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Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities

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Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities

NA [1890], A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities

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(Trustees of Tufts University, Albemarle Street, London)

[word count] [antiquities_dico12].

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AELIA SENTIA

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AE´LIA SE´NTIA This was passed A.D. 4, mainly to prevent the true Roman population from being swamped by a too free

exercise of the master's right of making his slaves citizens of Rome by manumission [ cross LIBERTUS]. It contained the following provisions:--

(i.) Slaves who had been put in irons or branded by their masters as a punishment, or put to torture on a criminal charge and convicted, or made to fight in the arena, or thrown into prison or consigned to the gladiatorial school, were not by subsequent manumission to attain any higher status than that of peregrini dediticii (Gaius, 1.13; Ulpian, Reg. 1.11; Paul. Sent. rec. 4.12, 3-8: see [ERROR: no link

cross:]DEDITICII and cross LIBERTUS). (ii.) Slaves under thirty years of age could not in future be manumitted so as to become cives unless the form of manumission were per vindictam, and a sufficient reason for it were proved before a consilium, consisting at Rome of five senators and five equites, sitting on fixed days, and in the provinces of twenty recuperatores or judges who were cives, and who sat for this purpose on the last day of the conventus or judicial assize in different towns (Gaius, 1.18, 20; Ulp. Reg. 1.12). Among the sufficient reasons (justae causae) were that the slave was a child or near relation of the manumitter, or his paedagogus; or that he wished to make him his agent, or (being a girl) to marry her (Gaius, 1.19). But even a slave under thirty could be made a civis by his master's will if he were instituted heres necessarius cum libertate, and the master was insolvent (Gaius, 1.21). Slaves under thirty manumitted otherwise than vindicta apud consilium at first remained slaves in the eye of the law [

cross LIBERTUS], but by the Lex Junia Norbana, A.D. 19, they acquired the status of Latini. The Lex Aelia Sentia, however, itself provided one way in which they could rise to the condition of civitas; that is to say, if they married a civis Romana, or a Latina coloniaria, or a woman of the same class as themselves, had as evidence of this fact the presence of five Roman citizens of full age, and begot a son who attained the age of one year, they could prove these facts to the praetor at Rome, or the governor in a province,; and on the magistrate declaring the case proven, the man, his wife and child became all Roman citizens. If the man died before he had proved his case to the magistrate, the mother could do it, and the legal effect was the same. There were also other modes in which a Latinus could become civis [LATINITAS; cf. Poste's Gaius, note on 1.35]. (iii.) Manumission by a master under twenty was declared void unless made per

Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities

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vindictam and on proof of a justa causa of the same kind as above before the consilium (Gaius, 1.38). Thus, after this, though he could make a will at fourteen, a master could not manumit his slaves by it unless he was twenty (Gaius, 1.40); but Justinian permitted testamentary manumission at seventeen (Inst. 1.6, 7) and (by Nov. 119, 2) even at fourteen. Even manumission in one of the informal modes (e.g. inter amicos) by a master under twenty, which at the most could only have made him a Latinus, was held void unless a justa causa were proved before the consilium (Gaius, 1.41). (iv.) Manumission being an act by which a man diminished his property, manumission in fraud of creditors was by the statute made revocable by the latter (Gaius, 1.37; Inst. 1.6, pr.--4), and this provision was extended to peregrini by a senatusconsult under Hadrian (Gaius, 1.47): but it did not apply to the institution of a slave as necessarius heres, in order to save the testator from the disgrace of posthumous bankruptcy (Inst. 50.100.1). Similarly the patron of a freedman who owned slaves was enabled to prevent the libertus from prejudicing his contingent rights of succession by revoking manumissions in fraudem patroni (Gaius, 1.37). (v.) The statute also allowed a patron to bring a criminal prosecution against his liberti if guilty of ingratitude (Dig. 40, 9-Z1, 30-Z1; 50-Z1, 16-Z1, 70-Z1, pr.: cf. Tac. Ann. 13.26).

Of the above provisions only the third and fourth were in force under the law of Justinian. The supposed reference to a Lex Aelia Sentia in Cicero (Top. 2, 10) is shown by Orelli to be a myth.

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NA [1890], A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (Trustees of Tufts University, Albemarle Street, London) [word count] [antiquities_dico12].

Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities http://artflx.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.3:1:56:7.ant ... vindictam and on proof of a justa