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A statute; a rule of law (ius) laid down by some authorized organ of the State. In the royal period the kings are said to have exercised legislative power (whether the assent of the Comitia Curiata was required, is disputed; cf. Dionysius, 4, 13; Dig. 1, 2, 2.1, 2); but the so-called leges regiae seems to be mainly rules of the old religious law formulated by the priests. A collection of the leges regiae, made towards the end of the Republic by Sextus Papirius, was called, from its editor, the ius Papirianum Dig. 1, 2, 2.2; 50, 16, 144). With the establishment of the Republic the initiative in legislation passed to the magistrates, but their proposals (rogationes) required the assent of the Comitia Centuriata (uti rogas=yes; antiquo=no). All the earlier leges of the Republic, including the Twelve Tables, were thus enacted. The tribunes might similarly propose bills to the assembly of the plebs; but these, if ratified (plebiscita), originally bound the plebeians only. By a lex Hortensia (B.C. 286) plebiscita became binding on the whole people, and the Comitia Tributa thus obtained concurrent legislative power. In the last centuries of the Republic the plebiscita were more numerous and more important than the leges voted by the Comitia Centuriata. Within the limits of their respective powers, resolves of the Senate and edicts of the magistrates had also the force of laws. In the Empire all legislative power was practically vested from the outset (by the lex de imperio, also called lex regia) in the emperor. Bills were still submitted by Augustus to the popular assembly and by his successors to the Senate; but the imperial measures were invariably approved, and the jurists often cited laws voted by the Senate not as senatus consulta, but as orationes principis. The emperors had also the full ius edicendi, or right of issuing edicts, which had been exercised by the republican magistrates. As late as the third century, however, the jurists confined the term leges, in the stricter sense, to the enactments of the Comitia Centuriata, distinguishing between these and all other forms of law (cf. Gaius Iust. i. 5; Dig. 1, 1, 7, pr.; 1, 4, 1, pr.). In a wider sense plebiscita, Senatus consulta, edicta praetorum, and constitutiones principum were all termed leges (cf. Dig. 9, 2, 1.1; 14, 6, 9.4; 38, 8, 1.2; 1, 4, 1.1). In the later Empire leges designated primarily the imperial constitutions, all the earlier statutes having become a part of the ius (cf. Ius [1]). A complete collection of all the older leges and fragments of leges that have come down to us in texts or inscriptions (including reconstructions of the leges regiae and the Twelve Tables) is to be found in Bruns and Mommsen, Fontes Iuris Romani Antiqui (5th ed. 1887).


In a looser sense any rule of law, even of customary origin, is occasionally termed lex (cf. Dig. 1, 5, 24; 1, 3, 32.1); and in the later imperial constitutions leges is occasionally used in a collective sense, as equivalent to ius or the whole body of the law (so legum scientia, legum prudentes).


Lex was also used, from the earliest period, to denote the rule which private persons impose upon themselves and their successors by contracts or other legal acts. So lex contractus Dig. 16, 3, 24), lex donationis ib. 1, 5, 22), for the provisions or conditions of a contract, gift, etc., and legum testamento dicere ib. 28, 1, 14). Lex commissoria was a clause in a contract by which one of the parties reserved the right of annulling the contract. So in sales it was frequently agreed that if the price were not paid at a certain time res inempta fuerit. In mortgages lex commissoria was an agreement that if the debtor failed to pay at a stipulated time the mortgagee need not sell the property and account for any surplus, but might simply appropriate it. Such an agreement Constantine declared null.

The following list of the principal laws is given for the convenience of the student:

ACILIA. See Repetundae.


AEBUTIA, of about B.C. 170, which, with two Iuliae leges, put an end to the legis actiones, except in certain cases. See Iudex; Actio.

This, or another law of the same name, prohibited the proposer of a law which created any office or power (curatio ac potestas) from having such office or power, and even excluded his colleague, cognati and affines (De Domo, 20, 51).

AELIA. This law, and a Fufia lex, passed about the end of the first century B.C., gave to all the magistrates the obnuntiatio, or power of preventing or dissolving the Comitia, by observing the omens and declaring them to be unfavourable.

AELIA SENTIA. This law (of A.D. 4) contained various provisions as to the manumission of slaves. See Manumissio.

AEMILIA. A law passed in the dictatorship of Mamercus Aemilius (B.C. 433), by which the censors were elected for a year and a half instead of a whole lustrum. After this law they had accordingly only a year and a half allowed them for holding the census and farming out the public works.

AEMILIA BAEBIA. See Cornelia Baebia, below.


AGRARIAE. See Agrariae Leges.

AMBITUS. See Ambitus.

ANNĀLES. Statutes prescribing the age at which a man might be a candidate for the various offices. The first law of this kind was a lex Villia (B.C. 80).

