Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Hermes, v., 1871, p. 371 seq.); that of Lacilbula, in Spain, with one Q. Marius Balbus, of A.D. 5 (C.I.L. ii. 1393); that of the Bocchoritani on the island of Majorca, of A.D. 6 (C.I.L. ii. 3695; Wil. 2851); the four relating to C. Silius Aviola, dating from A.D. 27 to 28, all found at Brescia (C.I.L. v. 4919-4922); that of the colonia Julia Aug. legionis vii. Tupusuctu, in Africa, with the imperial legate Q. Julius Secundus, of A.D. 55 (C.I.L. viii. 8837; Wil. 2851); that of two gentilitates, the Desonci and Tridiavi, of the gens of the Zoelae, in Spain, now in the museum of Berlin, which contains an older act of the year 27, and another more recent of the year A.D. 127 (C.I.L. ii. 2633; Orel. 156); that of the respublica Pompelonensis (Pampeluna in Spain) of A.D. 185 (C.I.L. ii. 2960; Wil. 2854); that of the Segisamonenses, in Spain, of A.D. 239, now in the museum at Burgos (Ephem. epigr. ii. 322); that of the fabri subidiani (i.e. subaediani, qui sub aede consistunt) of Cordova, of A.D. 348 (C.I.L. ii. 2211; Wil. 2861); and, in addition to many others, those found together at Rome, on the site of the palace of Q. Aradius Valerius Proculus, and belonging to him and other members of his family, from divers African cities and executed in A.D. 321 and 322 (C.I.L. vi. 1684-1688; Orel. 1079, 3058).

2. Hardly inferior in antiquity, and of superior value, are the remains of laws in the stricter sense of the word (leges and plebiscita), preserved to us in the originals, although unfortunately only in fragments more or less extensive. Of those laws the oldest and most important are the lex Acilia (for so it is in all probability to be styled) repetundarum of the year 631 (C.I.L. i. 198), which is incised on a bronze table about 2 metres broad, in 90 lines of about 200 to 240 letters each, and therefore extremely inconvenient to read, and the lex agraria of 643 (111 B.C.), written on the reverse of the table of the Acilia, abrogated shortly afterwards (C.I.L. i. 200); this is the third of the celebrated laws of C. Gracchus bearing upon the division of public lands. Then follow the lex Cornelia de viginti quaestoribus, a fragment of Sulla’s legislation, the eighth table only, of the whole set, being preserved (C.I.L. i. 202); the plebiscitum de Thermensibus, on the autonomy of Termessus in Pisidia, proposed by the tribuni plebis, in 682 (72 B.C.), one of four or five large bronze plates (C.I.L. i. 204); the lex Rubria de civitate Galliae cisalpinae of 705 (49 B.C.), written in a new and more convenient form (belonging as it does to Caesar’s legislation), in two columns, with numbered divisions, being the fourth out of an unknown number of plates (C.I.L. i. 205); the lex Julia municipalis, or, from the place where it was found, the tabulae Heracleenses of 709 (45 B.C.), written on the reverse of the much older Greek law of that community, preserved partly at Naples, partly in the British Museum (C.I.L. i. 206), also a fragment of Caesar’s general municipal institutions; it contains a curious passage relating to the public promulgation of laws (v. 15). These are the laws of the Roman republic preserved in important fragments; some minor ones (brought together in C.I.L. i. 207-211) may be left out of account here. In the imperial age, laws in general were replaced by senatus consulta or by imperial decrees. It was also in the form of a senatus consultum that the leges de imperio, on the accession of the emperors, seem to have been promulgated. An example of such a law, preserved in part on a bronze tablet found at Rome, is the lex de imperio Vespasiani (C.I.L. vi. 930; Orel. i. 567). There is, besides, one special category of imperial constitutions which continued to be named leges, viz. the constitutions given by the emperors to the divers classes of civitates, based upon the ancient traditional rules of government applied to Rome itself as well as to the coloniae and municipia. Of this sort of leges some very valuable specimens have come from Spanish soil, viz. the lex coloniae Juliae Genetivae Urbanorum sive Ursonis (now Osuna), given to that colony by Caesar in 710 (44 B.C.), but incised, with some alterations, in the time of Vespasian, of which three bronze tables out of a much larger number remain (Hübner and Mommsen, Ephem. epigr. ii. 150 sq. and 221 sq.); the lex Salpensana and the lex Malacitana, given to these two municipia by Domitian, between A.D. 81 and 84, each on a large bronze plate, written respectively in two and in five columns, with the single chapters numbered and rubricated (C.I.L. ii. 1963, 1964; compare Mommsen, “Die Stadtrechte der lateinischen Gemeinden Salpensa und Malacca in der Provinz Baetica,” in the Abhandlungen der sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, philol.-histor. Classe, vol. iii., 1857, p. 363 sq.); the lex metalli Vipascensis, given, with all probability, by one of the three Flavii, as a constitution to a mining district of southern Portugal, one bronze plate numbered iii.—three or more, therefore, being lost (see Hübner, Ephem. epigr. iii. 165 sq. and, for a popular account, the Deutsche Rundschau, August 1877, p. 196 sq.). The so-called military diplomas, although in certain respects nearly related to the leges of the later period, are better placed along with the imperial decrees.

