are the lowest of the three classes of
freedmen (pessima libertas eorum est qui dediticiorum
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
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.
). 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
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.
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
(Gaius, 1.12-16, 25 and 27; Ulpian,
20.14; Paul. 4.12, 3-8; Theophilus, 1.5, 3.)