ANTIA. See Sumtuariae Leges.

ANTONIAE, the name of various enactments proposed or passed by the influence of M. Antonius, after the death of the dictator I. Caesar. Another law that was promulgated allowed an appeal to the people after conviction for vis or maiestas. Various other measures proposed by M. Antonius are mentioned by Cicero, Dio Cassius, and Appian.

APULĒIA (of B.C. 102), gave a surety an action against his cosureties for whatever he had paid above his share.

APULĒIA AGRARIA, proposed by the tribune L. Apuleius Saturninus, B.C. 101 (Livy, Epit. 69).

APULĒIA FRUMENTARIA, proposed about the same time by the same tribune.


AQUILIA. A law relating to damnum (q. v.).

ATERNIA TARPĒIA (B.C. 454). This law empowered all magistrates to fine persons who resisted their authority; but it fixed the highest fine at two sheep and thirty oxen. See Multa.

ATIA DE SACERDOTIIS (B.C. 63), proposed by the tribune T. Atius Labienus, repealed the lex Cornelia de sacerdotiis.

ATILIA. See Iulia Lex et Titia; Tutor.

ATINIA (of perhaps B.C. 198), allowed no usucapion in a stolen thing. See Usucapio.

ATINIA, of uncertain date, was a plebiscitum which gave the rank of senator to a tribune. The measure perhaps originated with C. Atinius, who was tribune B.C. 130 (Gell. xiv. 8).

AURELIA. See Tribunus.


BAEBIA (B.C. 192), enacted that four praetors and six praetors should be chosen alternately; but the law was not observed (Livy , xl. 44).

CAECILIA DE CENSŌRIBUS or CENSORIA (B.C. 52), proposed by Metellus Scipio, repealed a Clodia lex (B.C. 58) which had prescribed certain regular forms of proceeding for the censors in exercising their functions as inspectors of morals, and had required the concurrence of both censors to inflict the nota censoria. When a senator had been already convicted before an ordinary court, the law permitted the censors to remove him from the Senate in a summary way.

CAECILIA DE VECTIGALIBUS (B.C. 62), released lands and harbours in Italy from the payment of taxes and dues (portoria). The only vectigal remaining after the passing of this law was the vicesima. See Portorium.

CAECILIA DIDIA (B.C. 88) forbade the proposing of a lex Satura, on the ground that the people might be compelled either to vote for something which they did not approve, or to reject something which they did approve, if it was proposed to them in this manner. This law was not always operative.

CAELIA TABELLARIA. See Tabellariae Leges.




CANULĒIA (B.C. 445) established conubium between the patres and plebs, which had been refused by the law of the Twelve Tables (Livy, iv. 1, 6).

CASSIA (B.C. 104), proposed by the tribune L. Cassius Longinus, did not allow a person to remain a senator who had been convicted in a iudicium populi, or whose imperium had been abrogated by the people.

CASSIA, empowered the dictator Caesar to add to the number of the patricians, to prevent their extinction (Tac. Ann. xi. 25).

CASSIA AGRARIA, proposed by the consul Sp. Cassius, B.C. 486.

CASSIA TABELLARIA. See Tabellariae Leges.

CASSIA TERENTIA FRUMENTARIA (B.C. 73), for the distribution of corn among the poor citizens and the purchasing of it.

CINCIA or MUNERĀLIS, a plebiscitum carried by the tribune M. Cincius Alimentus in B.C. 204. It provided

  • 1. that gifts beyond a maximum amount should not be made; but imposed no penalty for the violation of this provision, and was therefore a lex imperfecta;
  • 2. it prescribed a set form of gift.

CLAUDIA, a law passed in the time of the emperor Claudius, taking away the agnatorum tutela in the case of women, not in potestate or in manu (Gaius, i. 57, 1.171-172).

CLODIAE, the name of various plebiscita, proposed by Clodius when tribune, B.C. 58.

Clodia de Auspiciis prevented the magistratus from dissolving the Comitia Tributa by declaring that the auspices were unfavourable. This law, therefore, repealed the Aelia and Fufia. It also enacted that a law might be passed on the dies fasti. See Aelia Lex, above.

Clodia de Censorĭbus. See Caecilia.

Clodia de Civĭbus Romānis Interemptis, to the effect that qui civem Romanum indemnatum interemisset ei aqua et igni interdiceretur. It was in consequence of this law that the interdict was pronounced against Cicero, who considers the whole proceeding as a privilegium (q. v.).

Clodia Frumentaria, by which the corn, which had formerly been sold to the poor citizens at a low rate, was given. See Frumentariae Leges.

Clodia de Sodalitatĭbus or De Collegiis, restored the sodalicia, which had been abolished by a senatus consultum of the year B.C. 64, and permitted the formation of new sodalicia.

