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DE PATRIA POTESTATE. - Gaius, Institutes of Roman Law [160 AD]
Gai Institutiones or Institutes of Roman Law by Gaius, with a Translation and Commentary by the late Edward Poste, M.A. Fourth edition, revised and enlarged by E.A. Whittuck, M.A. B.C.L., with an historical introduction by A.H.J. Greenidge, D.Litt. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1904).
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DE PATRIA POTESTATE.
§ 55. Item in potestate nostra sunt liberi nostri quos iustis nuptiis procreauimus. quod ius proprium ciuium Romanorum est; fere enim nulli alii sunt homines qui talem in filios suos habent potestatem qualem nos habemus. idque diuus Hadrianus edicto quod proposuit de his, qui sibi liberisque suis ab eo ciuitatem Romanam petebant, significauit. nec me praeterit Galatarum gentem credere in potestate parentum liberos esse.
Inst. 1, 9 pr.
DE PATRIA POTESTATE.
§ 55. Again, a man has power over his own children begotten in civil wedlock, a right peculiar to citizens of Rome, for there is scarcely any other nation where fathers are invested with such power over their children as at Rome; and this the late Emperor Hadrian declared in the edict he published respecting certain petitioners for a grant of Roman citizenship to themselves and their children; though I am aware that among the Galatians parents are invested with power over their children.
§ 55. The most peculiar portion of the Roman law of status is that which refers to patria potestas, or the relation of paterfamilias to filiusfamilias. Patria potestas was founded on consuetudinary law (cum jus potestatis moribus sit receptum, Dig. 1, 6, 8), and may be considered under two heads, (1) as regarding the person of the son, (2) as regarding proprietary rights acquirable by the son.
1. Over the person of the child the father had originally a power of life and death. Patribus jus vitae in liberos necisque potestas olim erat permissa, Cod. 8, 47, 10. So the lex Pompeia de parricidiis, enumerating the persons who could be guilty of parricide, or the murder of a blood relation, omits the father, Dig. 48, 9. Compare also the formula of Adrogatio, §§ 97-107, commentary. But in later times this power was withdrawn. Hadrian condemned to deportation a father who in the hunting-field killed his son who had committed adultery with his stepmother, Dig. 48, 9, 5. Constantine, a. d. 319, included killing by a father under the crime of parricide, Cod. 9, 17. Fathers retained the power of moderate chastisement, but severe punishment could only be inflicted by the magistrate, Cod. 8, 46, 3. Si atrocitas facti jus domesticae emendationis excedat, placet enormis delicti reos dedi judicum notioni, Cod. 9, 15. Trajan compelled a father to emancipate a son whom he treated with inhumanity, Dig. 37, 12, 5. It was originally at the option of the parent whether he would rear an infant or expose it to perish, but in later times such exposure was unlawful, as was declared by Valentinian, Valens, and Gratian, a. d. 374, Cod. 8, 51, 2.
Originally also parents had the power of selling (mancipandi) their children into bondage, thus producing a capitis minutio, or degradation of status. The patriarchs of the Roman race may perhaps have been slave-dealers who, like some savage tribes in Africa and elsewhere, trafficked in the bodies of their own children, but we must note that the bondage into which a Roman father sold his children was, at least at the time at which this institution is known to us, a limited degree of subjection: the mancipation, which if made three times released a son from his father’s power according to a provision of the Twelve Tables, could only be made to another Roman citizen, and the bondsman continued to be liber and civis. And this power also was withdrawn in more civilized times. A law of Diocletian and Maximian, a. d. 294, declares the sale, donation, pledging of children to be unlawful, Cod. 4, 43, 1. A rescript of one of the Antonines commences in the following terms, Cod. 7, 16, 1: ‘You are guilty, by your own admission, of an unlawful and disgraceful act, as you state that you sold your freeborn children.’ Justinian increased the penalties of the law against creditors who took possession of the freeborn child of a debtor as a security for a debt. He enacted that the creditor should forfeit the debt, should pay an equal sum to the child or parent, and in addition should undergo corporal punishment, Novella, 134, 7. In the time of Gaius, the only genuine sale of a child into bondage was in the case of noxal surrender, i. e. when a father sued for the delict of a child, in lieu of damages, surrendered his delinquent son or daughter as a bondsman (mancipium) to the plaintiff, § 140. The sale of the child in adoption and emancipation was merely fictitious; even noxal surrender was practically obsolete in the time of Justinian, by whom it was formally abolished, Inst. 4, 8, 7. Constantine, however, a. d. 329, in cases of extreme poverty permitted parents to sell their children immediately after birth (sanguinolentos), and this constitution was retained in the code of Justinian, Cod. 4, 43, 2.
