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Article

Adolf Berger, Barry Nicholas, and Susan M. Treggiari

Traditional expressions enshrine the view that a man took a wife for the procreation of children. According to the celebrated definition of *Herennius Modestinus adopted in the Digest, Roman marriage was ‘a joining together of a man and a woman, and a partnership (for life) in all areas of life, a sharing in divine and human law’ (Dig. 23. 2. 1), an ideal rather than a legal definition. No formalities were legally necessary for the inception of a marriage: the usual ceremonies had social and sometimes religious significance. All that was legally necessary was for a man and woman to live together with the intention of forming a lasting union (affectio maritalis, the reciprocal attitude of regarding each other as husband or wife). The initial consent was also given by both partners; if one or both was in paternal power (*patria potestas) that of the respective fathers was needed. The social consequences of marriage (honor matrimonii) followed.

Article

Tony Honoré

Masurius Sabinus (RE 29), probably from *Verona, a leading Roman lawyer of the first half of the 1st cent. ce. He was successful as a law teacher in Rome and counted the powerful C. *Cassius Longinus(2) among his pupils. Not wealthy, he relied on gifts from his pupils and only attained equestrian rank when nearly 50. But his learning was admired, and *Tiberius gave him the privilege of stating legal opinions on the emperor's authority (ius respondendi ex auctoritate principis), the first non-senatorial lawyer to be so honoured. He wrote on sacred and public law but his most celebrated work was three books (libri) on private law (*ius civile). This excluded the law derived from the *praetor's edict, which he and later writers treat separately. Intended for teaching, the ius civile was widely read and later became the basis of extensive commentaries by Sextus *Pomponius, *Paulus, and *Ulpian.

Article

meddix  

A. N. Sherwin-White and Antony Spawforth

Meddixtuticus or summus, assisted by a meddix minor, was the senior magistrate among the *Oscan-speaking peoples. His authority differed from that of the Romano-Latin praetura, to which some communities, notably *Bantia, tended to assimilate the office, in being non-collegiate and yet lacking the absolute character of *imperium, though supreme in jurisdiction and administration.

Article

Quintus Mucius Scaevola (1), 'Augur', Stoic (see Stoicism), eminent lawyer, son-in-law of C. *Laelius(2), but probably, like P. *Mucius Scaevola, moderately Gracchan in sympathy (his daughter married M'. *Acilius Glabrio(2)). Praetor c.120 bce, he was accused repetundarum after governing Asia, but acquitted. (The trial was satirized by *Lucilius(1).) He was consul in 117, and in 100 opposed L. *Appuleius Saturninus. He taught (among others) his son-in-law L. *Licinius Crassus and, in his old age, *Cicero, who venerated his memory and introduced him into several dialogues. Alone among the principes present in the city, he opposed *Sulla after his march on Rome (88) and aided C. *Marius(1) who had married his granddaughter. He died soon after.

Article

Tony Honoré

Lucius Neratius Priscus, an influential Roman lawyer from *Saepinum in *Samnium, was descended from the family of *Antistius Labeo's wife. He was *suffect*consul in ce 97 and later governor of *Germania Inferior, and *Pannonia, but the story that *Trajan considered him a possible successor is a fiction. He headed the Proculian school along with his junior colleague *Celsus, belonged to Hadrian's council, and was still alive in 133. Probably as a teaching aid he wrote Regulae (‘Guidelines’), a genre of literature which soon became popular. He also published seven books (libri) of Membrana (‘Notes’) and, drawing on his practice, three of Responsa (‘Opinions’). Basically conservative, he was nevertheless open to the subjective and moralizing influence of Stoic thought. *Paulus and *Ulpian used him as a source and Justinian's compilers (see justinian's codification) took some 70 passages from his works, some of which have, without good ground, been assigned by scholars to later centuries.

