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DEDITI´CII are the lowest of the three classes of freedmen (pessima libertas eorum est qui dediticiorum numero sunt, Gaius, 1.26).

The Lex Aelia Sentia (A.D. 4) provided that, if a slave was put in bonds by his master as a punishment, or branded, or put to the torture on a criminal charge and convicted, or delivered to fight with men or beasts, or committed to a gladiatorial school (ludus) or a public prison, and was subsequently manumitted by the same or by another owner, he should acquire by manumission the status of a peregrinus dediticius. The peregrini dediticii were people who, in former times, having taken up arms and fought against the people of Rome, had surrendered themselves.

Gaius, from whom this account of the origin of dediticii is taken (Inst. 1.12-16), also informs us of the incapacities to which this class of freedmen was subject. Dediticii could never under any circumstances acquire Roman citizenship (cf. Suet. Aug. 40). They were not allowed to reside in Rome or within the hundredth milestone from it (cf. Liv. 8.14.6): if they disobeyed this prohibition, they forfeited their liberty and their goods, and were made incapable of subsequent manumission. They did not participate in any of the rights of citizenship, but only had the status of pereqrini. This class of persons, who were neither slaves nor cives nor Latini, had died out long before the time of Justinian ; it was, however, formally abolished by that emperor (Cod. 7.5, de dediticia libertate tollenda; cf. Inst. 1.5.3).

The civil condition of dediticii, as is stated above, was formed by analogy to the condition of a conquered people, who did not individually lose their freedom, but acquired no rights of citizenship. The form of deditio occurs in Livy (1.38). In the case of the Volsci Livy inclines to the opinion that the four thousand who were sold were slaves, and not dediti. (Gaius, 1.12-16, 25 and 27; Ulpian, 20.14; Paul. 4.12, 3-8; Theophilus, 1.5, 3.)

[G.L] [E.A.W]

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 40
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 8, 14
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 1, 38
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