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SENATUSCONSULTUM The powers of the senate have been described in the preceding article (pp. 631-635), and it has been seen that the senatusconsultum under the Republic expressed the advice of the senate to the magistrate who sought advice: the carrying out of the resolution so expressed rested with the magistrate: the reference to the senate was a matter of custom, not of definite obligation. The binding character of the advice embodied in the SC. not only varied according to the strength or weakness of the magistrate (though a conflict was rare), but was greater at certain periods (for which see p. 632), when the administrative power left in the hands of the senate gave to its resolutions much greater weight than mere advice would seem to have; and with the change of the constitution under Augustus (see pp. 634, 635), legislation by the emperor through the senate, as expressed in SCa, superseded the older practice of enacting leges and plebiscita in the Comitia, and continued for about two centuries. Hence senatusconsulta came themselves to be termed leges (Gaius, 1.83-86), though Gaius (1.4) indicates the constitutional controversy: “Senatusconsultum est quod senatus jubet atque constituit: idque legis vicem obtinet, quamvis fuerit quaesitum.” But we must guard against any such idea of their legislative force for republican times, and must certainly reject the view of Theophilus (Paraphr. Inst. 1.5) that even after the Lex Hortensia SCa had the force of law.

The senatusconsultum differed from the lex partly in its scope, but especially in its effect. As regards its scope, it concerned chiefly administration, and only exceptionally attempted to regulate public and private rights, as for instance debts (Liv. 35.7; Cic. Att. 5.2. 1, 13). As regards its effect, whether its object was administrative or partook of the legislative character, as in the exceptional cases alluded to, still it was not law, for its execution depended on the will of the magistrate. It is true that it was not as transitory in historical times as in the early period mentioned by Dionysius (9.37; see Mommsen, Staatsr. 3.987); for, if the magistrate neglected to execute it, it remained valid for the next year and. until the senate repealed it [Willems however thinks that a fresh relatio was needed, and cites Liv. 42.10; Cic. in Pis. 2, 4]: but if it became the direction for the succeeding magistrate, it equally depended on his will, and if SCa were to be made obligatory they were transformed into laws by a rogatio (cf. Cic. Att. 1.1. 8, 3; pro Mur. 32, 67; Liv. 39.19). The Lex Cornelia of B.C. 67, “ne quis nisi per populum legibus solveretur” [LEX p. 40b], is sometimes adduced as a proof of previous legislative power in the SC. which could dispense from the action of the law: but this dispensation without the sanction of the people had been a usurpation by the senate and was checked by the above-mentioned law. It was, as Willems remarks (Le Sénat, 2.117), not exercised till after the time of the Gracchi (cf. Liv. 10.13, 31.50; Ep. lvi.). Again, the cases of a resolution “populum ea lege non teneri,” or “placere legem abrogari,” alluded to in Cicero (de Legg. 2.6, 14; fr. Corn. § 11; Phil. 5.4, 10, 12.5, 12; de Dom. 16, 41), are not a repeal of laws by the senate, but merely a declaration that the law in question was never rightly passed, either because it contradicted an existing law, or as contra auspicia, and therefore to be referred to the augurs (cf. Cic. in Vat. 6, 14). As regards the effect of a senatusconsultum on the magistrate, the obligation to carry it out was moral, not legal; yet it must be noticed that the senate could bring certain influences to bear on the magistrate, who either neglected to consult them more majorum, or, having consulted, refused to execute the resolution. They might in the earlier period appoint a dictator; they might invoke the interference of the tribunes (Liv. 42.21), and a plebiscitum might follow; they might inconvenience him by refusing to entertain any other matters until this was settled (Cic. in Pis. 13, 29); lastly, there was always the consciousness that his office was for a year, theirs for life. As a matter of fact conflicts seldom arose, but for an instance see Liv. 42.9, 10. The following instances of SCa under the Republic may be instructive: a SC. “ne quis in urbe sepeliretur;” the SC. de Bacchanalibus, hereafter more particularly mentioned; a SC. de libertinorum tribu (Liv. 45.15); a SC. de Macedonia (ib. 18); a SC. relating to the costs of the Ludi Megalenses (Gel. 2.24); a SC. “ne homo immolaretur” (Plin. Nat. 30.12); a SC. de provinciis Quaestoriis; a SC. made “M. Tullio Cicerone referente,” to the effect “ut legationum liberarum tempus annuum esset;” various SCa de collegiis dissolvendis; an old SC. “ne liceret Africanas (bestias) in Italiam advehere,” which was so far repealed by a plebiscitum proposed by Cn. Aufidius, tr. [p. 2.637]pl., that the importation for the purpose of the Circenses was made legal (Plin. Nat. 8.64); and an old SC. by which “quaestio (servorum) in caput domini prohibebatur” (Tac. Ann. 2.30), a rule of law whose foundation Cicero (pro Milon. 22, 59) refers to majores. The general character of these senatusconsulta shows that, though not equivalent to laws under the Republic, they exercised a control in matters which concerned administration, the maintenance of religion, the rights of the Aerarium and the Publicani, and the treatment of the Italians and Provincials (cf. Liv. 26.34; 39.3; 41.9).