3. A third species of official documents is formed by decrees of the senate of Rome, of the analogous corporations in the coloniae and municipia, and of the divers collegia and sodalicia, constituted, as a rule, after a similar fashion and debating in nearly the same way as the Roman and the municipal senates. The oldest Roman senatus consulta are those translated into the Greek language and containing treaties of alliance, as already mentioned. They are preserved either on monuments or by ancient authors, as Josephus: e.g. the fragment found at Delphi, from the year 568 (186 B.C.), and the senatus consultum Thisbaeum, from Thisbe in Boeotia, 584 (170 B.C.) (Ephem. epigr. i. 278 sq., ii. 102, and Joh. Schmidt, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung, vol. iii., 1881), those of 616, 619, 621, 649 (138-105 B.C.) (C. I. Graec. 2905, 2908, ii. 2485, 2737; Le Bas and Waddington iii. 195-198; Annali dell’ Instituto, vol. xix. 1847, p. 113; Ephem. epigr. iv. 213 sq.), and those relating to the Jews, dating from 615, 621 and 710 (139, 133 and 44 B.C.) (Josephus, Ant. xiii. 9. 2, xiv. 8. 5 and 10. 9). The two oldest senatus consulta written in Latin are also preserved in a more or less complete form only by ancient authors; they are the sc. de philosophis et rhetoribus of 593 (161 B.C.) (Gellius, Noct. Att. xv. 11. 1) and that de hastis Martiis of 655 (99 B.C.) (Gellius iv. 6. 2). The only one belonging to the oldest period preserved in the original Latin form, of which only a part exists, together with the Greek translation, is the sc. Lutatianum, relating to Asclepiades of Clazomenae and his companions, dating from 676 (77 B.C.) (C.I.L. i. 203). The rest, belonging to the later epoch from Cicero downwards, about twenty in number, are mostly preserved only in an abridged form by ancient writers,—such as Cicero, Frontinus, Macrobius,—or in Justinian’s Digesta (see Hübner, De senatus populique Romani actis, Leipzig, 1859, p. 66 sq.); a few exist, however, in a monumental form, complete or in fragments—as the two sc. on the ludi saeculares, dating from 17 B.C. and A.D. 47, preserved on a marble slab found at Rome (C.I.L. vi. 877); the fragments of two sc. in honour of Germanicus and the younger Drusus, from Rome, on bronze tablets (C.I.L. vi. 911-912; Henz. 5381-5282); the two sc. Hosidianum and Volusianum, containing regulations for the demolition and rebuilding of houses in Rome, incised on the same bronze plate, found at Herculaneum, dating from Nero’s time, between A.D. 41 and 46 and from 56 (Orel. 3115; Mommsen, Berichte der sächs. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, philol.-histor. Classe, 1852, p. 272 sq.); and, of a later period, the sc. Cassianum or Nonianum of A.D. 138, containing a market regulation for the saltus Beguensis in Africa, where it has been found preserved in two examples on stone slabs (Ephem. epigr. ii. 271 sq., not complete in Wil. 2838), and the fragment of that for Cyzicus, belonging to the reign of Antoninus Pius (Ephem. epigr. iii. 156 sq.). There exists, besides, a chapter of a sc., relating to the collegia, inserted in the decree of a collegium at Lanuvium, to be mentioned below. Of the municipal decrees, of which a greater number is preserved (see Hübner, De sen. populique Rom. actis, p. 71 sq.), only a few of the more important may be mentioned here: the lex Puteolana de