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Article

Charles Bartlett

The lex Ovinia, or more properly, the plebiscitum Ovinium, is a plebiscite that transferred the power to determine membership in the Roman Senate from the consuls or chief magistrates to the censors. Its date is uncertain, but it was probably passed in or just before 318bce, when evidence of its effect is first seen. The lex Ovinia therefore postdates the lex Valeria Horatia (see lex Valeria de provocatione) of 449bce, which had stipulated that plebeian legislative enactments applied equally to patricians as to plebeians (see plebs). Nevertheless, the patriciate apparently disapproved of the legislative authority invoked in the case of the lex Ovinia, objecting to the use of a plebiscite to address such an issue, although it seems not to have opposed the provisions of the law. A later lex Hortensia of 287/6bce, another plebiscite which decreed forcefully that such acts by the concilium plebis should bind the entire populace, seems to have settled this issue.

Article

Jacob Giltaij

The lex Papia Poppaea was enacted in 9 ce by the suffect consuls, M. Papius Mutilus and Q. Poppaeus Secundus, probably on the initiative of the Emperor Augustus. The law complemented, supplemented, and enhanced the provisions of the lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus (the law of Augustus concerning the regulation of marriage, enacted in 18 bce). The two laws, referred to jointly as the lex Iulia et Papia, had the primary effect of obliging all Roman citizens to marry and have (legitimate) heirs.There are several pre-Justinian sources in which the lex Papia Poppaea is treated separately from the lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus. For example, in Gaius, Institutes 2.286a, the lex Papia Poppaea is said to have determined that those who did not have children (orbi) would lose half of their estates and legacies upon death. Moreover, Gaius indicated that the lex increased the rights of patrons in the case of the death of their freedmen, providing them with an equal share irrespective of whether the freedmen had left a will (.

Article

Peter Candy

The lex Laetoria (or Plaetoria) was a law of the late 3rd or early 2nd century bce that gave special protection to minors. The law gave an action against persons who were alleged to have fraudulently induced a minor to enter into a transaction. The praetor built on this protection by allowing a defence to be raised on the basis of the law. By the late Republic, the praetor had also stated in his Edict that he would grant a remedy known as in integrum restitutio to minors who had been taken advantage of. The practice of minors using curators to reassure potential creditors that they were entering into transactions on sound advice was formalised by the emperor Marcus Aurelius. By the post-classical period, the rules concerning the protection of minors (cura minorum) became closely assimilated to those concerning guardianship (tutela).The lex Laetoria (or .

Article

Saskia Roselaar

The lex Poetelia Papiria was a law that abolished the contractual form of nexum (debt bondage). Livy 8.28 dates the law to 326bce, during the third consulship of Gaius Poetelius Libo Visolus and the first of L. Papirius Cursor, although Varro (Ling. 7.105) dates it to 313bce, during the dictatorship of Poetelius’s son. Dionysius of Halicarnassus (16.5) and Valerius Maximus (6.1.9) appear to favour a date after the Caudine Forks (321bce).Livy 8.28 says that the law was passed because of the cruelty and lust of a particular creditor. A young boy named Gaius Publilius was working as a labourer for Lucius Papirius (Valerius Maximus calls them T. Veturius and P. Plotius, respectively) to pay off his father’s debt. Papirius desired Publilius sexually because of his beauty and tried to seduce him. Publilius refused, and Papirius had him flogged. The wounded boy ran into the street, causing an outcry among the people. Eventually the Senate ordered the consuls to bring a measure before the people, and the lex Poetelia Papiria was passed.

Article

Charles Bartlett

The lex Publilia Philonis of 339bce addressed two issues of importance for the functioning of the Senate. The first concerned the auctoritas of the body, and did away with the practice of senatorial review of legislation that had been passed by the popular assemblies, whereby patrician senators could overturn legislation on technicalities. Thereafter, senators gave authorization to legislative proposals before the voting began. It remained the case that this authorization was couched in terms of technical procedural requirements, but senatorial objections on other grounds could be shrouded in such language both before and after the lex Publilia Philonis, albeit less egregiously after its passage. The second provision of the law was the requirement that one censor of every college be a plebeian (see plebs). The law also reiterated or paraphrased the crux of the lex Valeria Horatia of 441bce (see lex Valeria de provocatione), specifying that legislative enactments of the conciliumplebis were binding on the entire population at Rome.