The resolutions of the senate were called consulta, because the magistrate (Consul, Tribune, or Praetor) summoned it to consult upon some special matter which he wished to lay before it (referre, relctio): thus in the SC. de Bacchanalibus we have “Marcius L. F. S. Postumius L. F. Cos Senatum consoluerunt,” and in the SC. de Philosophis et de Rhetoribus (Gel. 15.11) the Praetor “consuluit.” In the enacting part of a lex the populus was said jubere, and in a plebiscitum scire; but in senatusconsulta the senate is usually said censere (e.g. “ita exdeicendum censuere,” SC. de Bacch.), though in ordinary language decernere is used of it (e. g. Cic. Fam. 8.8; ad Att. 1.19), and the words decretum and senatusconsultum are often used indiscriminately and with little precision (Gel. 2.24: cf. Aelius Gallus ap. Fest. s. v. senatus decretum, and the article on DECRETUM). On this point see also Mommsen, Staatsrecht, 3.994 ff.; B. Pick, de Senatusconsultis, ch. i. (Berlin, 1884). The view of Herr Pick, that the clause of the SC. which conveyed the actual resolution was sometimes distinguished as the decretum, explains Fest. p. 339.

For the procedure in consulting the senate and obtaining the resolutions thence called senatusconsulta, see SENATUS § v. The resolution was not reduced to writing until it had been voted (cf. Cic. Cat. 3.6, 13). It was written down (perscriptum, less often scriptum) in the place of meeting soon after the vote, always on the same day, by the scrsbae. The presiding magistrate retained witnesses for the draft to prevent fraudulent misrepresentation (Cic. Phil. 5.4, 12; ad Att. 4.8). These were usually the auctor sententiae, some of the supporters of the vote, or in the case of a complimentary vote the friends of the person honoured (Cic. Fam. 15.6, 2). The phrase expressing the witnesses is scribendo adfuerunt (SC. ARF. in the de Bacchanalibus), in Greek versions γραφομένῳ παρῆσαν. It is a mistake to suppose that the witnesses were called “auctoritates.” In the passage relied on (Cic. Fam. 8.8) the preliminary words (which Mommsen, St. 3.1008, needlessly discredits), SC. Auctoritates, are descriptive of the two classes of resolutions which follow: the first is a senatusconsultum, the others are auctoritates, since there was an intercessio against them. It is natural and easy to give the same meaning to the word in Cic. de Or. 3.2, 5. [For the text of the former passage, see Tyrrell and Purser, ad loc., critical note.]

The form in which the resolution was drafted is as follows: 1 (often omitted). SC. (or auctoritas, as the case might be). 2 (up to B.C. 47). The praescriptio, “senatum consuluit,” with name of the relator. 3. The date. 4. The place of assembly, e. g. “in aede Apollinis.” 5. The witnesses, “scribendo adfuerunt.” 6. The relatio, as a preamble, “quod verba fecit” so and so. 7. The decrec “d. e. r. i. c.” (de ea re ita censuerunt) “uti,” &c.; to this might be added the reason “cum ita se res habeat.” After the time of Augustus the number of senators was added. The document often concludes with C. or “censuere.” On the authority of V. Max. 2.2, 7, some (as B. Pick, de Senatusconsultis, p. 21) hold that the tribune affixed the letter T to the resolution against which there was no intercession, when it was drafted and about to be deposited in the tabularium; and, on that theory, the disputed letters in Cic. Fam. 8.8, 5, might be TR; but Mommsen takes them to represent C[ensuere], referring to the senators, and this is borne out by the fact that in Greek versions we find ἔδοξεν so placed. The view of Willems (op. cit.) seems probable, that when the SC. was not voted as a whole in one discessio, but each clause (particula, Fest. p. 339) separately, we find “censuere” or ἔδοξεν at the end of each clause on which a vote was taken; but when it was voted as a whole, the words d. e. r. i. c. sufficed. Lastly, if it was necessary to obtain a law, a clause was added, “ut de ea re ad populum ferretur” (Cic. Fam. 8.8, 5). [For the custody of the document, see TABULARIUM and SENATUS p. 630 b.] As regards the title of the SC. it was named in reference to its contents, “SC. de Bacchanalibus,” “SC. ne quis in urbe sepeliretur,” &c.; it was never named after the relator until the imperial period (see examples below); the SC. Sempronianum in Cic. Fam. 12.2. 9 is probably=SC. de Sempronio.

A measure which it was proposed to submit to the senate might be stopped by the intercessio of a tribune, who could put a veto on the relatio (Plb. 6.16): and not only tribunes, but any magistrate of higher or equal rank with the referens, might exercise the right of intercessio at the voting (Varro ap. Gel. 14.7, 6; Cic. de Legg. 3.3, 10), and, though they could not prevent the resolution from being carried (V. Max. 2.2, 7; Tac. Hist. 4.9; Cic. Fam. 10.1. 2, 3), might deprive it for the present of administrative force. A proposal so carried, and invalidated by intercessio, was called “senatus auctoritas” (a term which is also loosely used to denote any expression of opinion by a majority of the senate, whether it became a senatusconsultum or not, Cic. de Legg. 2.1. 5, 37; de Orat. 3.2, 5; ad Fam. 1.2, 7, 8.8). In Livy the technical distinction disappears (see Mommsen, St. 3.1033). [For the totally different patrum auctoritas, see p. 631.] It was formally drawn up and recorded, in the hope that, the veto being subsequently removed, it might acquire validity by reference back to and confirmation by the senate, but without being rediscussed (cf. the clause in the SCa in Cic. Fam. 8.8: “Si quis huic SCo intercessisset, senatui placere auctoritatem perscribi et de ea re ad hunc ordinem referri;” compare also ad Fam. 1.2, 4; 1.7, 4; ad Att. 4.16, 6; D. C. 55.3). This right of intercessio belonged to the tribunes against one another, the consuls, and praetors; and to consuls against one another and the praetors, but not against the tribunes: but in the later period of the republican history it seems to have been exercised by tribunes only. [p. 2.638]

