquiry, but must remit them
for trial to the praetor at Rome. The 19th chapter relates to
“operis novi nuntiatio;” the 20th, to “damnum
infectum;” the 21st and 22nd, to the jurisdiction, especially
restricting the right of imprisoning for money debts; and the 23rd, to
the “judicium familiae erciscundae.”
The text of the lex is lithographed in Ritschl's Inscriptions, vol. i.
Tab. xxxii., and may also be found in Mommsen's Inscriptions, vol. i.
No. 205, as well as in the earlier editions of Carli, Pietro di Lama,
and Haubold (Spangenberg). The subject is expressly handled by Savigny
ix.) and Puchta, Kleine civil.
1851: cf. Huschke, Ueber die Klagformeln
in der Lex Rubria;
Gaius, pp. 203-242; Hugo, Civil.
vol. ii. pp. 431-496; and Dirksen, Obs. ad
selecta legis Gall. Cisalp. capita,
These are not leges proper, but
regulations for the organisation of Sicily, comprised in a decretum
issued by P. Rupilius, its proconsul (B.C. 131), in accordance with
instructions given him by tie ten legati sent by the senate, as was
usual (Liv. 45.17
135; Sall. Jugurtha,
16) when the organisation of a
province was being settled (Cic. in
, 16, 40; Pseudo-Ascon. p. 212: cf.
V. Max. 6.9
). There is frequent mention in Cicero's second speech against
Verres of the regulations (leges
Rupilius in respect of the Sicilian judicial procedure, e. g. one by
which he there established the supposed principle of the Lex Pinaria,
requiring an interval of thirty days between the proceedings in jure
and the appointment of a judex (cap.
15). Other leges of the same person, relating to the co-optation of the
senate of Heraclia, where he had established a colony, are mentioned
2.50, 125; and as to “res frumentaria,”
3.40, 91. (See Marquardt, Röm.
i. p. 341.)
related to the appointment of the
tribuni militum (Festus, s. v. Rufuli; Liv.
; Ascon. in Verr.
1.10, p. 112, Orelli).
(mentioned or referred to by Liv. 2.33
, &c.; and Cic. pro
. 7, 16, 30, &c.; de Off
111; de Leg
. 2.7, 18, &c.). The term seems
properly to have been used of laws to which a religious sanction was
attached, so that the person who was convicted of violating them became
“Sacratae leges sunt, quibus sanctum est, qui quid adversus eas
fecerit, sacer alicui deorum sit cum familia pecuniaque”
(Festus). As to the nature of the sanction, something more may be
gathered from Festus, s. v. Sacer mons: “At [p. 2.53]
homo sacer is est, quem populus judicavit ob maleficium, neque fas
est eum immolari: sed qui occidit parricidii non damnatur, nam lege
tribunicia prima cavetur: si quis eum qui eo
plebei scito sacer sit occiderit parricida ne
” Among such leges sacratae were the Lex Valeria de
provocatione, the statute affirming the inviolability of tribuni plebis
de Leg. 3.4
, 11), the Lex Icilia de
Aventino (Liv. 3.32
) and the Lex militaris
referred to by Liv. 7.41
. See Ernesti's note
cited by Orelli, Cicero,
viii. p. 257;
Ihering, Geist des röm. Rechts,
DE PATRICIORUM NUMERO AUGENDO, enacted in the
fifth consulship of Augustus (Tac. Ann.
; Mon. Ancyr. Pilae prioris,
tab. 2. See CASSIA).
a lex of the Emperor Domitian, A.D.
81-84, regulating the constitution of the Latin colony of Salpensa in
p. 33 b supr.
another reading for Atiniae in Cic. Phil. 3.6
a lex of unknown date, enacted for
the suppression of unnatural crime (Auson. Epigr.
Fam. 8.1. 2
8), which was treated by the Lex Julia de
adulteriis merely as stuprum
; Collatio, 5.2;
Paul. Sent. rec.
