Being a Roman Citizen by Jane F. Gardner

By Jane F. Gardner

Jane Gardner's research of Roman legislations is in particular aimed at an viewers of Roman historians. besides criminal texts and literary resources, Gardner uses epigraphic fabric, together with fresh reveals from Popleii which display the criminal process in motion within the advertisement lifetime of Puteoli.

Gardner additional notes the most obvious disparity of criminal rights and tasks between electorate of the empire: ladies, ex-slaves, adults with dwelling fathers, convicted criminals, play-actors--even the blind, deaf, dumb and the mentally sick. Gardner examines intimately each one group's specific felony disabilities in addition to the impression those regulations had on their day-by-day life. She additionally considers how those criminal iniquities with regards to the distinctively Roman establishment of patria potestas, and to the duty of direct participation which used to be a felony requirement for many transactions.

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The previous sentence is an example of that rule, where the freedman is the husband of the injured freedwoman who has the same patron. Ulpian is not at his clearest here; as will be observed also in Chapter 4 below, this tends to happen when he is trying to rationalise conventional reactions to women at law.

It would also have the important, though, I think, secondary effect—more important where testators had family to succeed them—of placing some element of restraint on the depletion of large estates by numerous manumissions. It was intended to preserve and encourage certain influences towards integration and hierarchy, so important for the order and stability that Augustus was trying to establish, or re-establish, in Roman society. This view of the purpose of the lex Fufia Caninia has not, so far as I know, previously been put forward, but it seems to me, while fitting in with the social and moral purposes evident in other legislation of the Augustan period, to provide, by considering the actual legal effects in regard to patron-freedman relations and the operation of the law of inheritance, a more coherent and satisfactory explanation of what the law was intended to achieve.

Rutilius’ edict had given patrons the means of making legally enforceable demands, without restraining the amount, and there are signs that the opportunities were enthusiastically taken up. As we saw, it was soon thought desirable to ban agreements for societas; subsequent interpretations of the edict detail the protection to be afforded to freedmen against excessive demands for operae, such as would interfere with their ability to earn a livelihood. Sabinus writes that a freedman should supply his own food and clothes while rendering services; but if he cannot feed himself, his patron is to supply food, or the services are to be exacted in such a way that he is allowed time to earn a living, to enable him to feed himself on those days when he is rendering services….

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