There were other so-called leges Clodiae, which were, however, privilegia.

COELIA. See Tabellariae Leges.

CORNELIAE. Various leges passed in the dictatorship of Sulla , and by his influence, are so called.

Agraria, by which many of the inhabitants of Etruria and Latium were deprived of the complete civitas and retained only the commercium, and a large part of their lands were made publicum and given to military colonists.

De Falsis. See Falsum.

De Iniuriis. See Iniuria.

Iudiciaria. See Iudex.

Maiestatis. See Maiestas.

Nummaria. See Falsum.

De Proscriptiōne. See Proscriptio.

De Parricidio. See Cornelia Lex de Sicariis, below.

De Sacerdotiis. See Sacerdotium.

De Sicariis et de Venefĭcis. A law passed about B.C. 81 inflicting penalties not only for actual killing, but for carrying weapons with a murderous purpose, for arson, for selling poisons for the destruction of human life, for perjury in a capital case, etc. Under Antoninus Pius this law was further extended to cover the killing of slaves without just cause (see Servus), and the castration of men.

Sumtuariae. See Sumptuariae Leges.

Testamentaria. See Falsum.

Unciaria appears to have been a law which lowered the rate of interest, and to have been passed about the same time with the leges sumtuariae of Sulla.

De Vadimonio. See Vadimonium.

There are other leges Corneliae, such as that de sponsoribus (see Intercessio), which may be laws of L. C. Cinna.

There were also leges Corneliae which were proposed by the tribune C. Cornelius about B.C. 67, and limited the edictal power by compelling the praetors ius dicere ex edictis suis perpetuis. See Edictum.

Another law of the same tribune enacted that no one legibus solveretur, unless such a measure was agreed on in a meeting of the Senate at which two hundred members were present, and afterwards approved by the people; and it enacted that no tribune should put his veto on such a senatus consultum.

There was also a lex Cornelia concerning the wills of those Roman citizens who died in captivity (apud hostes). See Legatum.

De Vi Publĭca. See Vis Publica.

CORNELIA BAEBIA DE AMBITU, proposed by the consuls P. Cornelius Cethegus and M. Baebius Tamphilus, B.C. 181. This law is sometimes, but erroneously, attributed to the consuls of the preceding year, L. Aemilius and Cn. Baebius. See Ambitus.

Cornelia Caecilia de Cn. Pompēio. A law of B.C. 57 giving Pompey extraordinary powers for five years for the management of the corn supply of Rome (Ad Att. iv. 1, 7).

DECEMVIRĀLIS. See Twelve Tables.

DIDIA. See Sumptuariae Leges.


DUILIA (B.C. 449), a plebiscitum proposed by the tribune Duilius, which enacted qui plebem sine tribunis reliquisset, quique magistratum sine provocatione creasset, tergo ac capite puniretur (Livy, iii. 55).

DUILIA MAENIA de unciario fenore, B.C. 357. The same tribunes, Duilius and Maenius, carried a measure which was intended in future to prevent such unconstitutional proceedings as the enactment of a law by the soldiers out of Rome, on the proposal of the consul.



FALCIDIA. See Legatum.

FANNIA. See Sumptuariae Leges.

FLAMINIA was an agrarian law for the distribution of lands in Picenum, proposed by the tribune C. Flaminius in B.C. 228 according to Cicero, or in B.C. 232 according to Polybius.

FLAVIA AGRARIA (B.C. 60), for the distribution of lands among Pompey's soldiers, proposed by the tribune L. Flavius, who committed the consul Caecilius Metellus to prison for opposing it.

FRUMENTARIAE. Various leges were so called which had for their object the distribution of grain among the people at a low price or gratuitously. See Frumentariae Leges.

FUFIA DE RELIGIŌNE (B.C. 61) was a privilegium which related to the trial of Clodius.

FUFIA CANINIA (about A.D. 4) limited the number of slaves to be manumitted by testament. See Manumissio.


GABINIA TABELLARIA. See Tabellariae Leges.

There were various Gabinian laws, some of which were privilegia, as that for conferring extraordinary power on Cn. Pompeius for conducting the war against the pirates.

A Gabinian law (B.C. 58) forbade all loans of money at Rome to legationes from foreign parts (Salaminii cum Romae versuram facere vellent, non poterant, quod lex Gabinia vetabat). The object of the law was to prevent money being borrowed for the purpose of bribing the senators at Rome.

GELLIA CORNELIA (B.C. 72), which gave to Cn. Pompeius the extraordinary power of conferring Roman citizenship on Spaniards in Spain, with the advice of his council (de consilii sententia).

GENUCIA (B.C. 343) forbade altogether the taking of interest for the use of money. See Fenus.