If the SC. referred to Latin-speaking communities, nothing beyond the original wording was required; but if it referred to Greeks, a version in Greek was made. The style shows that it was translated in a conventional form at Rome and sent to Greece or elsewhere: no pains are taken to turn such Latinisms as ἐν Κομετίῳ πρὸ ἡμερῶν ἕπτα εἰδυιω̈ν Ὀκτωβίων. Of the SCa which are known to us of the republican period, some have come down in the original form. They may be classed (following Willems) as 1. Those of which the Latin text remains, wholly or in part, engraved in bronze: fragment of de Bacchanalibus, in a letter of the consuls “ad Teuranos,” B.C. 186 (C. I. L. 1.43): part of SC. de Tiburtibus, in a letter written by the praetor to the Tiburtes (C. I. L. 1.201); the date of this, as Mommsen finally decides, is B.C. 159, and consequently Niebuhr erred in making it the oldest document: fragment of the Latin text of the de Asclepiade, B.C. 87 (C. I. L. 1.111). 2. The Greek engraved versions: fragment of the de Delphis, B.C. 198--the oldest existing SC.--(Le Bas, 852b): SC., or rather two SCa, de Thisbis, B.C. 170 (Ephem. Epig. 1.278, 2.102): a fragment de Prienensibus et Samiis, B.C. 135 (Le Bas-Waddington, 95, 196); the Greek text de Asclepio (C. I. 1.112); a fragment de Aphrodisiensibus, B.C. 56 (Le Bas-Waddington, 1627); de Stratonicensibus, B.C. 39 (Bull. Corr. Hell. 1887, 225). 3. Latin texts or Greek versions preserved in literature: SC. de philosophis et rhetoribus, B.C. 161 (Suet. Rhet. i.; Gel. 15.11); de hastis Martiis, B.C. 99 (Gel. 4.6); de provinciis consularibus (Cic. Fam. 8.8); three SCa de Joudaeis, dated B.C. 139, 133, 44 (J. AJ 14.8, 13.9, 14.10). Besides this we have SCa about aqueducts in Frontinus, book ii., and various others preserved in more or less the original form in the Digest. [G.L] [G.E.M]

The following list of senatusconsulta contains, perhaps, all of them which are distinguished by the personal name of a consul or other magistrate. Numerous SCa passed under the Empire are referred to in the Latin writers, for which we find no distinctive name, though it is probable that, like Leges, they all had a title; but many of them, being of little importance, were not much cited or referred to, and thus their names were forgotten. Tacitus, for instance, often speaks of SCa without giving their names, though in some cases we are able to affix the titles from other authorities.

AFINIANUM: mentioned in Cod. 8, 48, 10, 3; Inst. 3.1, 14 (where some of the MSS. read Sabinianum, Papinianum, and Fabianum). According to the paraphrase of Theophilus, it enacted that when a man gave one of three sons in adoption the pater adoptans should be bound to leave the adopted son at least a fourth of his property.

APRONIANUM: probably passed in the time of Hadrian; it enables civitates (i. e. municipal corporations) to take an hereditas by way of fideicommissum (Dig. 36, 1, 26; cf. Ulpian, Reg. 22, 5). In the same passage Ulpian says that civitates had been enabled by a senatusconsultum to be directly instituted heirs by their freedmen (cf. Dig. 38, 3, 1, 1). Both enactments were occasioned by the want of testamentifactio in civitates, as being incertae personae (Ulpian, l.c.; Pliny, Plin. Ep. 5.7); but there does not seem to be any ground for supposing them to be one single senatusconsultum. By construction they were held to entitle municipal corporations instituted as heirs to demand bonorum possessio secundum tabulas (Dig. 38, 3, 1, 1). Nerva made it lawful for them to take legacies (Ulpian, Reg. 24, 28), a right extended to lawful collegia by a senatusconsultum under Marcus Aurelius (Dig. 34, 5, 20).

ARTICULEIANUM (A.D. 101) enabled provincial governors to declare a slave free to whom liberty had been bequeathed by a fideicommissum when the master was domiciled in a different province (Dig. 40, 5, 51, 7).

DE BACCHANALIBUS (B.C. 186): discovered on a bronze tablet, which is now at Vienna, in Calabria, A.D. 1640. The text is given by Mommsen, C. I. L. i. No. 196, and in facsimile in the first volume of the inscriptions edited by the Royal Prussian Academy, 1862, Tab. xviii. Its main enactment was the prohibition of the Bacchanalia throughout all Italy (Liv. 39.18): see the article on BACCHANALIA Vol. I. p. 265. Bynkershoek has written a treatise on this SC. (de Cultu Religionis peregrinae apud veteres Romanos, Opusc. 1.412), with which may be compared Senatusconsulti de Bacchanalibus, &c. Explicatio, auctore Matthaeo Aegyptio, Neapol. 1729, and Lewald, de Religionibus peregrinis apud veteres Romanos paulatim Introductis, Heidelberg, 1844. There appears to be no ancient authority for the name Marcianum sometimes given to this SC., for, though this might have been its proper title if it had been named after one of the consuls of the year, that practice, as we have seen, first came in under the Empire.

CALVITIANUM: passed under Nero, and confirming the SC. Persicianum (q. v.) against a presumption based on a senatusconsultum of Claudius. It enacted that neither a man under sixty years of age, nor a woman over fifty, who intermarried with one another, should be relieved from the disabilities of caelibatus: see JULIA ET PAPIA POPPAEA LEX (Ulpian, Reg. 16, 3; Suet. Claudius, 23; Plin. Ep. 8.28; Cod. 5, 4, 27).