Article

Simon Hornblower

Neutrality, a word with no single Greek or Latin equivalent. In Greek, the idea is expressed by terms meaning e.g. ‘keeping quiet’, ‘helping neither side’. Individuals may be neutral between parties, and states between states. The first, domestic, sort of neutrality was allegedly prohibited by *Solon (Ath. pol. 8), and though possibly fiction this is not actually absurd because *Pericles (1), according to *Thucydides (2) (2. 40. 2), later expresses high Athenian expectations about civic involvement. In his analysis of faction (see stasis) at *Corcyra (3. 82. 8) Thucydides says that ‘middle people’ fell victim to both parties; this carries the idea ‘moderate’ as well as ‘neutral’. Neutrality in wars between Greek states, and even in wars between Greeks and ‘*barbarians’, was possible: Archaic *Miletus formalized its neutral status with Lydia then Persia; Argive neutrality in the *Persian Wars (see argos(1)) amounted in Herodotus' view (8.

Article

nexum  

R. Zimmermann

Nexum appears to have been a solemn transaction of the oldest Roman law, with copper and scales (per aes et libram), by which a man subjected himself to somebody else's power of seizure. Because of the ambiguity of our literary sources (Varro, Festus, Livy), all details concerning this transaction are rather obscure. Its very existence has even been disputed (most recently by O. Behrends). If it did exist, its original economic purpose may have been to ensure repayment of a loan: if the borrower did not redeem himself by paying back promptly what he had received, the lender could proceed with personal execution on the debtor, possibly even without prior lawsuit and judgement. But nexum may then also have been used (nummo uno, i.e. involving merely a symbolical payment) as a kind of self-pledge by which the debtor enslaved himself to the creditor until he had worked off a debt. Nexum was prohibited sometime during the 4th cent.

Article

Barry Nicholas

An oath (iusiurandum) was used in several ways in the stage before the magistrate (in iure) in Classical Roman civil proceedings.

(1) In almost every action either party might exact from the other, on pain of losing the case, an oath that he was proceeding in good faith (iusiurandum calumniae). Justinian made this oath compulsory for both parties and for their representatives (see justinian's codification).

(2) In a few actions only the plaintiff might invite the defendant to swear to the validity of his claim (deferre iusiurandum); the defendant might then either swear and win the case, or refuse and lose, or invite the plaintiff to swear instead, with the same alternatives before him (referre iusiurandum), or, finally, might invite the plaintiff to swear a iusiurandum calumniae.

(3) Either party in any action (or at any stage of any dispute) might invite the other to swear an oath of this kind; the other might either swear and win or refuse with impunity.

Article

R. Zimmermann

Obligation was defined by Justinian (see justinian's codification) as ‘a legal tie which binds us to the necessity of making some performance in accordance with the laws of our state’ (Inst. 3. 13 pr.). It implied both ‘duty’ and ‘liability’: a relation existed in terms of which the debtor ought to make performance; only if he failed to comply with this duty did he become liable in the sense that his body and/or property were exposed to execution. Ancient Roman law, in contrast, had merely been concerned with liability: payment of a composition (if a wrongful act had been committed) or performance of whatever a person had undertaken to do (like repayment of a loan in the case of *nexum) was merely a means of warding off the impending execution to which the victim of the wrong or the lender were entitled by virtue of a pledge-like power of seizure over the body of wrongdoer or borrower. The carving out of this very advanced concept of an obligatio and the development of a law of obligations was one of the great contributions of Classical Roman jurisprudence to the science of law.

Article

Adolf Berger, Barry Nicholas, and Alan Rodger

Ownership (dominium), though apparently not defined by the Roman jurists, is the right to a thing, irrespective of whether the owner has any control or enjoyment of it. The owner's right to use his property was at all times subject to restrictions, whether to secure advantages for a neighbouring owner or for the public interest. These restrictions might derive from servitudes, from legislation or from the general law, especially the remedies granted by the praetor in terms of his *edict.Ownership of a thing could be acquired in various ways. Someone who took possession of an ownerless object would become owner. In particular someone who caught a fish or wild animal would own it so long as it remained in his possession. More commonly people would become owners by acquiring an object from its previous owner, e.g. under a contract of sale. The transferor would often make actual delivery of a movable, but delivery of the keys of a store could transfer its contents. Even when the transferor was not owner, a person who acquired the thing in good faith (bona fides) by a recognized transaction (iustus titulus) e.