HIERONICA was not a law properly so called. Before the Roman conquest of Sicily, the payment of the tenths of wine, oil, and other produce had been fixed by Hiero, and the Roman quaestors, in letting these tenths to farm, followed the practice which they found established. See Decuma.

HORATIA, proposed by M. Horatius (B.C. 449), made the persons of the tribunes, the aediles, and others sacrosancti. Another lex Horatia mentioned by Gellius (vi. 7, 2-4) was a privilegium.


Another lex Hortensia enacted that the nundinae, which had hitherto been feriae, should be dies fasti. This was done for the purpose of accommodating the inhabitants of the country.

ICILIA (B.C. 456), by which the Aventine Hill was assigned to the plebs as a dwelling-place. This was the first instance of the public land being assigned to the plebs.

Another lex Icilia, proposed by the tribune Sp. Icilius, B.C. 469, had for its object to prevent all interruption to the tribunes while acting in the discharge of their duties. In some cases the penalty was death.

IULIAE. Most of these were passed in the time of Iulius Caesar and Augustus. The following are the most important:

Agraria (B.C. 59), providing for the assignment of lands in Campania to the veterans of Pompey and to poor citizens, especially to those who had three children.

De Adulteriis. See Adulterium.

De Annōna, against those who tried to raise the price of grain—to “corner the market.”

De Bonis Cedendis. See Bonorum Cessio.

De Fenŏre (B.C. 49), compromising the claims of creditors and debtors (B. C. iii. 1).

De Maritandis Ordinĭbus. See Iulia et Papia Poppaea, below.

De Provinciis, limiting the praetorian governor of a province to one year and the consular to two.

Iuliae Iudiciariae, one depriving the tribuni aerarii of their share in the iudicia publica (Iul. 41) and the other instituting a select list of iudices for trying civil cases (Suet. Aug. 32).

Iulia Maiestātis. See Maiestas.

Iulia Municipālis, also called the Tabŭla Heracleensis, found on a bronze in the fragments at Tarentum (Heraclea) in 1732 and 1735, and now in the Naples Museum. On one side is a Greek ψήφισμα of the town of Heraclea; on the other is a part of a Roman law containing various police regulations of the city of Rome, and rules for the constitution of colonies, muncipalities, etc. A lithographed copy of the table is given by Ritschl, tab. xxxiii., xxxiv. For the text, see Spangenberg's Monumenta Legalia (1830).

Iulia et Papia Poppaea. Augustus appears in his sixth consulate (B.C. 28) to have issued an edict (Tac. Ann. iii. 28) on 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 (Dio Cass. liv. 16). This he carried, with difficulty, through the Senate; but, apparently owing to the organized resistance of the equites, it was rejected at the Comitia (Suet. Aug. 34). Towards the end of his reign, however (A.D. 3), he succeeded in passing 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 Iulia de maritandis ordinibus in Dig. 38, 11; 23, 2. The 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 suffecti for the year, M. Papius Mutilus and Q. Poppaeus Secundus: Dio Cass. lvi. 1-10), containing further enactments on the same subject. Sometimes they are cited by reference to their various chapters—e. g. lex Caducaria, lex Decimaria, lex Miscella, etc.

Many commentaries were written on these laws 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 thirtyfive chapters (Dig. 22, 2, 19); but, as a rule, it is impossible to say to which of the two laws, included under the general title of lex Iulia et Papia Poppaea, the several provisions, as now known to us, belong.

Among the enactments of these statutes are the following:

a) Prohibition of certain marriages under penalties: viz. of ingenui and infames (e. g. actresses and prostitutes); and of senators or their children with freed women, freedmen, and actors' daughters. Marriages between a senator or his issue and libertini were declared void by a senatus consult passed under M. Aurelius, and the rule was subsequently extended to actors and actresses (Dig. 42, 1).

b) Avoidance of conditions against marriage annexed to legacies and inheritances.

c) Provisions to encourage marriage. Caelibes were disabled by the lex Iulia from taking either as heirs or as legatees under a will, unless the testator was related to them within the sixth degree, or unless they married within 100 days. Spadones and Vestal Virgins were exempted from the operation of the statute, as were widows for twelve months, and divorced women for six. Again, the penalty of the statute could be evaded by an engagement to marry, if carried out within two years (Oct. 34). Finally, males were released from its provisions in this respect on attaining sixty, women on attaining fifty years of age; but a senatus consultum Persicianum, passed under Tiberius, enacted that they should be regarded as caelibes in perpetuity if they postponed marrying till so late in life. A senatus consultum 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 senatus consultum 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. Similarly, by the lex Papia, orbi (persons who had married, but had no children living) were disqualified from taking more than half of what was left them by way of either inheritance or legacy, unless related to the testator within the sixth degree. Males escaped the penalties of orbitas by having a single (even adoptive) child (Iuv. xix. 83, 86-89), but by a senatus consultum 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. 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. Legacies and inheritances which could not be taken either in whole or part, owing to these provisions of the lex Iulia or lex Papia Poppaea, became caduca (see Bona Caduca), the law upon which subject was considerably modified by these statutes.

d) Among other provisions may be noticed the rule giving a preference to candidates for office according to the number of their children; the release of ingenuae with three and libertinae with four children from tutela; and of libertini with a certain number of children from operarum obligationes Dig. 38, 1). The exemption of persons from discharging the office of tutor or curator iure liberorum was based on these statutes.