CLAUDIANUM this enactment, passed by the Emperor Claudius A.D. 52, introduced certain exceptions to the rule of the Jus Gentium, that the status of children is determined by that of their mother, after referring to which Gaius says (1.83), “We must observe, however, whether the law of nations in any given instance is overruled by a statute or ordinance having the authority of a statute.” These exceptions of the SC. Claudianum (in addition to two others stated by Ulpian, Reg. 5, 8) are three in number:--

(1) If a female citizen of Rome cohabited or had intercourse with a servus alienus with the consent of the latter's master, the children born of the connexion were to be slaves and the property of the father's owner, though by agreement with the latter she could remain free herself: such agreement, it would seem, might be inferred from the master's not giving her the notice referred to under (3) below. This exception was repealed by Hadrian as “inelegans,” who “restituit juris gentium regulam, ut cum ipsa mulier libera permaneat, liberum pariat” (Gaius, 1.84). It appears, however, from Tac. Ann. 12.53, and Paul. Sent. Rec. 4.10, 1, that the woman herself was degraded from the [p. 2.639]status of ingcnua (if she were freeborn) to that of liberta. Perhaps we should connect with this the anomalous rule, stated in the Codex Theodosianus (4.9, 3), that children of a free woman by a servus fiscalis were born Latini.

(2) The children of a free man by a slave woman whom he believed to be free, were to be freeborn if males, slaves and the property of the mother's master if females. This exception, again, was repealed as inelegans, and the rule of the Jus Gentium restored, by Vespasian (Gaius, 1.85).

(3) If a free woman cohabited with a servus alienus (known to her to be such) without the master's sanction to the connexion, and persisted in the intercourse after a notice (denunciatio) thrice repeated to her to withdraw by the master (or his tutor, curator, or agent, and even without any such notice if the slave belonged to a municipal corporation), the master could have her adjudged to himself as a slave by the magistrate, along with the children born of the intercourse, whether before or after this adjudication. Her property passed with her by a universal succession [SUCCESSIO] (Paul. Sent. Rec. 2.21 a; Gaius, 1.86). This part of the senatusconsultum was first repealed by Justinian, as “indignum nostris temporibus” (Inst. 3.12, 1; Cod. 7, 24). It appears from Gaius (1.91) that some jurists went so far as to maintain that if a woman, being pregnant, was reduced to slavery under the senatusconsultum, the child became a slave on birth, even though actually conceived in civil wedlock (justis nuptiis); but this opinion was counter to the rule stated by Gaius (1.88, 92), Ulpian (Reg. 5, 10), and Neratius in Dig. 50, 1, 9, that children born of justae nuptiae took the status of the father at the time of conception.

There is some doubt whether the last two exceptions (so far as relates to the status of the children) were established by the SC. Claudianum or by some statute whose name is unknown to us. The latter view is supported by Rein, Huschke, and Bethmann-Hollweg, on account of Gaius' language in 1.85, 86, where he says, “ex lege . . . . sed illa pars ejusdem legis.” In the earlier editions of this work this unknown statute was assumed to be the Lex Aelia Sentia, which, however, does not seem to have dealt with the children born of intercourse between free persons and slaves, but rather with the subjection to patria potestas of children born of marriage between cives and Latinae or peregrinae, after erroris causae probatio (Gaius, 1.65, 75). But there seems to be more reason in the view of Zimmern and Rudorff, who held that the term lex is in these paragraphs loosely used by Gaius as synonymous with senatusconsultum, and it is difficult to believe that the rules stated under (1) and (3) were not established by the same enactment.

There are other senatusconsulta named after the Emperor Claudius, in particular one which exempted from the disabilities of caelibatus men over sixty who married wives under fifty years of age (Ulpian, Reg. 16, 3; Suet. Cl. 23): possibly also his enactments relating to “revocatio libertorum in servitutem” and bestowing freedom on slaves abandoned by their masters (Suet. ib. 25) were made through the senate. Upon these less known senatueconsulta of Claudius, see Jo. Augusti Bachii Historia Jurisprudentiae Romanae.

DE COLLUSIONE DETEGENDA: passed in the time of Domitian to restrain fraudulent acquisition of the status of ingenuitas by collusion between masters and slaves, patrons and freedmen (Dig. 40, 16, 1; ib. 4). It is sometimes called the SC. Junianum.

DASUMIANUM: passed under Trajan, and enabling the magistrates to declare free slaves to whom liberty had been bequeathed by fideicommissum, but whose masters were prevented from performing the act of manumission by absence on reasonable grounds: in this case the master was to be patronus (Dig. 40, 5, 22, 2; ib. 36, pr.; ib. 51, 4-6; cf. Rudorff in Savigny's Zeitschrift, xii. pp. 307-311, Das Testament des Dasumius).

HADRIANI SENATUSCONSULTA. Of the senatusconsulta made on the proposal of Hadrian (e. g. Gaius, 1.47, 2.285; Dig. 5, 3, 20, 6, &c.), and of which a considerable number are enumerated in the work of Bachius referred to at the end of the remarks on the SC. Claudianum, none seem to have been called by the name Hadrianum. [See JUVENTIANUM.]

HOSIDIANUM: enacted A.D. 47, and referred to in the SC. VOLUSIANUM (see Orelli's Inscriptiones, No. 3115). It appears to have prohibited, under severe pecuniary penalties, the pulling down of houses in order to sell the site for more than one gave for it, or to make money in other ways, and is well explained by Bachofen, Ausgew. Lehren, pp. 185-227.

JUNCIANUM (A.D. 182) related to the manumission of slaves belonging to other persons than the testator, to whom the latter had bequeathed liberty by a fideicommissum (Dig. 40, 5, 28, 4; ib. 51, 8; cf. Zimmern, Geschichte des römischen Privatrechts, 1.203).