2.26, 13), and punished by partial
confiscation of property, flogging, and relegatio (Inst.
4.18, 4). For these death was substituted by imperial constitutions
(Coil. 5.3; Cod. 9, 9, 31).
of unknown date, enacted that
praedial urban servitudes should not be acquirable by usucapio (Dig. 41
): rustic servitudes
could never be so acquired (apart from the praedia
to which they were annexed), owing to the
impossibility of applying to them the notion of possession (Dig. 8
, pr.). The statute, however, did not prohibit
the extinction of a servitude by lapse of time, which the Romans call
“usucapio libertatis” (Dig.
). But the prescriptive acquisition of
servitudes was re-introduced through the praetorian doctrine of longi temporis possessio.
[SERVITUTES; USUCAPIO.] See Unterholtzner,
2. § §
. 8.6, 5).
carried by the
tribune C. Scribonius Curio, B.C. 51. Its motive and purport are
explained by Appian, App. BC 2.26
cf. Orelli's Cicero,
viii. pp. 259, 260.
Tiberius Gracchus when tribune, B.C. 133. In settling its provisions he
was aided by the advice of Crassus, then Pontifex Maximus, Mucius
Scaevola, then Consul and later Pontifex Maximus himself, and Appius
Claudius (Plut. Tib. Gracchus,
9); their main objects
being to relieve the poverty of the humbler Roman citizens, and to
establish a population of free and independent yeomen over the vast
tracts of public land, the enjoyment of which the patricians had
practically appropriated, notwithstanding the Lex Licinia, and which
were at that date but sparsely peopled by shepherds, herdsmen, and a few
slave cultivators. Its main enactment was that no person should hold
more than 500 jugera of ager publicus (Liv.
; Aurel. Victor de Vir. ill.
an additional 250 jugera for each of two sons: but in no case was the
holding to exceed 1000 jugera. From the estates recovered from the
present tenants, as being in excess of the maximum fixed by the statute,
holdings were to be provided for the poorer and landless citizens, which
they were to have no power of alienating or even letting (Appian, App. BC 1.9
); the taxes assessed on the land were to be paid by the
tenant. The execution of the statute was entrusted to a commission of
three, which was to be elected every year (Appian, loc. cit.
), the first three commissioners being Tiberius
himself, his brother C. Gracchus, and Appius Claudius; but it was
attended with great difficulties. The ager publicus had been held by
private persons for generations as private property, had often changed
hands by sale or assignment, and had been improved and built upon.
Proposals were originally made for the payment of compensation for
buildings and unexhausted improvements (Plut. loc.
Appian, App. BC 1.11
but these, it would appear, were withdrawn.
The execution of the measure was stopped by a senatusconsultum which
extinguished the powers of the commissioners to whom it had been
entrusted; but it was revived by the Lex Sempronia of C. Gracchus, B.C.
123. The senate, however, practically rendered it a dead letter by
employing Livius Drusus, another of the tribunes, to bring forward
agrarian proposals even more popular with the proletariate than that of
Gracchus; especially one permitting alienation of the holdings, whereby
the tenants got money instead of land, and the rich were enabled to buy
back the estates of which they had been temporarily deprived. (Plut.
Appian, App. BC
ff.: for the whole subject, see Merivale's Fall
of the Roman Republic,
DE CAPITE CIVIUM, carried by Caius Gracchus,
B.C. 123: it re-affirmed the old legal principle that no judgment should
be pronounced involving the life or freedom of a citizen without the
assent of the Roman people (Cic. pro
4, 8; in Cat.
4, 5; in
5.63, 163; Gel. 10.3
Ahren's Excursus on the statute, cited by Orelli, Cicero,
vol. viii. pp. 264, 265.
DE PECUNIA CREDITA or DE
FENORE, passed by the tribune M. Sempronius Tuditanus, B.C.
193. It was occasioned by the fact of citizens lending money in the
names of non-cives in order to evade the laws against usury, to which it
subjected the Socii and Latini (Liv.