After the enactment of the lex Papia Poppaea, it became not unusual to obtain a grant of a fictitious ius liberorum by special favour from the Senate, and later from the emperor, whereby those who had no children, or not enough, were enabled to escape its disabilities and even enjoy most of its benefits. This privilege is mentioned in some inscriptions, on which the abbreviation I. L. H. (ius liberorum habens) sometimes occurs. The emperor Marcus Aurelius enacted that children should be registered by name within thirty days of their birth with the Praefectus Aerarii Saturni.

The penalties of caelibatus and orbitas were abolished by Constantine and his sons, and little is left of these statutes in the law of Justinian.

Iulia et Titia (about B.C. 31), assigning to the praesides of provinces the duty of appointing guardians for women and impaberes who were not in patria potestate, or already provided with one.

Papiria. See Papiria, below.

Sumptuaria. See Sumptuariae Leges.

Theatrālis, allowing Roman knights, in case either they or their parents had ever had a knight's fortune, to sit in the fourteen rows of seats at the theatre set apart for equites by the lex Roscia theatralis (Suet. Aug. 40).

Vicesimaria. See Vicesima, under Vectigalia.

IUNIA DE PEREGRĪNIS, proposed B.C. 126 by M. Iunius Pennus, a tribune, banished peregrini from the city.

A law of C. Fannius, consul, B.C. 122, contained the same provisions respecting the Latini and Italici; and a law of C. Papius, perhaps B.C. 65, contained the same respecting all persons who were not domiciled in Italy.

IUNIA LICINIA. See Licinia Iunia, below.

IUNIA NORBĀNA, of uncertain date, but probably about A.D. 19, enacted that when a Roman citizen had manumitted a slave without the requisite formalities, the manumission should not in all cases be ineffectual, but the manumitted person should have the status of a Latinus. See Latinitas; Libertus.


IUNIA VELLĒIA (A.D. 10) allowed a posthumus to be instituted heres, if he should be born in the life-time of the testator. It also so far modified the old law that a person who, by the death of a heres institutus, after the testator had made his will, became a heres quasi agnascendo, did not break the will if he was instituted heres.

LAETORIA. See Curator.

Sometimes the law proposed by Volero for electing plebeian magistrates at the Comitia Tributa is cited as a lex Laetoria (Livy, ii. 56, 57).


LICINIA IUNIA or, as it is sometimes called, Iunia et Licinia, passed in the consulship of L. Licinius Murena and Iunius Silanus, B.C. 62, enforced the Caecilia Didia, in connection with which it is sometimes mentioned.

LICINIA MUCIA DE CIVIBUS REGUNDIS, passed in the consulship of L. Licinius Crassus and Q. Mucius Scaevola, B.C. 95, which enacted a strict examination as to the title to citizenship, and deprived of the exercise of civic rights all those who could not make out a good title to them. This measure partly led to the Marsic War.

LICINIA SUMTUARIA. See Sumptuariae Leges.

LICINIAE ROGATIŌNES. See Rogationes Liciniae.

LIVIAE were various enactments proposed by the tribune M. Livius Drusus, B.C. 91, for establishing colonies in Italy and Sicily, distributing corn among the poor citizens at a low rate, and admitting the foederatae civitates to Roman citizenship. He is also said to have been the mover of a law for adulterating silver by mixing with it an eighth part of brass. Drusus was assassinated, and the Senate declared that all his laws were passed contrary to the auspices, and were therefore not at all.

MAENIA LEX is only mentioned by Cicero, who says that M. Curius compelled the patres ante auctores fieri, in the case of the election of a plebeian consul, “which,” adds Cicero, “was a great thing to accomplish, as the lex Maenia was not yet passed.” The law, therefore, required the patres to give their consent, at least to the election of a magistrate; or, in other words, to confer, or agree to confer, the imperium on the person whom the Comitia should elect. It was probably proposed by the tribune Maenius, B.C. 287.

MAIESTĀTIS. See Maiestas.

MANILIA, proposed by the tribune C. Manilius, B.C. 66, was a privilegium, by which was conferred on Pompey the command in the war against Mithridates. The law was supported by Cicero when praetor. See Pompeius.