2. In respect of property, filiusfamilias was capable of obligation but not of right; he could be debtor but not creditor; in any transaction where an independent person (sui juris) would have been creditor, filiusfamilias was merely a conduit-pipe through which a right vested in his father as creditor or proprietor. Even in domestic relations filiusfamilias could only figure as inferior, not as superior; he owed obedience, but could not exercise command (jus, in the special sense which it has in the phrases, sui juris, alieni juris); he could only be an instrument by which his father acquired a right of command. Thus, filiusfamilias had commercium, and could take by mancipatio, but the property he thus took vested in his father; he could make a valid contract, but the contractual right vested in his father; he had testamentifactio, that is, he could be witness, libripens, familiae emptor, but he could not make a will, for he had no property to leave; and if he took under a will as legatee or heir, the legacy or succession vested in his father: cf. 2 § 87, 3 § 163, comm. He had the other element of civitas, connubium; that is, he could contract a civil marriage and beget civil children; but the patria potestas over these children vested not in the father but in the grandfather, and if the marriage was accompanied with power of hand (manus), marital power over the wife, this vested not in the husband but in the husband’s father. Any property which the son was allowed by his father to manage was called his peculium, i. e. was held on the same terms as property which a slave administered by permission of his proprietor. In respect of debts which he incurred, the son did not act as conduit-pipe, but (except for a loan of money, which the Sc. Macedonianum made irrecoverable) was liable in his own person, Dig. 44, 7, 39. ‘A son under power incurs obligation by the same titles, and may be sued on the same grounds of action as an independent person.’ The same rule applied to the son as to the slave: Melior conditio nostra per servos fieri potest, deterior fieri non potest, Dig. 50, 17, 133. ‘The melioration of his proprietor’s condition is in the power of a slave, but not the deterioration.’
In his public functions, filiusfamilias was entirely beyond the sphere of patria potestas. Quod ad jus publicum attinet non sequitur jus potestatis, Dig. 36, 1, 14. Thus, a son could act as praetor or as judex in a suit to which his father was a party. He could even preside as magistrate over his own adoption or emancipation: Si consul vel praeses filiusfamilias sit, posse eum apud semetipsum vel emancipari vel in adoptionem dari constat, Dig. 1, 7, 3 (which makes it doubtful how far political functions were suspended even by the state of mancipium or bondage). He could also be appointed guardian (tutor), for guardianship (tutela) was held to be a public function, Dig. 1, 6, 9. ‘A filiusfamilias in his public relations is deemed independent, for instance, as magistrate or as guardian.’
The above-stated incapacities of filiusfamilias were subject, however, to certain exceptions and modifications, which may now be briefly considered.
a. In certain cases filiusfamilias had an anomalous right of suing in his own name (suo nomine), i. e. not merely as procurator or attorney of his father, and even in opposition to his father’s wishes, Dig. 44, 7, 9. ‘A filiusfamilias can only, according to Julian, sue in his own name for outrage, by interdict for violent or clandestine disturbance, for a deposit, and for a thing he has lent for use.’ These suits, which, in spite of the statement in the text, were not the only, though perhaps the oldest, actions maintainable by a person under power, deserve a brief explanation. Without the right to Honour, one of the primordial rights of humanity, a man is scarcely a freeman, and, accordingly, this right vests definitively in filiusfamilias, and does not again pass out of him to vest in his father. Any dishonouring outrage, therefore, gave filiusfamilias a right of bringing a civil action, called actio injuriarum, in his own name, though the paterfamilias as a rule maintained the action both on his own account and that of his son; if, however, he was unable to do so, or his character was dubious, the son could proceed by himself (cf. 3 § 221, and Dig. 47, 10, 17, 10, &c.), although any pecuniary damages that he thereby recovered, being in the nature of property, were recovered for his father. The son under power was recognized, then, as invested with a vindictive right, though not with a proprietary right. The actio injuriarum was one in bonum et aequum concepta (compare Dig. 47, 10, 11, 1, and Dig. 44, 7, 34 pr.), that is, the terms of the formula (conceptio) directed the judex to assess the damages not on any strict principle of law, but by his own sense of natural equity (aequum et bonum), and this form may have helped to make the action maintainable by one who was generally incompetent to sue. The interdict quod vi aut clam was maintainable by filiusfamilias on the same principle as the actio injuriarum, being a means of vindicating a dishonouring outrage inflicted on filiusfamilias by some violent disturbance of real immovable property in defiance of his prohibitio or summons to stay operations and let the matter ahide the result of a judicial trial. Cf. 4 §§ 138-170, comm. On the same principle a filiusfamilias disinherited or passed over in the will of his mother or maternal grandfather, as such disinheritance or pretermission was an implied imputation of turpitude or unworthiness and therefore dishonouring, might without the consent of his father (Dig. 5, 2, 22 pr.) vindicate his honour by impeaching the will of inofficiositas (immorality, or want of natural affection), although such querela inofficiosi testamenti, being an action having a right to property for its object, would not otherwise have been maintainable by a filiusfamilias. If the plaintiff filiusfamilias could show that the disinheritance or omission was not due to his own demerits, he invalidated the will by a fictitious presumption of the testator’s lunacy and made the testator intestate; and thus filiusfamilias vindicated his own character, though whatever share he recovered in the intestate succession vested in his father. Cf. 2 §§ 152-173, comm.; Inst. 2, 18.