DE PROVINCIA ASIA provided that the taxes of
the Roman province of Asia should be let out to farm by the censors
(Cic. in Verr. 3.6,
: cf. ad Att.
1.17, 9): probably a different lex from
that which next follows. [DECUMAE
DE PROVINCIIS CONSULARIBUS, passed by C.
Gracchus, B.C. 123: it enacted that before the election of consuls the
senate should in each year determine the two provinces which they were
to have at the termination of their year of office; which of the two
each was to take, was to be settled by them afterwards by [p. 2.54]
lot or otherwise (Sall. Jugurtha,
9, 24; pro Balbo,
1.7, 10; de Prov. Cons.
DE SUFFRAGIIS, passed by C. Gracchus: it
enacted that the order in which the centuries should vote should be
determined by lot (Sall. de Republ. ordin.
FRUMENTARIA of C. Gracchus (Cic. Tusc. 3.20
48, 103; de
2.21, 72; Brut.
62, 222). [FRUMENTARIAE
JUDICIARIA, carried by C. Gracchus, B.C. 122:
it took the judicia publica from the senate and transferred them to the
Equites (Appian, App. BC 1.22
Pat. 2.6, 32; Cic. in Verr.
, 40; Tac. Ann. 12.60
MILITARIS, for providing soldiers with an
outfit at the cost of the state (Plut. C. Gracchus,
NE QUIS JUDICIO CIRCUMVENIRETUR (Cic. pro Cluentio,
55, 151). It seems in reality to
have been somewhat of the same nature as the Lex Cornelia de sicariis et
brought forward by
the tribune P. Servilius Rullus, B.C. 63: it proposed to divide the ager
campanus and campus stellatis among the poorer citizens (Cic. in Rull. 2
, 28), to
compensate all who had been robbed of their property by Sulla by the
sale of all the ager publicus in Italy and the provinces (Cic. ib. 2,
15, 38), and to purchase lands in Italy for the, poor otherwise
unprovided for from the wealth which had poured into the treasury from
the recent conquests of Pompeius. It was successfully opposed by Cicero
as consul, but was in substance carried by Julius Caesar, B.C. 59 (Cic.
2, 4; ad Fam.
8, 6, 5: see JULIA AGRARIA).
DE REPETUNDIS, B.C. 104 (Cic. pro Scauro,
1, 2; pro Rab. Post.
4, 9; in Verr.
1.9, 26; pro
24, 54: see the. next note). [DELATIO NOMINIS; REPETUNDAE.]
B.C. 106: by
this the consul Q. Servilius Caepio restored to the senators the
monopoly of the judicia publica of which they had been deprived by the
Lex Sempronia judiciaria (Tac. Ann.
; Cic. Brut. 43
; de Invent.
2.55, 223; pro Cluent.
151), but it seems to have been almost at once repealed by the Lex de
repetundis of Servilius Glaucia: see Klenze's work, Fragmenta legis Serviliae,
&c., Berlin, 1825, and
the extracts from it in Orelli's Cicero,
vol. viii. p. 268.
DE REVOCANDO CICERONE, B.C. 67 (Cic. Att. 3.2. 0
; ib. 23, 4).
introduced the legis actio called condictio,
for the recovery of “certa pecunia”
(Gaius, 4.19). [PER
a plebiscitum proposed by P. and M.
Silius, tribuni plebis, in respect of publica pondera (Festus, s. v.
, ET CARBO´NIS
proposed by the tribune P. Sulpicius
Galba, a supporter of Marius, B.C. 88, and enacting the recall of the
exiles (Auct. ad Herenn.
2.28, 45), and the distribution
of the new citizens and the libertini among all the thirty-five tribes
(Ascon. in Corn.
p. 64, Orelli): conferring
the command in the Mithridatic war on Marius in lieu of Sulla (Vell. 2.18
prohibiting senators from incurring debts beyond 2,000 drachmae, or
20,000 asses (Plut. Sull. 8
(App. BC 1.59
) says that all these
laws were repealed (ὡς οὐκ ἔννομα
by Sulla and Pompeius. (Cf. Liv. Epit.