The Leges Maniliānae, mentioned by Cicero, were evidently not leges proper, but probably forms which it was prudent for parties to observe in buying and selling.

MANLIA, also called LICINIA (B.C. 196), created the triumviri epulones.

MANLIA DE VICESIMA. See Vicesima, under Vectigalia.

MARCIA, probably about the year B.C. 352, against usury (Gaius, iv. 23).

MARIA, proposed by Marius when tribune, B.C. 119, for narrowing the pontes at elections. See Pons.

MENSIA. This law enacted that if a woman who was a Roman citizen (civis Romana) married a peregrinus, the offspring was a peregrinus. If there was conubium between the peregrinus and the woman, the children, according to the principle of conubium, were peregrini, as the legal effect of conubium was that children followed the condition of their father (liberi semper patrem sequuntur). If there were no conubium, the children, according to another rule of law, by which they followed the condition of the mother, would have been Roman citizens; and it was the object of the law to prevent this.

MINUCIA (B.C. 46) created the triumviri mensarii.

MUNERĀLIS. See Cincia; Iuliae, above.

OGULNIA, proposed by the tribunes B.C. 300, increased the number of pontifices to eight and that of the augurs to nine; it also enacted that four of the pontifices and five of the augurs should be taken from the plebeians.

OPPIA (B.C. 215). See Sumptuariae Leges.

ORCHIA (B.C. 171). See Sumptuariae Leges.

OVINIA, of uncertain date, was a plebiscitum, which gave the censors certain powers in regulating the lists of the senators (ordo senatorius); the main object seems to have been to exclude all improper persons from the Senate, and to prevent their admission, if in other respects qualified.

PAPIA DE PEREGRĪNIS. See Iunia de Peregrinis, above.

PAPIA POPPAEA. See Iuliae Leges.

A lex Papia on the manner of choosing the Vestal Virgins is mentioned by Gellius; but the reading appears to be doubtful, and perhaps it ought to be called lex Popilia (Gell. i. 12).

PAPIRIA or IULIA PAPIRIA DE MULTĀRUM AESTIMATIŌNE (B.C. 430) fixed a money value, as an equivalent for fines, which formerly were paid in sheep and cattle. Gellius and Festus make this valuation part of the Athenian law.

PAPIRIA (B.C. 89), by which the as was made semuncialis, one of the various enactments which tampered with the coinage.

PAPIRIA (B.C. 332), proposed by the praetor Papirius, gave the Acerrani the civitas without the suffragium. It was properly a privilegium, but is useful as illustrating the history of the extension of the civitas Romana.

PAPIRIA (B.C. 303) enacted that no aedes should be consecrated without a plebiscitum (iniussu Plebis).

PAPIRIA PLAUTIA, a plebiscitum of the year B.C. 89, enacted that all citizens and inhabitants of foederatae civitalis (q. v.) who at the date of the statute were domiciled in Italy should be qualified to obtain Roman citizenship on giving in their names to the praetor urbanus within sixty days (Pro Archia, 4, 7).

PAPIRIA POETELIA. See Poetelia, below.

PAPIRIA TABELLARIA. See Tabellariae Leges.

PEDUCAEA (B.C. 114), a plebiscitum, seems to have been merely a privilegium relating to Vestal Virgins, and not a general law against incest.

PESULANIA provided that if an animal did any damage, the owner should make it good or give up the animal. There was a general provision to this effect in the Twelve Tables, and it might be inferred from Paulus that this law extended the provisions of the old law to dogs.

PETRĒIA, a law under this title, De Decimatiōne Milĭtum, in case of mutiny, is mentioned by Appian. See Decimatio.

PETRONIA, probably passed in the reign of Augustus, and subsequently amended by various senatus consulta, forbade a master to deliver up his slave to fight with wild beasts. If, however, the master thought that his slave deserved such a punishment, he might take him before the authorities (iudex), who might condemn him to fight if he appeared to deserve it.

PINARIA related to the giving of a iudex within a limited time (Gaius, iv. 15).

PLAETORIA. See Curator.


PLAUTIA or PLOTIA IUDICIARIA (B.C. 89) is mentioned by Asconius as having enacted that fifteen persons should be annually taken from each tribe to be placed in the list of iudices.

POETELIA (B.C. 358), a plebiscitum, and noted as the first law against ambitus. See Ambitus.

POETELIA PAPIRIA (B.C. 326) made an important change in the liabilities of the nexi. See Nexum.

POMPĒIAE. There were various leges so called:

Pompēia, proposed by Cn. Pompeins Strabo, the father of Cn. Pompeius Magnus , probably in his consulship (B.C. 89), gave the ius Latii or Latinitas to all the towns of the Transpadani, and probably the civitas to the Cispadani.