JUVENTIANUM is the title given by civilians to the senatusconsultum passed at the instance of Hadrian (A.D. 129) after the name of one of the four consuls (two ordinarii and two suffecti) mentioned in connexion with it in Dig. 5, 3, 20, 6; but the real proposal seems to have come from the consules suffecti, who were Titius Aufidius and Oenus Severianus. It enacted that hereditatis petitio should lie for the recovery not merely of res hereditariae from those in whose possession they were, but for restitution of fruits and accessions, and of any gain which a possessor, whether in good or in bad faith, had made thereby (e. g. by the sale of a res hereditaria): in fact, its main object seems to have been to settle some old points of dispute relating to things belonging to inheritances which had been sold by persons other than the heir (see Dernburg, Hereditatis Petitio, 1852, p. 20 sq.): “post senatusconsultum omne lucrum auferendum esse bonae fidei possessori quam praedoni dicendum est,” Dig. 5, 3, 28. Another result of the enactment was to make usucapio pro herede revocable by the heir [USUCAPIO: cf. Gaius, ii.

57; Cod. 3, 31, 7]. Hereditatis petitio (to the article on which reference should be made) thus became a species of “mixed” action; originally “in rem,” it now lay for “praestationes personales” as well as for the recovery of property: cf. Cod. 3, 31, 12, 3. [p. 2.640]

LARGIANUM regulated the succession to the property of Latini Juniani by providing that where the actual manumitter was dead it should not go necessarily to his heres, but to such of his children as were not expressly disinherited by him: “eo SCo actum esse, ut manumissoris liberi, qui nominatim exheredati non sint, praeferantur extraneis heredibus” (Gaius, 3.64-71; Inst. 3.7, 4; Cod. 7, 6, pr. and 12; Nov. 78: cf. PATRONUS). The date sometimes assigned to this senatusconsultum (A.D. 42) is wrong; for, though a Largus was consul in that year, his colleague was not called Lupus. It must necessarily fall later than the Lex Junia Norbana, generally supposed to have been enacted A.D. 19, and not later than the death of the jurist Cassius (Gaius, 3.71), who was consul in A.D. 29.

LIBONIANUM (A.D. 16): enacted that where a man's will was written out for him by another person, any disposition which it contained in the latter's favour should be void and taken pro non scripto: for illustrations, see Dig. 48, 10, 6, 1 and 2; ib. 22, 7, 6 and 7; Dig. 26, 2, 29. It was added by an edict of the Emperor Claudius that such person should, in addition, incur the penalties of the Lex Cornelia de falsis, though this provision is ascribed to the senatusconsultum itself in the Collatio Leg. Mos. et Rom. 8.7, 1 (Dig. 48, 10, 15, pr.). See FALSUM; and Dig. 48, 10; Cod. 9, 23; Suet. Nero 3.

DE LUDIS SAECULARIBUS (B.C. 18). See Gruter, Inscr. p. 326, and Haubold (Spangenberg), Monumenta Legalia, p. 163.

MACEDONIANUM: passed according to Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 11.13) under Claudius, according to Suetonius (Vesp. 11) under Vespasian, and enacting that no action should lie on a loan of money made to a filiusfamilias. It seems, however, that the praetor was in the habit of granting an action where the facts were doubtful, leaving the defendant, if he could prove his title to the benefit of the law, to repel the plaintiff by exceptio SC1 Macedoniani. Theophilus says that the name of the enactment was derived from one Macedo, who committed the crime of parricide in order to extricate himself from his pecuniary embarrassments, a story to which some colour is lent by Inst. 4.7, 7; but other writers affirm that Macedo was a notorious money-lender and usurer, though Dig. 14, 6, 1, which is commonly cited in support of this, makes more for the derivation of Theophilus. The SC. related to no contracts except pecuniary loans, and to these it applied even though veiled beneath some other transaction, such as a loan of wine which the borrower immediately converted into money by sale (Dig. 14, 6, 7, 3); and the rank or age of the filiusfamilias by whom the money was borrowed was immaterial (Dig. ib. 2). Such loans, however, were not declared void by the law, so that the “natural” duty [OBLIGATIO] to repay it remained; and if payment was actually made, the condictio indebiti was excluded, unless made by the son with money of the father's.

There were certain cases in which the operation of the SC. was excluded: as where the filiusfamilias was a soldier at the time of borrowing the money (Cod. 4, 28, 7, 1), or had a peculium castrense or quasi castrense of his own (Dig. 14, 6, 2), or ratified the contract after becoming sui juris (Cod. 4, 28, 2); or if the lender had reason to believe the filiusfamilias to be independent (Dig. 14, 6, 3, pr. and 1). Even the father could be sued if he had assented to the loan either expressly or by implication, or had subsequently ratified it (Cod. 4, 28, 2; ib. 7, pr.), or so far as the money had been expended in his interest ( “in rem patris versum,” Dig. 14, 6, 7, 12 and 13). (Dig. 14, 6; Cod. 4, 28; Inst. 4.7, 7; Paul, Sent. Rec. 2.10; Loebenstern, de SCo. Macedoniano, Marburg, 1828; Dietzel, Das SO. Macedonianum, Leipzig, 1856.)

MEMMIANUM: the name usually given to a senatusconsultum passed in the time of Nero to prevent evasion of the disabilities of orbitas [JULIA ET PAPIA POPPAEA LEX], by adopting a child and then emancipating him immediately the inheritance or legacy had been acquired. It appears from Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 15.19) that the same device was resorted to in order to escape public burdens (e. g. tutela: see Inst. 1.25, pr.), and that this also was in future put a stop to by this enactment--“ne simulata adoptio in ulla parte muneris publici juvaret.”

