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Before his death Julius Caesar was engaged in composing regulations for the distribution of grain to the poor and other matters for the welfare of Rome and of Italy. These were in rough draft when Caesar was murdered Apparently Mark Antony found these drafts among Caesar s papers and, including all those relating to Rome and Italy in a lex satura (mixed law, i.e., an omnibus act on heterogeneous subjects), had them ratified under a single law, without revision, as part of Caesar's acts See A von Premerstein, ZSSR 43 (1922) 45.
Since the beginning and the end are lost, there is no way to determine the extent and the scope of Caesar's legislation. The first six sections deal with the grain dole Evidently a complete census of the citizens was taken, but all that can be inferred from the surviving sections is that citizens with a certain amount of property were disqualified. The burden of repair and maintenance of the public streets of Rome was placed on the property owners under supervision of the aediles (7-13). Vehicular traffic during the day, from sunrise to late afternoon, was limited to outgoing carts or to those with special license, with a few minor exceptions (14-16). The use of stoas, arcades, and public areas by private individuals was regulated (17-19). After a passage on two minor points (20-21), the qualifications of magistrates and senators in Italian communities were prescribed (22-27) Membership in the local Senate was limited, and new members could be admitted only to replace those who had died or had been disqualified (22). Disqualification usually followed condemnation for any reason that caused infamy (25). Provision was made for a complete census of Roman citizens in Italy (28- 29). The last section (30) on the tablet indicates that someone had been delegated to draft a special charter for Fundi. It is possible that a similar provision was made for Tarentum and other cities, whether settled by Caesar's veterans or not.
This bronze tablet, found in two parts in 1732 and 1735, was posted at Heraclea, formerly a Greek city on the Gulf of Tarentum, and the only reasonable explanation for the recording of such a medley of unrelated laws here is that Heraclea, like Fundi, must have owed its charter to this law.
1) If by this law it is proper for anyone to make his declarationla before the consul and if he is absent from Rome when it is proper' for him to make his declaration, then his agent2 shall declare in the same manner and on the same days before the consul all the same things that his principal properly' should have declared by this law if he were in Rome.
2) If by this law it is proper for anyone to make his declaration before the consul and if he or she is a ward, then his or her guardian shall declare in like manner before the consul all the same things on the same days, just as the owner properly should have declared by this law if he or she were not a ward.
3) If the consul before whom by this law it is proper for these declarations to be made is absent from Rome, then the person required to make the declaration shall make it before the urban praetor or, in his absence, before the peregrine praetor in the same manner as one properly1 should declare by this law before the consul if he were in Rome at that time.
4) If none of the consuls or the praetors before whom by this law it is proper for declarations to be made are in Rome, then the required declaration shall be made before the plebeian tribune in the same manner as one properly should declare by this law before the consul or the urbanpraetor or the peregrine praetor if he were in Rome at that time.
5) The magistrate, before whom is made the declaration, which it is proper for anyone to make in accordance with this law, shall provide that each person's name, the things which he has declared, and the day on which he has declared them shall be entered in the public records and that all these entries shall be accurately copied on a tablet on the bulletin board in the Forum. Whenever and whereever grain is distributed to the people he shall keep this list displayed daily, for the greater part of each day, where it can be easily read from the ground level.
6) The distributor of grain to the people or whoever has charge of such distribution shall not give, order, or permit grain to be given to anyone of those persons whose names in conformity with this law have been posted by the consul, the praetor, or the plebeian tribune on the bulletin board. If anyone in contravention of this regulation gives grain to anyone of those persons so posted he shall be liable to a penalty of 50,000 sesterces payable to the State for each modius of grain so given, and anyone so minded shall be entitled to sue for this sum.
7) Each owner of property fronting on the streets of Rome or on streets within a mile of Rome, on which there is continuous settlement now or in the future, shall keep such portion of the street in repair at the discretion of that aedile who has jurisdiction in this quarter of the city by this law. The aforesaid aedile, at his discretion, shall provide that each owner of property fronting on the street shall keep in repair that portion of the street which by this law it is proper for him to maintain and he shall provide that no water shall stand there to prevent the public from convenient passage.
8) The curule and the plebeian aediles now in office and those who shall be appointed or elected or who shall enter upon this office after the passage of this law shall agree among themselves or shall cast lots, within the next five days after they have been designated to or have entered upon this office, to determine in which part of the city each shall have charge of the repair and the paving of the public streets in Rome or within one mile of Rome, and he shall have the oversight of such work. Whatever part of the city becomes the responsibility of any aedile by this law, the said aedile shall have the oversight of repairing and maintaining the streets which are in that part as is proper1 by this law.