Pompēia de Ambĭtu. See Ambitus.

Pompēia de Iure Magistratuum forbade a person to be a candidate for public offices (petitio honorum) who was not at Rome; but Iulius Caesar was excepted. This was, doubtless, the old law, but it had apparently become obsolete (Iul. 28).

Pompēia Iudiciaria. See Iudex.

Pompēia de Parricidiis. See Cornelia de Sicariis; Parricidium.

Pompēia Tribunicia (B.C. 70) restored the old tribunicia potestas, which Sulla had nearly destroyed. See Tribunus.

Pompēia de Vi was a privilegium, and only referred to the case of Milo (q.v.).

POPILIA. See Papia, above.

PORCIA DE CAPITE CIVIUM or DE PROVOCATIŌNE (B.C. 197) enacted that a Roman citizen should not be scourged or put to death.

PORCIA DE PROVINCIIS (about B.C. 198). The passage in Livy (Sumptus quos in cultum praetorum, etc.) is supposed to refer to a Porcian law, to which the plebiscitum de thermensibus refers; and the words quoted by Cicero (Ne quis emat mancipium) are taken, as it is conjectured, from this Porcian law.

PUBLICIA permitted betting at certain games which required strength, as running and leaping.


PUBLILIAE of the dictator Q. Publilius Philo , B.C. 339. See Publiliae Leges.

PUBLILIAE LEGES of the tribune Q. Volero Publilius, B.C. 472. See Publiliae Leges.

PUPIA (B.C. 224), mentioned by Cicero, seems to have enacted that the Senate could not meet on days when the Comitia were held.

QUINTIA was a law proposed by T. Quintius Crispinus, consul B.C. 9, and enacted by the populus for the preservation of the aqueducts.

REGIA. See Regia Lex.

REGIAE. See Lex.

REPETUNDĀRUM. See Repetundae.

RHODIA. The Rhodians had a maritime code which was highly esteemed. Some of its provisions were adopted by the Romans, and have thus been incorporated into the maritime law of European states. Strabo speaks of the wise laws of Rhodes and their admirable policy, especially in naval matters; and Cicero to the same effect. The Digest contains so much of the lex Rhodiorum as relates to iactus, or the throwing overboard of goods in order to save the vessel or remainder of the cargo. This lex Rhodiorum de Iactu is not a law in the proper sense of the term. See Schryver, Sur la Loi Rhodia de Iactu (Brussels, 1884).

ROSCIA THEATRĀLIS, proposed by the tribune L. Roscius Otho (B.C. 67), which gave the equites a special place at the public spectacles in fourteen rows or seats (in quattuordecim gradibus sive ordinibus) next to the place of the senators, which was in the orchestra. This law also assigned a certain place to spendthrifts (decoctores). The phrase, sedere in quattuordecim ordinibus, is equivalent to having the proper census equestris which was required by the law. There are numerous allusions to this law, which is sometimes simply called the law of Otho, or referred to by his name.

RUBRIA. The province of Gallia Cisalpina ceased to be a province, and became a part of Italia about the year B.C. 49 or 42. When this change took place, it was necessary to provide for the administration of justice, as the usual modes of provincial administration would cease with the determination of the provincial form of government. This was effected by a law, the name of which is unknown, but a large part of it, on a bronze tablet, is preserved in the Museum at Parma. This law arranged the judiciary establishment of the former province, and appointed duo viri and quattuor viri iure dicundo; a praefectus Mutinensis is also mentioned in the law. In two passages of this law a lex Rubria is mentioned, which, according to some, is an earlier law, by which Mutina was made a praefectura; and, according to others, the lex Rubria is this very lex de Cisalpina. This subject is discussed by Savigny and by Puchta.

This law has been published several times; the text is lithographed in Ritschl's volume of inscriptions, i. taf. 32.

RUPILIAE LEGES (B.C. 131) were the regulations established by P. Rupilius and ten legati for the administration of the province of Sicily after the close of the first Servile War. They were made in pursuance of a consultum of the Senate. Cicero speaks of these regulations as a decretum of Rupilius, which, he says, they call lex Rupilia; but it was not a law proper. The powers given to the commissioners by the lex Iulia municipalis were of a similar kind.

SACRĀTAE, mentioned by Livy (ii. 33) and by Cicero (De Leg. ii. 7, 18). Leges were properly so called which had for their object to make a thing or person sacer. The consecratio was, in fact, the sanction by which a law was to be enforced. In the latter case, it was the opinion of the jurisconsults that the law did not make sacrosancti the persons for whose protection it was designed, but that it made sacer sacrum sanxit) any one who injured them; and this interpretation is consistent with the terms of the law. An example of a lex sacrata is that making the tribunes of the people sacred (Livy, ii. 8).