; Cic. Phil. 8.2
B.C. 304; clearly
the same as the LEX PAPIRIA DE CONSECRATIONE
AEDIUM, and improperly named after the consuls of the year by
some writers; its true title is clear from Cic. pro
49 and 50, 128. (Cf. Gaius, 2.5-7.)
the proposals of the tribune C.
Terentilius Arsa (B.C. 462), which eventually led to the enactment of
the Twelve Tables (Liv. 3.9
; Dionys. A. R. 10.1
FALCIDIA; FUFIA CANINIA; FURIA; VOCONIA.]
This agrarian law, proposed by a tribune
named Sp. Thorius, is mentioned by Cicero (Cic.
; de Orat.
2.70, 284) and Appian (App. BC 1.27
), and was one of three
statutes by which such provisions of the Lex Agraria of C. Gracchus as
had not been repealed by M. Livius Drusus were abrogated (Appian, loc. cit.
). The first, whose author is unknown,
was passed B.C. 121, and apparently confirmed the enactment attributed
above [SEMPRONIA AGRARIA] to Drusus, which
permitted the sale of lands assigned to the poorer citizens under the
law of Gracchus: the second (Lex Thoria), B.C. 119 or 118, prohibited
all future distributions of ager publicus, abolished the
“triumviri agris dandis assignandis” established by
Tiberius Gracchus, and confirmed the old possessores
in their holdings subject to the payment of a tax
), which was to be divided
among the needier citizens in lieu of land: the third (B.C. 111),
possibly proposed by: the tribune C. Baebius (Sall. Jug.
32, 33), relieved the possessores
The relation of these leges to one another is connected with the
fragments of an extant bronze tablet, containing inscriptions on both
sides: on one, parts of the Lex Servilia de repetundis (the chief
authority on which is Klenze's work); on the other, parts of a Lex
Agraria. The largest and most important of the fragments is now in the
Museo Borbonico at Naples. The Lex Agraria was cut on the rough back of
the tablet, the smooth side of which was intended for and occupied by
the Lex Servilia; and the agrarian law being considerably longer than
the latter, “the characters [on the reverse side] are remarkably
small, the lines narrow, the abbreviations numerous, and the
chapters only separated by two or three points, whereas on the other
side the letters are uniform, large, and well made, the lines wide,
the words written at full length, and the chapters of the lex
separated by superscriptions . . . Further, the lines of the Agraria
Lex are often so oblique that they [p. 2.55]
straight lines on the opposite side, which are cut very deep, and
consequently are visible on the side on which the agrarian law is
The main subject of the lex, to which the first eighteen chapters or
forty-three lines refer, is the public land in Italy as far as the
rivers Rubico and Macra. Its second part, covering fifty-three lines,
relates to land both public and private in the province of Africa: the
final portion to the Roman public land in the territory of Corinth.
Rudorff (Zeitschrift für rechtsgesch.
vol. x. pp. 1-194) is of opinion that the lex
applied to other land also, and for two reasons. First, the Roman
agrarian laws of the seventh century of the city (e. g. the Lex Servilia
of Rullus) apparently related to all the provinces of the Empire.
Secondly, the fragment of this lex, which is preserved, is so broad
compared with its height that the whole tablet may be concluded to have
contained three times as much as the portion which we have: for nearly
all the bronze tablets, on which Roman laws are cut, are oblong in form,
with the height much greater than the width. Of the two-thirds of the
tablet which he supposes to have been lost, no trace has yet been
Rudorff, in his essay on this lex (written in 1839), identified it with
the Lex Thoria, by which name it was known for some considerable time.