9) Whatever street lies between a temple, a public building, or a public area on one side and a private building on the other, the aedile who is in charge of this region of the city shall lease the maintenance of half of the said street, where the temple or the public building or the public area is situated.
10) If anyone, who in accordance with this law properly should maintain the public street in front of his property, does not maintain it as he properly should in the judgment of the aedile concerned, the latter at his discretion shall lease the contract for its maintenance. For at least ten days before he awards the contract, he shall post in front of his tribunal in the Forum the name of the street to be maintained, the day on which the contract shall be given, and the names of the property owners on that portion of the street. To the aforesaid owners or their agents at their homes he shall give notice of his intention to lease the contract for the aforesaid street and of the day on which the contract shall be given. He shall make this contract publicly in the Forum through the urban quaestor or whoever is in charge of the treasury. The urban quaestor or whoever is in charge of the treasury shall provide that, in the public records of money due, entry shall be made of that sum for which the contract was awarded in the name of the person or persons, before whose property the street runs, in proportion to the length and the breadth of the street in front of each property. He shall assess this amount without malicious deception, on the owner or owners, for the benefit of the person who contracts for the maintenance of the aforesaid street. If the owner on whom this assessment has been imposed, or his agent, does not pay this money or give security therefor to the contractor within the next thirty days of his notification of the assessment, he shall be obliged to pay the amount assessed and a penalty of half of the amount to the contractor. In a suit for this money the magistrate, on application, shall appoint a judex and grant an action in the same way as it is proper for a judex to be appointed and an action to be granted in a suit for the recovery of a money loan.
11) If it is proper for a contract for street maintenance to be let in accordance with this law, the aedile who properly should do so shall award the contract for the maintenance of this street through the urban quaestor or ever is in charge of the treasury, with the proviso that the maintenance of this street shall be subject to the approval of the aedile responsible for the giving of the contract. The urban quaestor or whoever is in charge of the treasury shall provide that the amount of the contract, for which each street is so leased, shall be awarded and assigned to the contractor or to his heir, to whom it properly should be awarded in accordance with the terms of the contract.
12) It is not the intent of this law to prevent the aedile the quattuorvirs in charge of cleaning the city streets, and the duumvirs in charge of cleaning the streets outside the city walls within a mile of Rome, whoever are appointed hereafter, from caring for the street-cleaning or from having jurisdiction in the matter as is proper by laws or plebiscites or decrees of the Senate.
13) Wherever a building abuts on an alleyway, the owner shall keep this alleyway properly paved along the whole face of the building with whole, durable, well-joined paving blocks to the satisfaction of the aedile who has jurisdiction over roads in that district in accordance with this law.
14) After January 1 next no one shall drive a wagon along the streets of Rome or along those streets in the suburbs where there is continuous housing after sunrise or before the tenth hour of the day, except whatever will be proper' for the transportation and the importation of material for building temples of the immortal gods, or for public works, or for removing from the city rubbish from those buildings for whose demolition public contracts have been let. For these purposes permission shall be granted by this law to specified persons to drive wagons for the reasons stated.
15) Whenever it is proper for the vestal virgins, the king of the sacrifices, or the flamens to ride in the city for the purpose of official sacrifices of the Roman people; whatever wagons are proper for a triumphal procession when any one triumphs; whatever wagons are proper for public games within Rome or within one mile of Rome or for the procession held at the time of the games in the Circus Maximus, it is not the intent of this law to prevent the use of such wagons during the day within the city for these occasions and at these times.
16) It is not the intent of this law to prevent ox wagons or donkey wagons that have been driven into the city by night from going out empty or from carrying out dung from within the city of Rome or within one mile of the city after sunrise until the tenth hour of the day.
17) Respecting public areas and public arcades in Rome or within a mile of Rome, which are by law under the jurisdiction of the aediles or of those magistrates in charge of cleaning the streets and the public areas in Rome or within a mile of Rome, no one shall have any structure built or erected in these areas or arcades, nor shall any one acquire possession in any way of these areas or arcades, nor shall he enclose or bar off any part of them, to prevent free use and access of such areas or arcades by the people, except for such persons to whom permission has been granted by statutes or plebiscites or decrees of the Senate.