Article

pagus  

Nicholas Purcell

Pagus, term of Roman administrative law for subdivisions of territories, referring to a space rather than a point, and thus convenient for subdividing areas where there was no focal settlement, and the extended territories of those which did. It had three important applications: (1) subdivisions of the territories of ‘tribal’ peoples, as in Transalpine Gaul (see gaul (transalpine)), before or after they were given the Roman status of *civitas; (2) (attested in epigraphy, though not in late republican municipal law) communities of dispersed settlement in Italy which had no urban nucleus, but still a separate status: these survived in Italy at least to the Augustan period, and had assembly, communal funds, and a board of magistrates to administer them and relate to the authorities of Rome, whose *euergetism beautified and equipped a focal sanctuary where their meetings took place, in place of the *forum of a town; and (3) the constituent subdivisions of the territory of a full city, as we see for instance in the Veleia table (see alimenta) and also some of the urban subdivisions of the city of Rome (cf.

Article

J. David Thomas

In comparison with Greek papyri, Latin papyri are uncommon, even when “papyri” is understood in a wide sense so as to include *ostraca and parchment scraps. This is so because the vast majority of papyri come from the eastern Mediterranean, where the language of administration was Greek even under the Roman empire. Latin was in regular use in this area until c. 300ce only in the military sphere; and although *Diocletian made an effort to encourage the use of Latin in the eastern provinces, this did not have any great effect.Since the turn of the 20th century, some 600 Latin papyri have been published, less than a quarter of which are literary. Most come from Egypt, but finds have also been made at Dura-*Europus, Nessana, and *Masada, as well as in the west. Two literary papyri dating from the reign of *Augustus are known: the much discussed elegiac verses from Qasr Ibrim attributed to *Cornelius Gallus1 and a fragment of *Cicero, In Verrem (CPL 20).

Article

Adolf Berger, Barry Nicholas, and Andrew Lintott

Parricidium meant the killing of a par, i.e. originally perhaps a member of a sib or clan, later a close relative. In a law attributed to king *Pompilius Numa (Festus, entry under Parricidium) any deliberate (dolo sciens) killer of a free man is declared equivalent to a paricidas: in other words a killer outside the clan group is declared as heinous as a killer within it. That parricidium was in early Rome the word used for any murder of which the state took cognizance is also suggested by the early office of quaestores parricidii (see quaestor). By the late Republic parricidium had come to mean the murder of parentes (near relations), as in *Cicero's speech for Sex. *Roscius and the lex Pompeia de parricidiis of 70 or 55 bce; it retained this meaning in classical texts and *Justinian's codification, which defines precisely for this purpose the circle of persons considered as near relations (Dig.

Article

Barry Nicholas and Susan M. Treggiari

Patria potestas was the power of a Roman male ascendant, normally father or grandfather (paterfamilias), over descendants through males (liberi), provided that his marriage was valid in Roman law (see marriage law, Roman), and over adopted children. This power was seen by lawyers as practically unique to Roman citizens. Any male who became independent (sui iuris) by being freed from patria potestas became a paterfamilias, even if he were a child too young to be a father. There was no comparable power held by women. It was not terminated on a child's arrival at any age of majority, but most commonly by the death or voluntary decision of the paterfamilias. Thus a woman might leave patria potestas if her paterfamilias transferred her into the control of a husband, *manus, or a child of either sex if the paterfamilias emancipated him or her (by fictitious sale to a third party, followed by manumission, thrice repeated). *Adoption or becoming the *priest of *Jupiter (flamen Dialis (see flamines)) or Vestal Virgin (see vesta) or exile (see exile, Roman) of either party ended patria potestas; becoming a war captive or the father's insanity suspended it.

