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Article

Peter Candy

The lex Cincia, most likely a plebiscite of 204 bce, was a law that placed restrictions on the giving and receiving of gifts. It contained both an absolute prohibition on gifts made to advocates for the pleading of cases and a general prohibition on gifts exceeding a certain (unknown) value. The general prohibition did not, however, apply to persons who enjoyed a specifically exempted relationship. The law was probably intended to curb the extortionary abuse of gift giving by social and economic elites who, after the devastation of the Second Punic War, were motivated to extract ever-more considerable gifts from their clients. The lex Cincia probably served an expressive function more than anything else, since it made no provision for voiding gifts and only provided for sanctions in limited circumstances.The lex Cincia was a law that placed restrictions on the giving and receiving of gifts. Both Cicero (De Or.

Article

Kimberley Webb

The lex Ogulnia or, more precisely, the Ogulnian plebiscite (see plebiscitum), promulgated in 300bce by the tribunes Q. Ogulnius and Cn. Ogulnius,1 created additional vacancies within the pontifical and augural colleges (see collegium) that were exclusively reserved for plebeians. This increased the number of pontifices in office from four to eight and augures from four to nine. It has often been viewed in the context of the so-called Struggle of the Orders as one of the final measures that opened previously patrician roles to the plebeians, and the publication of the legis actiones and the religious calendar in 304bce by Cn. Flavius.2 Hölkeskamp, in what remains the seminal discussion of the plebiscite, proposed that this measure reflected the already established consensus between the patrician and plebeian orders.3Livy provides the only detailed account of the passing of the lex Ogulnia, with the exception of a cursory reference in .

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

James R. Townshend

Sometimes referred to in scholarship as the plebiscitum Claudianum, the lex Claudia prohibited senators and their sons from possessing seafaring ships capable of carrying more than 300 amphorae. The only source that discusses the law is Livy (21.63.3–4). Livy reports that the law was proposed by a tribunus plebis, Q. Claudius, about whom nothing more is known. According to Livy, the consul-elect C. Flaminius(1) was the only senator to support the bill. Despite the bitter opposition of the senate, the law was nevertheless enacted (res per summam contentionem acta). Livy remarks that Flaminius’s support for the law generated hostility among the senators but won him the favour of the plebs and then a second consulship, which he began in 217bce. Flaminius’s first consulship had been in 223bce (with its own controversy), and he had served as censor in 220–219. The periocha of Livy, Book 20 indicates that the details of his censorship were covered in that book, including the reorganization of the libertini across the four urban tribes and the construction of both the Circus Flaminius and Via Flaminia.

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.