Article

The lex de Gallia Cisalpina is the usual modern title given to the fragment of a Roman statute on a bronze tablet found at the ancient town of Veleia in 1760, the surviving part of which deals with provisions for and restrictions on local jurisdiction in Cisalpine Gaul (CIL XI 1146; I2 592; FIRA I 19; Roman Statutes, no. 28).1 An additional small fragment found at Veleia (CIL XI 1144; I2 601, included in the Roman Statutes edition) is usually associated with it, and it remains a matter of debate whether the so-called fragmentum Atestinum (CIL I2 600; Roman Statutes, no. 16) represents a copy of a different part of the same law.2 The main tablet from Veleia is numbered IV and contains chapters 19–23 of the law. The law of the Veleia tablet is usually, though not entirely securely, associated with the otherwise unattested tribunician lex Rubria, which is twice mentioned in the sample formulae for local trials included in it (col.

Article

Saskia Roselaar

Provocatio was a method for appealing the decision of a Roman magistrate. Provocatio could occur after a normal trial had been conducted in front of a magistrate with imperium. After the final judgement, the defendant could call out “provoco.” The act of provocatio called upon the protection of the tribuni plebis, who transferred the power to adjudicate to the Roman people (iudicium populi). The people could then confirm or reject the magistrate’s sentence.

Not all judgements were subject to provocatio; it only applied to the power of coercitio of higher magistrates (consuls and praetors). Sentences meted by the quaestors were excluded. The judgements of the pontifex maximus were also excluded, although the fines he imposed could be appealed. In fact, provocatio is mentioned in the sources only for political crimes, such as perduellio. The idea that the iudicium populi was part of every trial, first suggested by Mommsen and still sometimes repeated, is therefore incorrect.

Article

James R. Townshend

The only direct reference to the law is by Livy (40.44.1), when he briefly summarizes the legislative and electoral activities for the year 180bce. Livy reports that in that year (eo anno) a bill was proposed by the tribunus plebis L. Villius (Annalis) which established the ages at which one could seek and hold each magistracy: quot annos nati quemque magistratum peterent caperentque.1 That the bill was carried can be inferred from Livy’s further note that as a result (inde) the Villius family received the cognomen Annalis. Little more is known of Villius, though he was praetorperegrinus in 171bce (Livy 42.28.5 and 31.9).Livy does not state what motivated Villius’s proposal. Cicero asserts that those who used leges annales to set a minimum age for the consulship were afraid of the rashness of young men (adulescentiae temeritatem uerebantur, Cic. Phil. 5.47). Many have taken this at face value and attributed the same motive to Villius. There is good reason, however, for seeing the law as one of a number of measures at the beginning of the 2nd centurybce designed to constrain electoral competition.

Article

Ville Vuolanto

The lex Voconia is a plebiscitum, named after the people’s tribune Q. Voconius Saxa, who proposed the bill before the concilium plebis (see comitia) in 169bce. It provides that testators of the first census class (that is those with a minimum wealth of 100,000 asses) were not allowed to institute a woman as a testamentary heir. Furthermore, the law states that the value of a legacy or donatio mortis causa could not exceed the part of the inheritance left to the heir or heirs (Gai. Inst. 2.274 and 2.226; Dio Cass.56.10; Cic. Verr. 1.43). It seems likely that this latter provision was not as restrictive as the former and that it therefore applied to all levels of the society irrespective of their wealth.There is no persuasive evidence that the law originally would have included other provisions. While the 3rd-centuryPauli Sententiae (4.8.20) excludes female relatives more remote than sisters from intestate succession among the agnates and connects this exclusion to the lex Voconia, it cannot be determined whether this was one of these other provisions.

Article

R. Zimmermann

Locatio conductio was one of the four consensual *contracts of Roman law. It covered the hiring or leasing of things as well as contracts of employment in the form either of the hire of services or of a contract for work to be done (locatio conductio rei, operarum, and operis, in modern terminology). The common denominator was that one party ‘placed out’ (locare) a thing, his services, or a job to be done, which the other party ‘carried along’ or ‘took over’ (conducere), see conductor. As in *sale, agreement was required on two essentials: the object of the contract (res, operae, or opus) and rent or remuneration. Rent/remuneration had to consist of money and had to be real and certain but not necessarily fair. Neither Roman lease nor labour law was particularly well developed. No effort was made to protect employees or tenants from unfair terms or to grant security of tenure.