A lex sacrata militaria is also mentioned by Livy.

SATŬ See Lex.

SCANTINIA, proposed by a tribune. The date and contents are not known, but its object was to suppress unnatural crimes. It existed in the time of Cicero. The lex Iulia de adulteriis considered this offence as included in stuprum, and it was punishable with a fine; but by the later imperial constitution the punishment was death (Domit. 8).

SCRIBONIA. The date and whole import of this law are not known; but it enacted that a right to servitutes should not be acquired by usucapion, from which it appears that the law was once different. See Servitus.

SEMPRONIA DE FENŎRE (B.C. 193) was a plebiscitum proposed by the tribune M. Sempronius, which enacted that the law (ius) about money lent (pecunia credita) should be the same for the Socii and Latini (Socii ac nomen Latinum) as for Roman citizens. The object of the law was to prevent Romans from lending money in the name of the Socii, who were not bound by the fenebres leges. The law could obviously only apply within the jurisdiction of Rome.

SEMPRONIAE. Various leges proposed by the Gracchi were so named. See Agrariae Leges.

Sempronia de Capĭte Civium, carried by C. Gracchus (B.C. 123), reaffirming the old principle that no judgment involving the life or freedom of a citizen should be valid without the assent of the Roman people (Gell. x. 3).

SERVILIA AGRARIA, proposed by the tribune P. Servilius Rullus in the consulship of Cicero (B.C. 63), was a very extensive agrarian law. It was successfully opposed by Cicero; but it was in substance carried by Caesar (B.C. 59), and is the law called by Cicero lex Campana, from the public land called Ager Campanus being assigned under this law.


SILIA. The legis actio called condictio was established by this law in the case when the demand was a determinate sum of money (certa pecunia). See Actio.

SULPICIAE, proposed by the tribune P. Sulpicius Galba, a supporter of Marius (B.C. 88), enacted the recall of the exiles, the distribution of the new citizens and the libertini among the thirty-five tribes, that the command in the Mithridatic War should be taken from Sulla and given to Marius, and that a senator should not contract debt to the amount of more than 2000 denarii ($100). The last enactment may have been intended to expel persons from the Senate who should get into debt. All these laws were repealed by Sulla.

SEMPRONIA (B.C. 304). No name is given to this law by Livy , but it was probably proposed by the consuls. It prevented the dedication of a temple or altar without the consent of the Senate or a majority of the tribunes.

SUMTUARIAE. See Sumptuariae Leges.

TABELLARIAE. See Tabellariae Leges.

TARPEIA ATERNIA. See Aternia Tarpeia, above.

TERENTILIA, proposed by the tribune C. Terentilius (B.C. 462) but not carried, was a rogatio which had for its object an amendment of the constitution, though in form it only attempted a limitation of the consular imperium. This rogatio probably led to the subsequent legislation of the Decemviri. See Twelve Tables.

TESTAMENTARIAE. Various laws, such as the Cornelia, Falcidia, Furia, and Voconia, regulated testamentary dispositions. See Legatum; Testamentum.

THORIA. The importance of this law requires that it should have a separate notice. See Thoria Lex.

TITIA. Similar in its provisions to the lex Publicia.

TITIA DE TUTŌRIBUS. See Iulia et Titia, above; and cf. Gaius, i. 195.

TREBONIA, a plebiscitum proposed by L. Trebonius (B.C. 448), which enacted that if the ten tribunes were not chosen before the Comitia were dissolved, those who were elected should not fill up the number (coöptare), but that the Comitia should be continued till the ten were elected.

TRIBUNICIA. See Tribunus.


VALERIA HORATIA. See Plebiscitum.

VARIA. See Maiestas.

VATINIA DE PROVINCIIS (B.C. 59) was the enactment by which Caesar obtained the province of Gallia Cisalpina with Illyricum for five years, to which the Senate added Gallia Transalpina. This plebiscitum was proposed by the tribune Vatinius. A Trebonia lex subsequently prolonged Caesar's imperium for five years.

VATINIA. See Repetundae.

VATINIA DE COLŌNIS, under which the Latina Colonia (cf. Latinitas) of Novum-Comum in Gallia Cisalpina was planted, B.C. 59.


VICESIMARIA. See Vectigalia.

VILLIA ANNĀLIS. See Annales Leges.

VISELLIA (A.D. 23) made a man liable to a criminal prosecution who, being a Latinus, assumed to exercise the rights of an ingenuus.

VOCONIA. See Voconia Lex.

hide References (12 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (12):
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 32
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 34
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 40
    • Tacitus, Annales, 11.25
    • Tacitus, Annales, 3.28
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 3, 55
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 2, 56
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 2, 8
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 4, 1
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 10.3
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 14.8
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 1.12
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