18) When the censor or any other magistrate in accordance with the terms of the contract proclaims that certain areas are to be set aside or to be used to yield public revenue or for the production of tribute, and when provision is made in the terms of the contract for those who lease the reservation and the use of such areas that they may use and enjoy them, or that these areas shall be guarded by the lessees, it is not the intent of this law to prevent these lessees from the use and the enjoyment of these areas, as shall be allowed each one to do so without malicious intent in accordance with the terms of the contract.
19) If anyone provides games in Rome or within one mile of Rome it is not the intent of this law to prevent him from building or erecting in public places a stage or a platform or other structures that are required for such games, or from using public areas on those days on which he gives the games.
20) It is not the intent of this law to prevent clerks and copyists attending magistrates from using public areas for purposes of such attendance, wherever the magistrate commands their services.
21) If the censors assign certain areas to public slaves for dwelling or for use it is not the intent of this law to prevent such use of these areas.
22) Those persons who hold office in municipalities, colonies, prefectures, markets, or meeting places of Roman citizens, whether duumvirs, quattuorvirs, or under whatever other title they hold magisterial powers by the vote of the citizens in the aforesaid communities, shall not appoint, substitute, coopt, or have named as decurions or conscripts in the Senate anyone in the aforesaid communities, except in the place of a senator deceased, or condemned, or one who admits that he is not qualified by this law to be a senator, a decurion, or a conscript in that community.
23) After January 1, in the second year following enactment of this law, no person under thirty years of age shall be a candidate for, accept, or administer the office of duumvir, quattuorvir, or any other magistracy in a municipality, a colony, or a prefecture, unless he has served three campaigns in the cavalry or six campaigns in the infantry of a legion." These campaigns he shall have served for the greater part of each year either in camp or in a province. Two half-year campaigns may count as separate years. If anyone has exemption from military service by statutes or plebiscites or treaty, whereby he should not properly' serve against his will, he is not subject to this restriction." Nor shall anyone who is an auctioneer, a master of funeral ceremonies, or an undertaker," so long as he is engaged in such a trade, be a candidate for, accept, administer, or hold the office of duumvir, quattuorvir, or any other magistracy, nor shall he be a senator or a decurion, or a conscript, nor shall he give his vote as such in a municipality, a colony, or a prefecture. If any of the above-mentioned persons acts in contravention of this law he shall be liable to a penalty of 50,000 sesterces payable to the State, and anyone so minded shall be entitled to sue for this sum.
24) If anyone holds elections in a municipality, a colony, or a prefecture after July 1 next for the election of or the substitution for duumvirs, quattuorvirs, or any other magistrates, he shall not announce or order to be announced the election of any of the aforesaid magistrates who is under thirty years of age, unless he has served three campaigns in the cavalry or six campaigns in the infantry of a legion, during which campaigns he shall have served in camp or in a province for the greater part of each year, or for two half-years, which may count with him for separate years, if it is allowed by statutes or plebiscites, or unless he has exemption from military service by statutes or plebiscites or treaty, whereby he should not properly serve against his will. Nor shall he declare the election of anyone who is employed as auctioneer, master of funeral ceremonies, or undertaker," so long as he is employed in such a trade, as duumvir, quattuorvir, or whoever may be magistrate in that community. Nor shall he choose, substitute, or coopt such persons into the senate among the decurions or the conscripts. Nor with malice aforethought shall he call upon such persons for their vote nor shall he require them to speak or to cast their vote. If anyone does so in contravention of this law he shall be liable to a penalty of 50,000 sesterces payable to the State, and anyone so minded shall be entitled to sue for this sum.
25) No one shall be admitted among the decurions and the conscripts in the senate of any municipality, colony, prefecture, market, or meeting place of Roman citizens, nor shall anyone who comes under the following categories be permitted to express his opinion or to cast his vote in that body: anyone who is condemned for theft which he himself has committed or who compounds such theft; anyone who is condemned in an action for trusteeship, partnership, guardianship, mandate, infliction of injury or fraud; anyone who is condemned either by the Plaetorian Law or for something that he has done or does contrary to that law;" anyone who binds himself to fight as a gladiator; anyone who denies a debt on oath before the praetor or takes an oath that he is solvent; anyone who gives notice to sureties or creditors that he cannot pay his debt in full or who compounds with them to that effect; anyone for whom the sureties pay and settle the obligation; anyone whose possessions are seized and advertised for sale at public auction by the edict of the magistrate in charge of the administration of justice, excepting the cases of those whose property was so treated when they were wards, or of someone who was absent on public business, provided that he does not contrive fraudulently to be absent for such purpose; anyone who is condemned at Rome by public trial whereby it is unlawful for him to remain in Italy and who is not restored to his former status; anyone who is condemned by public trial in that municipality, colony, prefecture, market, or meeting place of which he is a citizen; anyone who is condemned of having lodged a false accusation or of having done something from collusion; anyone who is deprived of his rank in the military service because of disgrace; anyone whom a general dismisses from the army in disgrace; anyone who takes money or any other reward for bringing in the head of a Roman citizen; anyone who prostitutes his body for gain; anyone who trains gladiators or acts on the stage or keeps a brothel. If any of the aforesaid persons in contravention of this law takes his place or gives his vote among the decurions or the conscripts in the senate of the above-mentioned communities he shall be liable to a penalty of 50,000 sesterces to be paid to the State, and anyone so minded shall be entitled to sue for that sum.