Article

Graham Burton

Patrimonium and res privata were divisions of the property of the Roman emperors, whose precise nature and interrelation remain obscure. Through a complex process of gifts, legacies, and confiscations the emperors, from *Augustus onwards, accumulated extensive properties in Italy and the provinces. These properties (the patrimonium) came to be regarded as crown property which passed on the death of an emperor not to his private heirs but to his successors in office. Overall responsibility for their supervision lay with the procuratorpatrimonii (of ducenarian rank; see ducenarii) at Rome. In turn the provincial procurators possessed responsibility for the supervision of patrimonial properties in their province. See procurator. In the late 2nd and early 3rd cents. increasingly frequent epigraphic references throw light on the lower-ranking equestrian and freedmen procurators responsible for individual domains or sets of domains within a province.The unreliable Historia Augusta (Sept. Sev. 12. 4) states that *Septimius Severus established the privatarum rerum procuratio, although a procurator of the ratio privata is attested under Marcus Aurelius (AE1961, 280).

Article

Arnaldo Momigliano and Tim Cornell

Patrum auctoritas was the assent given by the ‘fathers’ (patres) to decisions of the Roman popular assemblies. The nature of this assent is unclear, but it may have been a matter of confirming that the people's decision contained no technical or religious flaws. The ‘fathers’ in question were probably only the *patrician senators, not the whole *senate (Livy 6. 42. 10; Sall.Hist. 3. 48. 15; Cic.Dom. 14. 38; Gaius 1. 3). During the middle republic the patrum auctoritas became a formality. A Lex Publilia of 339 bce (Livy 8. 12, see publilius philo, q.) established that it must be given to new laws before the voting of the *comitia, thus ensuring that the patricians could no longer overturn measures on technical grounds. The rule was extended to elections in the 3rd cent. by a Lex Maenia (Cic.Brut. 4. 55). The relevance of the Lex Hortensia (see hortensius, q.

Article

Alan Rodger

Persons in (someone else's) power could not own property, but, while technically having ownership, a father could allow his son, and a master his slave, to administer certain assets. These assets were known as peculium and could be extensive, including money, goods, land and slaves. In practice the assets were regarded as belonging to the son or slave, and a slave given his liberty on condition that he paid a sum of money (statuliber) could use his peculium to fulfil the condition. Much commercial and financial activity was conducted by slaves with their peculium. Where a son or slave entered into a transaction, the father or master was liable to the extent of the peculium, subject to deductions, at the time of the judgement and/or to the extent to which the estate of the father or master had profited from the transaction (actio de peculio et in rem verso: Gai.

Article

Probably of the mid-2nd cent. ce, known only from citations by *Iulius Paulus and *Domitius Ulpianus which point to a powerful mind. He may be identical with the *suffect consul Sex. Pedius Hirrutus of 158 or a member of the same family. He wrote on stipulations and on the *praetor's *edict; Ulpian repeatedly cites his views on the edict of the curule aediles.

Article

Tony Honoré

(Plo?)tius Pegasus (2), an erudite Roman lawyer (‘a book, not a man’), son of a naval captain, who despite his father's low status as a freedman became suffect consul about 71 ce, when he was responsible for two important decrees of the senate. He governed *Dalmatia and was urban prefect (*praefectus urbi) under *Domitian (Juv. Sat. 4. 71–81). He succeeded *Proculus as head of the school named after the latter and is cited by later writers but no texts from his work, loosely called Ius Pegasianum (‘Law according to Pegasus’), have survived.

Article

Barry Nicholas and Andrew Lintott

Perduellio (from perduellis = hostis) was the crime of activity hostile to the state. It covered a much wider field of offences than consorting with the enemy against the state (proditio), but it was probably not clearly defined. In the early republic it came under the jurisdiction of duumviri perduellionis, who seem to have had the discretion to condemn without further reference but became subject to *provocatio. By the 3rd cent. bce prosecutions were mounted by tribunes in an assembly (see iudicium populi). In the late republic such prosecutions became obsolete when crimes of this kind were actionable in the quaestio de maiestate (see maiestas; quaestiones). Perduellio is still used in Digest 48. 4. 11 (Ulpian) to designate a specially heinous type of maiestas.