The right of filiusfamilias to sue by actio commodati or depositi was founded on a different principle. Suppose that filiusfamilias had borrowed or hired a thing that he afterwards lent or deposited; his father, not being responsible for his son’s debts, would not be interested in the recovery of the thing, and therefore was not entitled to sue the depositary or borrower: the son, however, would be answerable to the original lender or letter, and accordingly was allowed to sue in his own name. To avoid, however, contravening the civil law by affirming a proprietary right vested in a filiusfamilias, he did not sue by a formula in jus concepta, i. e. of the form, si paret oportere, ‘if the plaintiff establish a right,’ but by a formula in factum, of the form, si paret factum esse, ‘if the plaintiff establish a fact.’ It is remarkable that Gaius instances precisely the actio commodati and the actio depositi as having two forms, one in jus and another in factum (4 § 47); and we may eonjecture that the latter was invented to be used under these very circumstances by filiusfamilias.
b. The latter periods of Roman law present a gradual emancipation of filiusfamilias by successive inventions of new kinds of peculium. As early as the time of Augustus filiusfamilias was allowed to dispose freely by will of his earnings in military service, castrense peculium, which came to be treated in all respects as his individual property, except that till the time of Justinian the rules of intestate succession did not apply to it. Filiifamilias in castrensi peculio vice patrumfamiliarum funguntur, Dig. 4, 6, 2. Subsequently to the time of Gaius, under Constantine and his successors, the earnings of filiifamilias in the civil service of the State, in holy orders, in the liberal professions, were assimilated to their earnings in the army, and came to be called peculium quasi castrense. Further, in the time of Constantine, it was also established that whatever came to the son from his mother or, as the law was under Justinian, from the maternal line, or from any source but the paternal estate (ex re patris), should be acquired for the father, and held by him only as a usufruct or life estate, while, subject to this, the son had the ownership of it (peculium adventicium). Peculium adventicium thus included everything acquired by the son which was not castrense peculium, nor quasi-castrense peculium, nor acquired by means of the father’s property (ex re patris). Only this latter peculium derived from the paternal estate continued, under the name of peculium profecticium, subject to the old rules, and belonged in absolute property to the father. Cf. 2 § 87, comm.; Inst. 2, 9, 1; 3, 19, 6; 4, 8, 7; 3, 10, 2, 28 pr.
The Gallic race, of which the Galatians were a branch, are mentioned by Caesar as having the institution of patria potestas: Viri in uxores, sicuti in liberos, vitae necisque habent potestatem, De Bello Gall. 6, 19. St. Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians may perhaps allude to the peculiarity of their law: ‘The heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant (slave), though he be lord of all’; 4, 1, though the Apostle seems to be directly referring to the cognate institution of guardianship.
§ 56. |—,|NA si ciues Romanas uxores duxerint, uel etiam Latinas peregrinasue cum quibus conubium habeant; cum enim conubium id efficiat, ut liberi patris condicionem sequantur, euenit ut non 〈solum〉 ciues Romani fiant, sed etiam in potestate patris sint.
Inst. 1, 10 pr.