parieti faciundo of 649 (105 B.C.) (C.I.L. i. 577; Orel. 3697; Wil. 697); the two decreta (or so-called cenotaphia) Pisana in honour of Lucius and Gaius Caesar, the grandsons of Augustus, of A.D. 3 (C.I.L. xi. 1420, 1421; Orel. 642, 643; Wil. 883); the decretum Lanuvinum of A.D. 133, containing the regulations of a collegium funeraticium, styled collegium salutare Dianae et Antinoi (Orel. 6086; Wil. 319); and the decretum Tergestinum, belonging to the time of Antoninus Pius (C.I.L. v. 532; Henz. 7167; Wil. 693). There are, however, more than thirty others preserved, some of them, such as those from Naples, written in the Greek language. Of the third speciality, the decreta collegiorum, only the lex collegii aquae of the 1st century (Marini, Atti de’ fratelli arvali, p. 70; Rudorff and Mommsen, Zeitschrift für Rechtsgeschichte, vol. xv., 1850, pp. 203, 345 sq.), and the lex collegii Aesculapii et Hygiae, of 153 (C.I.L. vi. 10,234; Orel. 2417; Wil. 320) need be mentioned here; many more exist. One of them, the lex collegii Jovis Cerneni, dating from A.D. 167, found at Alburnus major in Dacia, is preserved on the original tabella cerata on which it was written (C.I.L. iii. 924; Henz. 6087; Wil. 321).

4. The fourth species of instrumenta are the decrees, sometimes in the form of letters, of Roman and municipal magistrates, and of the emperors and their functionaries, incised, as a rule, on bronze tablets. The oldest decree in the Latin language which has been preserved is that of L. Aemilius Paulus, when praetor in Hispania Baetica, dating from 189 B.C., for the Turris Lascutana in southern Spain (C.I.L. ii. 5041; Wil. 2837); of the same date is a Greek one of Cn. Manlius, consul of the year 565, for the Heracleenses Cariae (Le Bas and Waddington n. 588). Then follow the famous epistula consulum (falsely styled senatus consultum) ad Teuranos de bacchanalibus, dated 568 (186 B.C.) (C.I.L. i. 196); the sentence of the two Minucii, the delegates of the senate, on a dispute concerning the boundaries between the Genuates and Viturii, 117 B.C. (C.I.L. i. 199; Orel. 3121; Wil. 872); and the epistula of the praetor L. Cornelius (perhaps Sisenna), the praetor of 676 (78 B.C.) ad Tiburtes (C.I.L. i. 201). These belong to the republican age. From the imperial period a great many more have come down to us of varying quality. Some of them are decrees or constitutions of the emperors themselves. Such are the decree of Augustus on the aqueduct of Venafrum (C.I.L. x. 4842; Henz. 6428; Wil. 784); that of Claudius, found in the Val di Nona, belonging to A.D. 46 (C.I.L. v. 5050; Wil. 2842); of Vespasian for Sabora in Spain (C.I.L. ii. 1423), and for the Vanacini in Corsica (Orel. 4031); of Domitian for Falerii (Orel. 3118); the epistles of Hadrian relating to Aezani in Phrygia, added to a Greek decree of Avidius Quietus (C.I.L. iii. 355; Henz. 6955), and relating to Smyrna, in Greek, with a short one of Antoninus Pius, in Latin (C.I.L. iii. 411; Orel. 3119); the decrees of Commodus relating to the saltus Burunitanus in Africa (C.I.L. viii. 10,570; cf. Eph. epigr. v. 471); of Severus and Caracalla for Tyra (Akkerman in Moesia), Latin and Greek (C.I.L. iii. 781; Henz. 6429); of Valerian and Gallienus for Smyrna, also Latin and Greek (C.I.L. iii. 412); of Diocletian de pretiis rerum venalium, containing a long list of prices for all kinds of merchandise,