But more recently (Röm. Rechtsgeschichte,
cf. his note in Puchta's Institutionen,
) he has accepted the conclusion of Mommsen
(Berichte der Sächs. Gesellschaft,
92) that it really is the third of the leges above mentioned, which
possibly was a Lex Baebia. It is certainly said by Cicero (Cic. Brut. 36
) that Sp. Thorius “agrum publicum vitiosa et inutili
lege vectigali levavit;” but this Mommsen renders
“relieved the ager publicus of the useless agrarian law of
Gracchus by imposing on it a vectigal.” The 19th and 20th
lines of the lex on the tablet (which decree the repeal of the vectigalia
) seem to be conclusive in favour of
this and against Rudorff's earlier theory.
The extant text of this statute is printed by Mommsen, Inscr.
No. 200, and by Rudorff in the essay referred to: cf.
Huschke, Kritisches Jahrbuch,
1841, pp. 579-620; Zumpt,
1850, pp.: 205-221; and Walter,
Geschichte des röm. Rechts,
and note 69 ib.
Similar in its provisions to the Lex
Publicia (Dig. 11
(V. Max. 8.1
; Cic. de Leg
. 2.12, 31; Julius,
DE TUTORIBUS [JULIA ET TITIA]. Another Lex
Titia is referred to in Cic. pro
carried by the tribune L. Trebonius
(B.C. 448), and enacting that if the Comitia were unable to elect ten
tribuni plebis on the proper day, those actually selected should not
fill up the vacancies by cooptation, but the Comitia be continued until
the full number was complete (Liv. 3.64
DE PROVINCIIS CONSULARIBUS, B.C. 55 (Liv. Epit. 105
; Plut. Cato min.
Plebiscita are commonly described as
“leges tribuniciae:” but the term is also applied by
Cicero (in Verr.
1.16, 42) to the lex by which Pompeius
restored to the tribunes the powers of which they had been shorn by
DE AMBITU, carried by Cicero B.C. 63
3, 23, 32, &c.; pro Sest.
64, 163; in Vatin.
15, 37; D. C. 37.29
DE LIBERIS LEGATIONIBUS, also carried by
Cicero (de Leg.
3.8, 18). See LEGATUS
(Festus, p. 375). [CORNELIA UNCIARIA; cf. VALERIA DE AERE ALIENO.]
DE AERE ALIENO, carried B.C. 86 by L. Valerius
Flaccus, reducing all debts by three-fourths (Veil. Pat. 3.23; Sall.
33; Cic. pro
DE CIVITATE CALLIPHANAE VELIENSIS, B.C. 98, a
privilegium by which a priestess of Ceres was made a civis Romana (Cic.
DE CIVITATE FORMIANORUM, &c., B.C. 88
DE MANUS INJECTIONE. [VALLIA.]
DE SULLA DICTTORE, carried by L. Valerius
Flaccus, B.C. 82, giving the force of law to all Sulla's acts (Cic. de Lege agr. 3.2
1.15, 42; pro Rosc. Am.
126; Plut. Sull. 33
proposed and carried B.C. 508 by the
consul P. Valerius, with the object of relieving himself from the
suspicion of aiming at the kingly power and increasing his own
popularity: means by which he acquired the name of Publicola or
Poplicola, by which he is generally known. The first and best known of
his laws is that which reduced the powers of the magistrate (de
Provocatione--de Multa) by enacting that every citizen, whether
patrician or plebeian, should have an appeal (provocatio
) to the Comitia (curiata,
Walter, Geschichte des röm.
§ 40; Schwegler, 21.17, 25.12; centuriata,
2.1, and Huschke, Rein, Becker-Marquardt,
&c.) from any magisterial sentence by which he was condemned to
death or flogging (Cic. de Rep.
, 54; V. Max. 4.1
; Liv. 2.30
), or to payment of any fine larger
than two sheep and five oxen (Plut. Popl.