§ 57. Unde et ueteranis quibusdam concedi solet principalibus constitutionibus conubium cum his Latinis peregrinisue quas primas post missionem uxores duxerint; et qui ex eo matrimonio nascuntur, et ciues Romani et in potestate parentum fiunt.
§ 58. | Non tamen omnes nobis uxores ducere licet; | nam a quarundam nuptiis abstinere debemus;
Inst. l. c.
§ 59. inter eas enim personas quae parentum liberorumue locum inter se optinent nuptiae contrahi non possunt, nec inter eas conubium est, ueluti inter patrem et filiam, uel inter matrem et filium, uel inter auum et neptem; et si tales personae inter se coierint, nefarias et incestas nuptias contraxisse dicuntur. et haec adeo ita sunt, ut quamuis per adoptionem parentum liberorumue loco sibi esse coeperint, non possint inter se matrimonio coniungi, in tantum, ut etiam dissoluta adoptione idem iuris maneat; itaque eam quae mihi per adoptionem filiae aut neptis loco esse coeperit non potero uxorem ducere, quamuis eam emancipauerim.
Inst. l. c.
§ 60. Inter eas quoque personas quae ex transuerso gradu cognatione iunguntur est quaedam similis obseruatio, sed non tanta.
§ 61. Sane inter fratrem et sororem prohibitae sunt nuptiae, siue eodem patre eademque matre nati fuerint, siue alterutro eorum: sed si qua per adoptionem soror mihi esse coeperit, quamdiu quidem constat adoptio, sane inter me et eam nuptiae non possunt consistere; cum uero per emancipationem adoptio dissoluta sit, potero eam uxorem ducere; sed et si ego emancipatus fuero, nihil inpedimento erit nuptiis.
§ 62. Fratris filiam uxorem ducere licet. idque primum in usum uenit, cum diuus Claudius Agrippinam fratris sui filiam uxorem duxisset; sororis uero filiam uxorem ducere non licet. et haec ita principalibus constitutionibus significantur. Item amitam et materteram uxorem ducere non licet.
Inst. 1, 10, 3-5.
§ 63. Item eam quae mihi quondam socrus aut nurus aut priuigna aut nouerca fuit. ideo autem diximus ‘quondam,’ quia si adhuc constant eae nuptiae, per quas talis adfinitas quaesita est, alia ratione mihi nupta esse non potest, quia neque eadem duobus nupta esse potest, neque idem duas uxores habere.
Inst. 1, 10, 6.
§ 64. Ergo si quis nefarias atque incestas nuptias contraxerit, neque uxorem habere uidetur neque liberos; itaque hi qui ex eo coitu nascuntur matrem quidem habere uidentur, patrem uero non utique: nec ob id in potestate eius 〈sunt, sed tales〉 sunt quales sunt hi quos mater uulgo concepit; nam et hi patrem habere non intelleguntur, cum is etiam incertus sit; unde solent spurii filii appellari, uel a Graeca uoce quasi σποράδην concepti, uel quasi sine patre filii.
Inst. 1, 10, 12.
§ 56. A Roman citizen contracts civil wedlock and begets children subject to his power when he takes to wife a citizen of Rome or a Latin or alien with whom a Roman has capacity of civil wedlock; for as civil wedlock has the effect of giving to the children the paternal condition, they become by birth not only citizens of Rome, but also subject to the power of the father.
§ 57. And for this purpose veterans often obtain by imperial constitution a power of civil wedlock with the first Latin or alien woman they take to wife after their discharge from service, and the children of such marriages are born citizens of Rome and subject to paternal power.
§ 58. But it is not any woman that can be taken to wife, for some marriages are prohibited.
§ 59. Persons related as ascendent and descendent are incapable of lawful marriage or civil wedlock, father and daughter, for instance, mother and son, grandfather and granddaughter; and if such relations unite, their unions are called incestuous and nefarious; and so absolute is the rule that merely adoptive ascendents and descendents are for ever prohibited from intermarriage, and dissolution of the adoption does not dissolve the prohibition: so that an adoptive daughter or granddaughter cannot be taken to wife even after emancipation.
§ 60. Collateral relatives also are subject to similar prohibitions, but not so stringent.
§ 61. Brother and sister, indeed, are prohibited from intermarriage whether they are born of the same father and mother or have only one parentin common: but though an adoptive sister cannot, during the subsistence of the adoption, become a man’s wife, yet if the adoption is dissolved by her emancipation, or if the man is emancipated, there is no impediment to their intermarriage.
