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Publiliae Leges

Three laws carried B.C. 339 by the dictator Q. Publilius Philo: their substance is described by Livy (viii. 12). The first of them seems to stand in connection with one of the leges Valeriae Horatiae (B.C. 449) which enacted ut quod tributim plebs iussisset populum teneret (Livy, iii. 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 iure, quod plebs statuisset, omnes Quirites tenerentur (Gaius, i. 3; Dig. 1, 2, 2, 8; Laelius Felix in Gell. xv. 27; Pliny , Pliny H. N. xvi. 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. See Walter, Geschichte des röm. Rechts. 65.

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 16.37
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 3, 55
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 15.27
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