NERONIANUM DE LEGATIS (Gaius, 2.197, 212, 218, 220; Ulpian, Reg. 24, 11a; Fragm. Vat. 85). [See LEGATUM]

NERONIANUM (Paul. Sent. Rec. 3.5, 5): also called Claudianum (Dig. 29, 5, Rubr.) and Pisonianum (Dig. ib. 8, pr.), because enacted in the consulship of Nero and L. Calpurnius Piso, A.D. 57. Among its provisions Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 13.32) states the following: “Ut si quis a suis servis interfectus esset, ii quoque, qui testamento manumissi sub eodem tecto mansissent, inter servos supplicia penderent:” to which Paulus adds (Sent. Rec. 3.5, 5 and 6), “sed et hi torquentur, qui cum occiso in itinere fuerunt,” and “ut occisa uxore etiam de familia viri quaestio habeatur, idemque ut juxta uxoris familiam observetur, si vir dicatur occisus.” In Dig. 29, 5, 8, pr., we find the further provision, “ut si poenae obnoxius servus venisset, quandoque animadversum in eum esset, venditor pretium praestaret, ne emptori injuriam fecisse videatur senatus.”

ORFITIANUM: passed under M. Aurelius and Commodus, perhaps A.D. 178 (Ulpian, Reg. 26, 7; Capitolinus, Mare. 11), and relating to the right of children to succeed to the property of their mother on her decease intestate. Under the law of the Twelve Tables they were excluded, as a woman could have no sui heredes, and in the sole case in which they were her agnates (i. e. where she was in manu mariti) she, as a rule, could leave no property to inherit. By the praetorian bonorum possessio the children were admitted next in succession to agnates (Gaius, 3.30), but by this senatusconsultum they were preferred even to the latter, and so succeeded in the first rank, though, if the mother had been a freedwoman, the patron was entitled to a share equal to that taken by each child (Dig. 38, 17, 1, 9). The illegitimacy of the children was immaterial (Dig. ib. 1, 2; Inst. 3.4, 3), nor was their right to succeed affected by their undergoing capitis deminutio minima (Inst. ib. 2; Dig. ib. 1, 8). It is uncertain whether the Senatusconsultum Orfitianum referred to by Paulus (Sent. Rec. 4.14, 1) is the same enactment. This explained the rule of the [p. 2.641]Lex Fufia Caninia, that slaves could be manumitted in a will only by name (nominatim), by allowing the same effect to an unmistakable description: “officiorum enim et artium appellatio nihil de significatione nominum mutat, nisi forte plures sint, qui eo officio designentur.” (Inst. 3.4; Dig. 38, 17; Cod. 6, 57; Ulpian, Reg. 26, 7; Paul. Sent. Rec. 4.10.)

PEGASIANUM: passed under Vespasian, perhaps in A.D. 73 (Gaius, 2.254-259; Inst. 3.23, 5 and 6; Ulpian, Reg. 25, 14-16). Its principal provisions are noticed under FIDEICOMMISSUM and LEGATUM Another part of it (or possibly a different senatusconsultum passed by the same consuls Pegasus and Pusio) modified the Lex Aelia Sentia in reference to the capacity of a Latinus Junianus to become a civis (Gaius, 1.31).

PERSICIANUM: passed under Tiberius, A.D. 34. It took away the exemption from the penalties of caelibatus, without exception, from all males over sixty and all females over fifty years of age, who appear till then not to have been subject to the rules of the Lex Julia et Papia Poppaea on this subject: Suet. Claudius, 23; Ulpian, Reg. 16, 3 (where the reading is Pernicianum).


PLANCIANUM: assigned by some writers to the time of Vespasian, and making an addition to a rule of law either contained in the Lex Julia et Papia Poppaea, or grafted upon it by construction or some amending enactment, that any fideicommissum which a heres or legatarius bound himself by a written instrument or in any other secret mode to pay or give to a person who was legally incapacitated from taking it should be forfeited to the fiscus (Dig. 30, 103; 34, 9, 10 and 18; 49, 14, 3). Such a fideicommissum was called “tacitum,” and was said to be “in fraudem legis,” as designed to evade the statute; but if the promise to execute the trust was made openly (palam, Dig. 49, 14, 3), there was no fraus; and though the fideicommissum would fail by reason of the incapacity of the fideicommissarius to take it, the rights of the fiscus would not necessarily attach, other persons benefited by the will being preferred in such a case of lapse. It would seem that, even where a “tacit” trust had been undertaken, the fiduciarius was entitled to retain his quarta under the SC. Pegasianum [FIDEICOMMISSUM]; but the SC. Plancianum altered this by denying him the quarta, and also disabled the fraudulent fiduciarius from claiming the fideicommissum as caducum, which he could naturally have done if he had children [LEGATUM; BONA CADUCA]: Ulpian, Reg. 25, 17; cf. Dig. 34, 9, 11; 35, 2, 59 (where the name of the senatusconsultum is given, and where it is added that the fourth thus forfeited was given to the fiscus by a rescript of Antoninus Pius). The penalty for the fraud applied only to that part of the property to which the fraud itself extended; and if the heres had a larger share in the inheritance than the property tainted with the fraud, he had the benefit of the Lex Falcidia (or more precisely, of the SC. Pegasianum) in respect of the residue: or, as it is expressed by Papinian (Dig. 34, 9, 11), “sed et si major modus institutionis quam fraudis fuerit quod ad Falcidiam attinet, de superfluo quarta retinebitur.”