§ 62. A man may marry his brother’s daughter, a practice first introduced when Claudiusmarried his brother’s daughter Agrippina, but may not marry his sister’s daughter, a distinction laid down in imperial constitutions, nor may he marry his father’s sister or his mother’s sister.
§ 63. He may not marry one who has been his wife’s mother or his son’s wife or his wife’s daughter or his father’s wife. I say, one who has been so allied, because during the continuance of the marriage that produced the alliance there would be another impediment to the union, for a man cannot have two wives nor a woman two husbands.
§ 64. A man who contracts a nefarious and incestuous marriage is not deemed to have either a wife or children; for the offspring of such a union are deemed to have a mother but no father, and therefore are not subject to paternal power; resembling children born in promiscuous intercourse, who are deemed to have no father, because their true father is uncertain, and who are called bastards either from the Greek word denoting illicit intercourse or because they are fatherless.
In any treatise on the law of marriage that we open we shall meet the expression, the marriage contract; and this suggests the inquiry, is marriage a contract, and, if so, to which class of Roman contracts, Verbal, Literal, Real, Consensual, 3 § 89, is Roman marriage to be referred? Most writers assume that it was a Consensual contract, on the strength of texts like the following: Nuptias non concubitus sed consensus facit, Dig. 35, 1, 15. ‘Marriage does not depend on cohabitation, but on consent.’ Ortolan, however, remarks that consensual contracts could be formed by absent contractors, Inst. 3, 22, 2, whereas a marriage could not be contracted in the absence of the wife, Paul, 2, 19, 8; and shows that, besides the consent of the parties, delivery of possession of the wife to the husband was required, from which he infers that Roman marriage was not a Consensual but a Real contract. It is true that marriage might be contracted in the absence of the husband; but this was only under certain conditions, Dig. 23, 22, 5. ‘A man in his absence may marry by letter or message, provided the woman is led to his house: a woman in her absence cannot marry by letter or message, for the leading must be to the husband’s house, as the domicile of the married pair.’ And precisely the same conditions were sufficient in other cases to constitute delivery of possession, Dig. 41, 2, 18, 2. ‘If a vendor deposit any article in my house by my order, I have possession of it though I have never touched it.’ Consensus, then, in the above-quoted passage, is not opposed to delivery of possession, but to cohabitation, or to the use of certain words or certain documents, or to the solemn and graceful ceremonial with which custom surrounded the matrimonial union.
Real contracts, however, are executory on one side and executed on the other, whereas in the conjugal relation both parties are on the same footing in respect of execution; and we may ask whether marriage is a contract at all; whether it does not rather fall under the opposite category of alienation or conveyance. Instead of finding its analogon in locatio-conductio or societas (consensual contracts) or pignus or commodatum (real contracts), may we not rather, with Savigny, find it in transfer of dominion or other creations of real right, such as adoption, the concession of patria potestas, or emancipation? This seems the truer view, and if we use the expression, marriage contract, we must use the term contract not in a specific sense, as opposed to conveyance, but in the generic sense of bilateral disposition (as opposed to unilateral disposition, e.g. testation), a sense embracing both contract proper and conveyance, and extending beyond the sphere of Property into the relations of domestic life. Contract proper and conveyance, though generally contrasted in jurisprudence, have much in common. If contract in its narrower sense is defined to be the concurrence of two manifestations of will creating a jus in personam, and conveyance the concurrence of two manifestations of will creating a jus in rem, the concurrence of two manifestations of will creating a jus is an element common to both terms of the comparison, and this common element may be denominated in a generic sense a contract. Contract in the narrower sense may then be distinguished as an obligative contract and conveyance as a translative contract, and the latter head will include the contract of marriage, if we continue to employ this expression.
As in respect of property or dominion we find in Roman law the distinction of Quiritary and Bonitary, that is, of civil and gentile, ownership, so in respect of the conjugal relation we find the distinction of Roman or civil marriage (connubium, justae nuptiae, justum matrimonium) and gentile marriage (nuptiae, matrimonium), of which the former alone was valid at civil law (connubium est uxoris jure ducendae facultas, Ulpian, 5, 3; ‘connubium is the capacity of marriage valid by civil law’) and capable of producing patria potestas and agnatio, though the latter produced legitimate children (justi as opposed to naturales liberi) and cognatio or natural relationship.
