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Article

lex Iulia de Maritandis Ordinibus  

Jacob Giltaij

The law of Augustus concerning the regulation of marriage (18 bce), a plebiscite often treated in conjunction with the consular law of Papius and Poppaeus (lex Papia Poppaea, 9 ce, together as lex Iulia et Papia), primarily obliges all Roman citizens to enter into marriage with the purpose of producing legitimate offspring. With this goal, the law probably contained set age limits at which point one was expected to have been married, an age likely reflective of the fertility age, and an extensive list of rewards and privileges for those producing (legitimate) offspring.The literary sources of the 1st and 2nd centuries ce emphasize the reward structure the law contained. For example, Tacitus, in Tac. Ann. 2.51 suggests the number of children was crucial for the election of a praetor. The general overviews of the laws enacted by Augustus in Suetonius, Augustus 34 and Cassius Dio, Historia Romana.

Article

marriage ceremonies, Roman  

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!”).

Article

lex Papia Poppaea  

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

widows  

Thomas A.J. McGinn

While the task of defining the term “widow” is straightforward, the phenomenon of widowhood is more complex. Qualified above all by demographic and socio-economic factors, as well as conditioned by legal rules, the status of widow in classical antiquity was far from monolithic. The evidence for Greece, that is, above all Athens in the late 5th and 4th centuries bce, and Rome, with the main focus on the period from c. 200 bce to c. 250 ce, shows that neither society developed an independent legal category for such women. This means that they typically enjoyed or were denied the same basket of rights that held for most adult female citizens. It is even disputable whether widowhood was understood in either society as a distinct social category. Largely because men tended to be older than women at first marriage, husbands typically predeceased their wives, so that widows outnumbered widowers by a wide margin. Widows were often a source of tension and suspicion, functioning as lightning rods for the praise and blame of women in general. Losing a husband to death often entailed a reduction in available economic resources, though this was not inevitably true, and, where it was true, its implications could vary from culture to culture or even within a culture. Remarriage was an option much more available to upper-class widows than to the sub-elite.

Article

lex Voconia  

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

laws of Crete  

David M. Lewis

Crete provides historians with a rich fund of legal inscriptions from the Archaic and Classical periods. Although legal inscriptions have survived from several poleis (Axos, Datala, Dreros, Gortyn, Eltynia, Lyktos, Eleutherna, Prinias, Phaistos, and Cnossus), it is Gortyn that has produced the most spectacular finds and in the greatest quantities. These laws provide detailed provisions on various aspects of life, but in particular they deal with property and the family, as well as legal status. Rules on marriage, divorce, adoption, and inheritance all aim to guarantee the stability of families over the long term, whilst numerous laws on debt aim to prevent citizen households from falling below the subsistence margin. Taken as a whole, Crete’s laws provide much evidence for the priorities of male citizens living across the island and the various challenges that they faced.Ancient literary traditions strongly associated Crete with lawgiving through legendary figures such as Minos.