There was a senatusconsultum which enabled a woman who had been divorced to establish the status of her child, even though yet unborn, by a judicial denunciatio addressed to the father within thirty days of the divorce, and which by some writers (e. g. Bethmann-Hollweg, Civil Process, ii. p. 341; and Windscheid, Lehrbuch des Pandektensrechts, 2.520, note 5) is called Plancianum; but there seems to be no authority for this in the passages (Dig. 25, 3, 1, 1 and 12) to which they refer.

RUBRIANUM: enacted circ. A.D. 101, and empowering the magistrate to declare free slaves to whom liberty had been bequeathed by fideicommissum, but whose masters attempted to evade the obligation to manumit them by absence (Dig. 40, 5, 26, 7 sqq.: cf. Savigny, Zeitschrift, &c. xii. pp. 307-311).


SILANIANUM. The first senatusconsultum which we definitely know to have been entitled after its proposer, was passed under Augustus, probably A.D. 10, in the consulship of P. Cornelius Dolabella and C. Junius Silanus. In a way it made slaves answerable for their masters' lives, by providing that, where a man was murdered, all his slaves who were in the house with him at the time, or with him elsewhere, should be examined under torture as to the perpetrators and counsellors of the crime, and then put to death for not having rendered him assistance (Dig. 29, 5, 1, pr. and sq.; ib. 6;--Paul. Sent. Rec. 3.5, passim). It would seem from Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 14.42, in his note on which Lipsius refers to Cicero, Cic. Fam. 4.12) that this was merely an old usage which the senatusconsultum made compulsory in all cases of murder; but slaves who were under the age of puberty did not fall under the enactment, by which, too, freedom was bestowed as a reward on any slave who discovered his master's murderer (Dig. 40, 8, 5; 38, 2, 4, pr.; 38, 16, 3, 4; Cod. 7, 13, 1). It was further provided that, in all cases where it was suspected that a man had been murdered by persons belonging to his own establishment, acceptance of the inheritance before the examination of the slaves should cause its forfeiture to the fiscus from the heres as indignus (Paul. Sent. Rec. 3.5, 1, 2 and 10;--Dig. 29, 5, 3, 29; ib. 5, 2;--Cod. 6, 35, 3): the same penalty attached to merely opening the will, or applying for the bonorum possessio, and a heavy fine was inflicted in addition. A senatusconsultum passed in the consulship of Taurus and Lepidus (A.D. 11) enacted that the penalty for opening the will of a murdered person could not be inflicted after the lapse of five years, unless it was a case of parricide, to which this temporis praescriptio did not apply (Paul. Sent. Rec. 3.5; Dig. 29, 5; Cod. 6, 35).

TERTULLIANUM: stated by Justinian (Inst. 3.3, 2) to have been passed under Hadrian, but in reality enacted in the reign of Antoninus Pius, who succeeded Hadrian A.D. 138, and was himself succeeded by M. Aurelius, A.D. 161: its precise date seems to have been A.D. 158 (Zonaras, 12.1). It related to the succession of children, on their dying intestate, by the mother, who had no right to inherit by the Twelve Tables, and whose position was only [p. 2.642]partially improved in this respect by the Edict (which gave her a title among cognates, postponing her to all agnati) and the Lex Julia et Papia Poppaea. By this senatlsconsultum she became entitled to succeed her issue intestate if, being freeborn, she had three, or being libertina she had four children (Paul. Sent. Rec. 4.9; Ulpian, Reg. 26, 8; Inst. 3.3, 2); but she was postponed to children of the deceased (Inst. ib. 3; Dig. 38, 17, 2, 9;--Cod. 6, 57, 1, 4; 6, 55, 11), to the father (Ulpian, loc. cit.), and to the frater consanguineus (Inst. ib.); while other relations were allowed a certain share in the inheritance with her (Inst. and Ulpian, ll. cc.). Justinian (Inst. ib. 4) did away with the necessity of the jus liberorum as a title to the benefits of this enactment, and also with the deductions made in favour of other relations; he preferred the mother to all other persons having a statutory title (legitimi), except that brothers and sisters of the deceased shared the inheritance with her: if there were brothers only, or brothers and sisters, it was divided in equal shares between them and her; if sisters only, she and they took in moieties. By Nov. 22, 47, he modified the rule last stated, enacting that even where there were sisters only the division should be in capita. As under the SC. ORFITIANUM, the rights of the mother were not affected by her undergoing capitis deminutio minima, or by the illegitimacy of the deceased child.

TREBELLIANUM: circ. A.D. 62. Its provisions are described under FIDEICOMMISSUM (Gaius, 2.253-258; Inst. 2.23, 4 sq.; Ulpian, Reg. 14-16; Paul. Sent. Rec. 4.2; Dig. 36, 1; Cod. 6, 49.)

TURPILIANUM: enacted under Nero, probably in A.D. 61, for the purpose of preventing praevaricatio, the fraudulent or collusive abandonment of a criminal charge once preferred. The penalty is described by Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 14.41): “qui talem operam emptitasset vendidissetve, perinde poena teneretur ac publico judicio calumniae [CALUMNIA] condemnatus.” [Dig. 38, 2, 14, 2; 47, 15, 3, 3; 48, 16

(ad Senatusconsultum Turpilianum); Cod. 9, 45 (ad SC. Turp.).]

DE USUFRUCTU earum rerum quae usu consumuntur [USUSFRUCTUS].