Capacity of civil marriage (connubium) is (a) absolute and (b) relative. (a) Only citizens have the absolute capacity of civil marriage, and such Latins and aliens as are specially privileged, § 56: slaves are incapable both of civil and gentile marriage. (b) Capacity of civil marriage is, however, always relative to another person who forms the other party to the union. A citizen only has connubium with a citizen or with such Latins and aliens as are specially privileged; and, before the lex Papia Poppaea was passed, a freeborn citizen (ingenuus) had no connubium with a citizen by manumission (libertinus). Lege Papia cavetur omnibus ingenuis, praeter senatores eorumque liberos libertinam uxorem habere licere, Dig. 23, 2, 23. ‘The lex Papia permits all freeborn citizens, except senators and their children, to marry freedwomen.’
§§ 58-63. The prohibition of marriage between collateral relations, originally perhaps extended as far as there were legal names for the relationship, i. e. as far as the sixth degree, for Tacitus mentions that second cousins were once incapable of intermarriage, sobrinarum diu ignorata matrimonia, Ann. 12, 6; and Livy (20, see Hermes, 4, 372), in a fragment discovered by Krueger, expressly says that marriage was once restricted within this limit. ‘P. Coelius patricius primus adversus veterem morem intra septimum cognationis gradum duxit uxorem. Ob hoc M. Rutilius plebeius sponsam sibi praeripi novo exemplo nuptiarum dicens sedicionem populi concitavit adeo, ut patres territi in Capitolium perfugerent’ (cf. Karlowa, Röm. Rechtsg., p. 175); but though marriages within this limit may still have been regarded as contrary to religion (fas), the law (jus) was gradually relaxed. The prohibition was subsequently reduced to the fourth degree, i. e. to the intermarriage of first cousins (consobrini), Ulpian, 5, 6, with this restriction, however, that if one of the collaterals was only removed by one degree from the common ancestor (stipes communis), he was regarded as a quasi ascendent (loco parentis) and incapable of intermarriage at any degree: thus, a man could not marry his brother’s or sister’s granddaughter, though only related in the fourth degree, Cod. 5, 4, 17. Degrees in the direct line were reckoned by counting the generations or births to which a person owed his descent from an ancestor: thus, a man is one degree from his father, two from his grandfather: in the transverse or collateral line, by adding the degrees which separate each collateral from the common stock; thus, a man is two degrees from his sister, three from his niece.
Constantinus, a. d. 355, restored the ancient law and prohibited marriage with a brother’s daughter as incestuous, Cod. Theod. 3, 12, 1.
Affinity (affinitas) is the relationship of a person to the kin (cognates) of a spouse. The husband is allied to the kin of the wife, the wife to the kin of the husband; but there is no alliance between the kin of the husband and the kin of the wife. The following are some of the names given to these relationships. In the ascending line the father and mother of the wife or husband are socer and socrus (father-in-law, mother-in-law), and in relation to them the husband of the daughter and wife of the son are gener and nurus (son-in-law, daughter-in-law). In the descending line the children of the spouse are privignus and privigna (step-son, step-daughter), and in relation to them the husband of the mother and the wife of the father are vitricus and noverca (step-father and step-mother). In the collateral line the husband’s brother is levir (brother-in-law), the husband’s sister is glos (sister-in-law). Intermarriage with affines in the direct line, or their ascendents or descendents, was absolutely prohibited; collateral alliance appears to have been no impediment in the time of Gaius, but at a later period marriage with a deceased brother’s wife or a deceased wife’s sister was forbidden, Cod. Theod. 2, 3, 12; Cod. 5, 5, 5.
To the marriage of a filius- or filia-familias the consent of the father was required: but if he withheld it without a reason he could be compelled by the magistrate to give it, and, in the case of a daughter, to provide a dower, Dig. 23, 2, 19: one of several instances in which, as the condition of the validity of a title, when a voluntary action could not be obtained, the legislator substituted a compulsory action, instead of simply declaring the action unnecessary. See § 190, comm.
DE ERRORIS CAVSAE PROBATIONE.
§ 65. | Aliquando autem euenit ut liberi qui statim ut na|ti sunt parentum in potestate non fiant, ii postea tamen redigantur in potestatem.
Inst. 1, 10, 13.