2.31, 54) says that this was the first lex
passed at the Comitia Centuriata. The right of appeal only applied to
Rome and its precincts within a mile of the city, for the imperium of
the consuls beyond this boundary was unlimited ( “neque enim
provocationem esse longius ab urbe mille passuum,”
). The second Lex Valeria of
Publicola declared accursed anyone who formed designs to grasp the
kingly power, and made both him and his property sacer
[SACRATAE LEGES]: Dionys. A. R. 5.19
; Plut. Popl.
carried B.C. 449
by the consuls L. Valerius Potitus and M. Horatius Barbatus. The
probable import of one of these, relating to the binding force of plebiscita,
has been stated above [PUBLILIAE LEGES]. A second was intended to
secure the principle of the Lex Valeria de provocatione, enacting
“ne quis ullum magistratum sine provocatione crearet: qui
creasset eum jus fasque esset occidi, neve ea caedes capitalis noxae
haberetur” (Liv. 3.55
: cf. Cic. de Rep. 2.31
This principle was re-asserted again almost at once by the Lex Duilia
(Liv. loc. cit.
), and many years afterwards by a
third Lex Valeria, passed by M. Valerius, [p. 2.56]
B.C. 300, which Livy (10.9
) says was armed
with more precise sanctions “quod plus paucorum opes quam libertas
A third Lex Valeria Horatia made “sacrosancti” the persons
of the plebeian tribunes and aediles and the “judices
decemviri” (Liv. 3.55
): anyone who
violated the enactment being made “sacer” to Jupiter, and
his property confiscated to the temple of Ceres and Liber. The
“judices decemviri” seem not to be two separate classes
of judges, but the collegium of decemvirs.
according to Studemund's recension, the
name of the statute mentioned by Gaius (4.25), which limited the
operation of Manus injectio for execution purposes to judgment debts
) and debts established by
[PUBLILIA DE SPONSU.]
; Appian, Bell.
. 1.37; Cic. Tusc
. 2.24, 57; pro
, 1, 3; Brut
. 56, 89). [MAJESTAS
DE COLONIS, under which the Latin colony of
Novum Comum in Cisalpine Gaul was founded B.C. 59 (Suet. Jul. 28
DE IMPERIO C. CAESARIS, carried B.C. 59 by the tribune P. Vatinius: it conferred
on Julius Caesar the province of Cisalpine Gaul, with Illyricum, for
five years: Gallia Transalpina was subsequently added by a
senatusconsultum (Sueton. Jul.
22; D. C. 38.8
; Appian, App. BC
; Vell. 2.44
; Cic. in Vatin. 15
, 36: cf.
DE REJECTIONE JUDICUM, carried by the same P.
Vatinius: it enabled both accuser and accused in a trial for Repetundae
to once reject the whole consilium
judges drawn by the praetor: previously they had been able only to
challenge individual members of the panel (Cic.
in Vatin. 11
, 27; Schol. Bob. pp. 321,
DE L. VETTII INDICIO
(Cic. in Vatin. 11
D. C. 38.9
; Appian, App. BC 2.12
; Schol. Bob. in
p. 320, Orelli).
a law supposed to have been passed by the
Comitia in the time of Trajan, and so later than the Lex Agraria of
Nerva, generally held to have been the last enacted in this manner. The
reading in Cod. 7, 9, 2, on which the assumption rests, is probably
corrupt: see Puchta, Institutionen,
§ 106, note
. 3.49, 117).
a name sometimes given to the lex of
Scribonius Curio, de viis muniendis [SCRIBONIA], because described under it by Cicero, Cic. Fam. 8.6
(Gaius, 3.125, 126; Dig. 2
B.C. 180. [ANNALES LEGES
A.D. 23, rendered libertini liable to
a criminal prosecution who fraudulently attempt to exercise the rights
(Cod. 9, 21; 10, 32, 1): it also
enabled Latini Juniani to acquire the civitas by service in the Roman
) for six years, which was
subsequently reduced to three by a senatusconsultum (Ulpian,