26) If this law declares a person to be ineligible to serve as senator, decurion, or conscript, to speak or to cast a vote in the senate of a municipality, a colony, a prefecture, a market, or a meeting place, no one who summons the senate, the decurions, and the conscripts in the aforesaid communities shall summon with malice aforethought such an ineligible person to meet with them. He shall not ask him for an opinion there nor with malice aforethought shall bid him vote orally or by ballot. No one who has supreme authority in the aforesaid communities by the vote of their citizens shall allow with malice aforethought any ineligible person to attend the senate with the decurions or the conscripts, to be included in their number, to give his vote orally or by ballot there. He shall not accept such persons as candidates for election in any electoral assembly of the people or of the plebs. If in violation of this law such a person has been elected by the aforesaid assemblies the magistrate shall not announce the election. And no magistrate or person with authority in that community shall permit him, with malice aforethought, to witness the games or to attend public banquets with the senate, the decurions, or the conscripts.
27) Whoever by this law are not permitted to be senators, decurions, or conscripts of the aforesaid communities shall not stand as candidate for or accept the office of duumvir, quattuorvir, or any other office from which he would pass into the senate of the aforesaid communities. Nor shall such persons take their seat in the senatorial circle of decurions and conscripts to witness games or gladitorial combats or to participate in public banquets. If anyone of such persons is announced as selected in contravention of this law, he shall not become duumvir or quattuorvir or hold any magistracy or office of authority in that community. If anyone acts in contravention of this law he shall be liable to a penalty of 50,000 sesterces to be paid to the State, and anyone so minded shall be entitled to sue for this sum.
28) Whoever has the chief magistracy or the supreme authority in those municipalities, colonies, or prefectures of Roman citizens which exist in Italy at that time when the censor or some other magistrate takes the census at Rome shall take the census of the Roman citizens in all the aforesaid communities within sixty days after he knows that such census is being taken at Rome. He shalIl accept from them under oath their names, praenomens, parents or patrons, tribes, cognomens, the age of each citizen, and the statement of his property in accordance with the pattern of the census, which shall be posted at Rome by the official who is about to take the census of the people at that time. He shall enter all this on the public records of his municipality. He shall dispatch these registers to the censors at Rome by means of the envoys chosen for this purpose by the majority vote of the senate when this matter is voted. He shall provide that the census shall be completed and that the envoys shall appear before the censors at Rome and shall deliver the registers of the respective municipalities, colonies, or prefectures more than sixty days before the census at Rome is completed. This censor, or whatever other magistrate conducts the census of the people in the next five days after the arrival of the envoys, shall accept without fraudulent intent the registers of the census from them. From these registers of the communities he shall provide that the entries shall be copied in the public records and that such records shall be filed in the same place where are filed the other public records containing the census of the people.
29) It is not the intent of this law to require a person who has residence in several municipalities, colonies, or prefectures and who is entered in the census in Rome to be registered by this law in the census of the aforesaid communities as well.
30) Whoever is or has been commissioned by a law or a plebiscite to give a charter for the municipality of Fundi or for the citizens of that municipality, whatever supplements, amendments, or corrections are made to this charter in the year immediately after the people authorize this law shall be binding on the citizens of Fundi, as rr would have been if these had been incorporated by him when first he gave a charter to Fundi on the authority of the law or the plebiscite. No one shall interpose a veto or interfere in any way to invalidate the aforesaid supplements, amendments, or corrections, or to prevent them from being binding on the citizens of Fundi and obeyed by them.
Ancient Roman statutes : translation, with introduction, commentary, glossary, and index
by Allan Chester Johnson, Paul Robinson Coleman-Norton, Frank Card Bourne ; general editor, Clyde Pharr
Austin : University of Texas Press, 1961
Used with the Permission of the University of Texas Press.