Article

A. N. Sherwin-White and Andrew Lintott

Magister equitum, ‘master of the horse’, an emergency magistrate nominated by the *dictator (who was in early times called magister populi). Apart from commanding the cavalry, he was the dictator's lieutenant and deputy, whether at Rome or on military service. He held *imperium derived from the dictator and ranked with the praetors. His magistracy ended when his dictator laid down office. A notable but unsuccessful attempt was made in 217 bce to equate the magister equitum with the dictator as a colleague.

Article

Magister libellorum (‘master of petitions’), originally a libellis (‘secretary for petitions’), an officer on the Roman emperor's staff whose duty was to deal with written petitions from private persons to the emperor and draft replies to them, known as rescripts (rescripta: originally written on the petition itself and called subscripts: subscriptiones, see subscriptions). From *Hadrian onwards the office was entrusted to a member of the equestrian order, and, since many petitions concerned points of law, the holder was often a lawyer, such as *Papinianus or *Ulpian. Rescripts composed by these officials for the emperor formed a large part of the Codex Gregorianus and Hermogenianus (see codex). The office continued in the later empire to be a source of legal expertise but was administratively subject to the *magister officiorum, instituted by *Constantine I. See also magister memoriae, epistularum, libellorum.

Article

Peter Sidney Derow

Magistrates at Rome may be divided in various ways according to various criteria. The most general recognizes a distinction between (a) the ordinarii (regularly elected), namely *consuls, *praetors, *censors, curule *aediles (these four offices were distinguished by privileges as ‘curule’, so called because they were entitled to use the official curule chair or sella curulis), *quaestors, the *vigintisexvirate (vigintivirate under the empire), and (not formally magistrates of the whole populus Romanus but only of the plebs) the *tribuni plebis and aediles of the plebs, and (b) the extraordinarii (extra ordinem creati, occasionally appointed or elected), namely *interrex,*praefectus urbi (altered by *Augustus), *dictator, *magister equitum, and a number of unique commissions (decemviri legibus scribundis—see Decemvirates—*tribuni militumconsulari potestate, tresviri rei publicae constituendae (see triumviri), etc. ). More important is the distinction between those who possessed *imperium (consuls, praetors, dictators, magistri equitum, the decemviri legibus scribundis, military tribunes with consular power, and the tresvirir.

Article

John Percy Vyvian Dacre Balsdon and Andrew Lintott

Maiestas, used as an abbreviation for the crime maiestas minuta populi Romani, ‘the diminution of the majesty of the Roman people’. This charge was first introduced by L. *Appuleius Saturninus' lex Appuleia (probably of 103 bce). He seems to have been provoked both by the incompetence and corruption of Roman generals in the wars against the *Cimbri and *Teutones and by the frustration of the will of popular assemblies through obstruction (Rhet. Her. 1. 21). However, the vagueness of the phrase (Cic.Fam. 3. 11. 2; Inv. Rhet. 2. 52–3) made this a portmanteau charge, which could be deployed against any form of treason, revolt, or failure in public duty. In the 90s bce it was turned against an allegedly seditious tribune, C. *Norbanus, for his actions in support of Saturninus, and within a short time it virtually replaced charges of *perduellio (‘treason’) brought before an assembly.

Article

manceps  

Barry Nicholas

Manceps has several meanings. Most commonly it denotes the successful bidder in an auction of contracts for the sale or leasing of state lands or for public works. The manceps in such contracts usually acted on behalf of associates—in the late republic of a societas publicanorum (see publicani), but the details are obscure. In the late empire, when the functions of the publicani have become public duties discharged by guilds (collegia), manceps is a person charged with an obligatory office (e.

