Julian Law on Agrarian Matters, 58(?) B.C.


Three chapters of this law, sometimes called the Mamilio-Roscio-Peducaeo-Allieno-Fabian Law, survive. From it we learn that it entrusts to state commissioners, to local magistrates, and to individual landowners, severally, both the establishment and the safeguarding of boundaries and landmarks in the territories of colonies, towns, prefectures, markets, and meeting places.

The date of the law is unsettled: opinion is divided between assigning it to 109 B C. as a late implementation of Gracchan enactments and ascribing it to Julius Caesar's agrarian legislation ca. 59-55 B.C. Arguments for the latter choice seem more decisive, according to a recent discussion of the problem by L R. Taylor in ACJ 68-78.


53. In respect to whatever colony is founded by this law or whatever town, prefecture, market, or meeting place is established, whatever land is within their borders, whatever boundary stones are set in that land: in whatever place a boundary stone is not standing, in that place the owner of that land shall provide that the boundary stone shall be replaced in a proper manner and the magistrate who has jurisdiction in that colony, town, prefecture, market, or meeting place shall provide that this shall be done.

54. In respect to whatever boundary lines and boundary roads are marked by this law and whatever boundary ditches are in this land, which land is granted and assigned by this law, no one shall have these boundary lines and boundary roads blocked nor anything built in them, nor anything set as an obstruction there, nor shall he plow them, nor shall he block nor obstruct the ditches, whereby water cannot run and flow by its proper course. If anyone does anything against these regulations, for every several such act, as often as he does it, he shall be condemned to pay to those colonists and townsmen, in whose land this is done, 4,000 sesterces; and by this law a suit for this money shall be proper for anyone who wishes.

55. In respect to a person who founds a colony by this law or establishes a town, a prefecture, a market, or a meet-ing place, in that land, which land is within the borders of this colony, town, market, meeting place, or prefecture, or shall provide that boundary lines and boundary roads shall be made and that boundary stones shall be set: and what borders he sets thus, these shall be their borders, so long as he does not extend the borders beyond the colonial land or district. And whatever boundary stones are set by this law, no one shall overthrow or move any of them from its place with malice aforethought. If anyone does anything contrary to these regulations, for every several boundary stone which he overthrows or moves from its place with malice aforethought, he shall be condemned to pay 5,000 sesterces to the public treasury of those persons within whose borders this land is; and concerning this matter the curator who is in office under this law shall grant the right of action and the appointment and assignment of recuperators. When there is not a curator under this law, then whatever magistrate in this colony, town, prefecture, market or meeting place has jurisdiction, this magistrate shall have the right to grant an action concerning this matter and to appoint and to assign a judex; and in respect to this matter the person who grants a court trial under this law, as appears best in accordance with the public interest and with his own good faith, shall allow the opportunity to summon officially at least ten witnesses for every several action. And if the defendant is convicted, he shall exact this money from the defendant or from his property at the earliest day possible; and in respect to whatever of this money is received he shall pay a half part to the person through whose especial individual effort the defendant is convicted and he shall pay a half part into the public treasury. If anyone wishes to restore a boundary stone to that place from which the boundary stone is removed, it shall be lawful to do so without risk to him nor shall he be condemned by this law to pay anything to anyone because of this.

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.

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