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date: 04 December 2022



  • 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.


  • Roman Law

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