Article

Barry Nicholas and Alan Rodger

This was a solemn transaction with copper and scales, mentioned already in the *Twelve Tables. By historical times it was a symbolic transaction, but it retained the form of a sale, with the scales to weigh the price in copper. It was used to transfer ownership of res mancipi (land subject to Roman ownership, and other items including slaves and cattle belonging to land subject to Roman ownership) to create rustic *servitudes and to transfer certain rights over persons. In a set form of words (Gai.Inst. 1. 119) before five citizens as witnesses and a weigher (libripens) holding the scales, the recipient asserted his ownership of the property, and struck the scales with the copper. The transferor remained silent, though an undertaking given orally and formally (nuncupatio) about the property was binding. A recipient who was evicted from the property had an action for twice the price. Mancipatio was finally abolished by Justinian.

Article

mandate  

R. Zimmermann

A mandate (mandatum) was one of the four consensual *contracts of Roman law. Based on the Roman notions of good faith, friendship, and moral duty (officium) (Dig. 17. 1. 1. 4), it dealt with situations where somebody (the mandatary) had agreed to do a service or favour for another (the mandator). The mandator could sue for proper execution of the mandate and for surrender of anything the mandatary had received (actio mandati). Condemnation involved disgrace (*infamia). The mandatary, in turn, could bring the counteraction (actio mandati contraria) if he had incurred expenses or suffered loss. He could not, however, claim remuneration for his services by this action. In other words, the contract of mandate was necessarily gratuitous. Even though mandate covered (higher) professional services (like those of an advocate), the underlying idea was that the mandatary did not act for personal gain but on account of a moral duty and as a generous and altruistic friend. But the mandator was perfectly free, and increasingly even expected, to show his gratitude by way of a present (honorarium).

Article

manus  

Susan M. Treggiari and Barry Nicholas

Manus was the power (akin to *patria potestas) which a husband might have over his wife. In early times it perhaps covered not only (as later) control of property, but the right, after due process, to execute. Entry into manus (conventio in manum) took place in three ways. Confarreatio (so called from a sacramental loaf) was a religious ceremony and requisite for the holders of certain priesthoods; it survived, for the few, probably while polytheism lasted. Coemptio (‘purchase’) was a legal procedure, an imaginary sale. By usus (‘prescription’, obsolete by the 2nd cent. ce), manus resulted if a couple lived uninterruptedly as husband and wife for one year: the *Twelve Tables specified that the wife's removal for three successive nights prevented this result. By conventio in manum a woman was freed from any previous paterfamilias and entered the husband's family, coming under his control or that of his paterfamilias, merging her property in his, and gaining succession rights on intestacy equivalent to those of his children (see inheritance, Roman).

Article

Dominic W. Rathbone

In the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, centred as they were on the Mediterranean, maritime transport was far more practical than land transport for long- and even medium-distance trade. Most ships seem to have been of medium size (around 70 tonnes burden) and to have been owned and run by a shipper who both carried goods as freight and traded on his own account. There were also many individual merchants who hired shipping as needed for their ventures. Then as now, the major expense in trading was the investment in purchasing goods; roughly, one cargo of wheat was worth as much as the ship. Hence a merchant, whether or not also a shipowner, often needed third-party finance, for which, because of the peculiar risks involved, a special type of loan was used. This was the maritime loan—nautikon daneion in Greek, nauticum faenus or mutua pecunia nautica in Latin.The maritime loan is first attested in 4th-century bce Athens, in four speeches attributed to Demosthenes, of which the most informative is the prosecution of the brother of a pair of merchants for fraudulent default on a loan (Dem.

Article

Gordon Willis Williams

The favourite season was June. Usually on the previous day the bride put away her toga praetexta: she had come of age. Her dress and appearance were ritually prescribed: her hair was arranged in six locks (sex crines), with woollen fillets (vittae), her dress was a straight white woven tunic (tunica recta) fastened at the waist with a “knot of Hercules,” her veil was a great flame-coloured headscarf (flammeum). and her shoes were of the same colour. Friends and clients of both families gathered in the bride's father's house. the bridegroom arrived, words of consent were spoken, and the matron of honour (pronuba) performed the ceremony of linking bride's and bridegroom's right hands (dextrarum iunctio). This was followed by a *sacrifice (generally of a pig), and (in imperial times) the marriage contract (involving dowry) was signed. Then the guests raised the cry of Feliciter! (“Good luck!”).