VELLEIANUM: enacted according to Ulpian (in Dig. 16, 1, 2, 1) in the consulship of M. Silanus and Velleius Tutor. There was a M. Silanus consul with Valerius Asiaticus in A.D. 46 (D. C. 60.27), and one of the same name with L. Norbanus Balbus in A.D. 19 (Tac. Ann. 2.59): if a Velleius Tutor was consul at all with a Silanus, it was with L. Junius Silanus in A.D. 27; but this would seem to be too early for this senatusconsultum, which, from Ulpian's language in the Digest, cannot well be placed before the reign of Claudius, so that if any date must be assigned to it the first of those given is apparently the most probable. It provided that no action should lie upon any contract of suretyship entered into by a woman as promissor; at any rate this was its main effect, as interpreted by responsa of the jurists and imperial constitutions (Dig. 16, 1, 1, pr.; ib. 2, 4). It would seem, however, to have been the common practice (as. in the case of the SC. Macedonianum) for the praetor to grant the action where there was any doubt as to the facts of the case, leaving the defendant to protect herself by a plea (exceptio) based on the senatusconsultum, which is frequently mentioned in the texts, and which could be pleaded against execution even after judgment had been delivered adversely to the woman (Dig. 14, 6, 11). Unlike the SC. Macedonianum, this enactment did not allow of the creation of even a “natural” obligation by the contracts against which it was directed; so that, if a woman paid the debt of another person for which she had made herself answerable in ignorance of her rights under the senatusconsultum, she could recover the money back by condictio indebiti (Dig. 12, 6, 40, pr.). There were, however, a variety of cases in which she was disentitled to the protection of this enactment: e. g. where she had been guilty of dolus towards the creditor (Dig. 16, 1, 2, 3); where the latter had no reason to believe the surety to be a woman (Dig. ib. 12); where the guarantee was given for valuable consideration (Cod. 4, 29, 23, pr.), or for a liability which practically was the woman's own; or where the creditor was a minor, and the principal debtor insolvent (Dig. 4, 4, 12).

As to the history of the principle expressed in the senatusconsultum, there are two views. According to one, which is supported by the actual terms of the enactment preserved in the Digest ( “tametsi ante videtur ita jus dictum esse, ne eo nomine ab his petitio neve in eas actio detur, cum eas virilibus officiis fungi et ejus generis obligationibus obstringi non sit aequum,” Dig. 16, 1, 2), women had been forbidden to become sureties for other persons even by the old Jus Civile, whose rules on this subject had ceased to be operative, and were merely re-enacted by the senatusconsultum; according to the other, the law was no older than edicts of Augustus and Claudius, prohibiting wives from becoming answerable for the debts of their husbands (Dig. 16, 1, 2, pr.), and the greater stringency and extent of the senatusconsultum were due to the recklessness with which women, after Claudius had abolished the tutela legitima of agnati over them, exercised their rights of administering and disposing of their property on behalf of other persons.

[Dig. 16, 1; Cod. 4, 29; Bachofen, Das Velleianische Senatusconsult, Ausgewahlte Lehren, pp. 1-58; Hellfeld, de Intorcessione Mutierum et Senatusconsulto Veleiano (Op. Min. No. 4); Vangerow, Lehrbuch der Pandekten, § 581: see also the article on INTERCESSIO]

VITRASIANUM: by some writers assigned to the reign of Vespasian, by others to that of Hadrian; but without any very substantial reason in either case: it provided that if the owner of a slave to whom a third person had bequeathed freedom of fideicommissum was an infans, and so unable to manumit, the act might be performed on his behalf by the praetor (Dig. 40, 5, 30, 6).

VOLUSIANUM (A.D. 56): penalising the pulling down of houses for the sake of profit (Dig. 18, 1, 52; Orelli, Inscript. No. 3115: cf. SC. Hosidianum). Tacitus (Tac. Ann. 13.28) mentions a senatusconsultum passed in this year, and presumably entitled after the consuls (Q. Volusius Saturninus and P. Cornelius Scipio), which [p. 2.643]limited the powers of the aediles in respect of taking pignora and inflicting fines. Another SC. Volusianum, mentioned in Dig. 48, 7, 6, contained a rule similar to the English law of champerty, that persons who joined in the suit of another, with the bargain that they should share with him the damages awarded by the condemnatio, should incur the penalties of the Lex Julia de vi privata.

[G.L] [J.B.M]

hide References (56 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (56):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.1.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 10.1.3
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 15.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 15.6
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 4.12
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 8.5
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 8.8
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 1.1.3
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 5.2.1
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 13.9
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 14.8
    • Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 14.10
    • Polybius, Histories, 6.16
    • Cicero, Against Piso, 13
    • Cicero, Against Piso, 2
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 3.6
    • Cicero, Against Vatinius, 6
    • Cicero, Philippics, 5.12
    • Cicero, Philippics, 5.4
    • Suetonius, Divus Claudius, 23
    • Suetonius, Nero, 3
    • Tacitus, Annales, 11.13
    • Tacitus, Annales, 12.53
    • Tacitus, Annales, 13.28
    • Tacitus, Annales, 13.32
    • Tacitus, Annales, 14.41
    • Tacitus, Annales, 14.42
    • Tacitus, Annales, 15.19
    • Tacitus, Annales, 2.30
    • Tacitus, Annales, 2.59
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 4.9
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 3.2
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 30.12
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 8.64
    • Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, 5.7
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 45, 15
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 18
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 19
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 3
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 35, 7
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 41, 9
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 42, 10
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 42, 21
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 42, 9
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 10, 13
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 31, 50
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 34
    • Cicero, De Legibus, 2.1
    • Cicero, De Legibus, 3.3
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 14.6
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 14.7
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 15.11
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 2.24
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 4.6
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 2.2
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 2.7
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