§ 66.Veluti si Latinus ex lege Aelia Sentia uxore ducta filium procreauerit aut Latinum ex Latina aut ciuem Romanum ex ciue Romana, non habebit eum in potestate; sed si postea causa probata ius 〈Quiritium〉 consecutus fuerit, simul eum in potestate sua habere incipit.
§ 67. Item si ciuis Romanus Latinam aut peregrinam uxorem duxerit per ignorantiam, cum eam ciuem Romanam esse crederet, et filium procreauerit, hic non est in potestate eius, quia ne quidem ciuis Romanus est, sed aut Latinus aut peregrinus, id est eius condicionis cuius et mater fuerit, quia non aliter quisque ad patris condicionem accedit, quam si inter patrem et matrem eius conubium sit; sed ex senatusconsulto permittitur causam erroris probare, et ita uxor quoque et filius ad ciuitatem Romanam perueniunt, et ex eo tempore incipit filius in potestate patris esse. idem iuris est, si eam per ignorantiam uxorem duxerit quae dediticiorum numero est, nisi quod uxor non fit ciuis Romana.
§ 68. Item si ciuis Romana per errorem nupta sit peregrino tamquam ciui Romano, permittitur ei causam erroris probare, et ita filius quoque eius et maritus ad ciuitatem Romanam perueniunt, et aeque simul incipit filius in potestate patris esse. idem iuris est, si peregrino tamquam Latino ex lege Aelia Sentia nupta sit; nam et de hoc specialiter senatusconsulto cauetur. idem iuris est aliquatenus, si ei qui dediticiorum numero est tamquam ciui Romano aut Latino e lege Aelia Sentia nupta sit; nisi quod scilicet qui dediticiorum numero est, in sua condicione permanet, et ideo filius, quamuis fiat ciuis Romanus, in protestatem patris non redigitur.
§ 69. Item si Latina peregrino, cum eum Latinum esse crederet, 〈e lege Aelia Sentia〉 nupserit, potest ex senatusconsulto filio nato causam erroris probare, et ita omnes fiunt ciues Romani et filius in potestate patris esse incipit.
§ 70. Idem constitutum est, si Latinas per errorem peregrinam quasi Latinam aut ciuem Romanam e lege Aelia Sentia uxorem duxerit.
§ 71. Praeterea si ciuis Romanus, qui se credidisset Latinum esse, ob id Latinam 〈uxorem duxerit〉, permittitur ei filio nato erroris causam probare, tamquam 〈si〉 e lege Aelia Sentia uxorem duxisset. Item his qui cum ciues Romani essent, peregrinos se esse credidissent et peregrinas uxores duxissent, permittitur ex senatusconsulto filio nato causam erroris probare; quo facto fiet | uxor ciuis Romana et filius—non solum ad ciuita|tem Romanam peruenit, sed etiam in potestatem patris redigitur.
§ 72. Quaecumque de filio esse diximus, eadem et de filia dicta intellegemus.
§ 73. Et quantum ad erroris causam probandam attinet, nihil interest cuius aetatis filius sit | —|—|—,NA si minor anniculo sit filius filiaue, causa probari | non potest. nec me praeterit in aliquo rescripto diui Hadriani ita esse constitutum, tamquam quod ad erroris quoque | causam probandam—|—|—NAimperator—dedit.
§ 74. 〈Sed〉 si peregrinus ciuem Romanam uxorem duxerit, an ex senatusconsulto causam pro|bare possit, quaesitum est.—probare | causam non potest, quamuis ipse— — |NA hoc ei specialiter concessum est. sed cum peregrinus ciuem Romanam uxorem duxisset et filio nato alias ciuitatem Romanam consecutus esset, deinde cum quaereretur, an causam probare posset, rescripsit imperator Antoninus proinde posse eum causam probare, atque si peregrinus mansisset. ex quo colligimus etiam peregrinum causam probare posse.
§ 75. Ex his quae diximus apparet, siue ciuis Romanus peregrinam siue peregrinus ciuem Romanam uxorem duxerit, eum qui nascitur peregrinum esse. sed siquidem per errorem tale matrimonium contractum fuerit, emendari uitium eius ex senatusconsulto licet 〈secundum〉 ea quae superius diximus. si uero nullus error interuenerit, 〈sed〉 scientes suam condicionem ita coierint, nullo casu emendatur uitium eius matrimonii.
DE ERRORIS CAVSAE PROBATIONE.
§ 65. It sometimes happens that children when first born are not in their father’s power, but are subsequently brought under it.
§ 66. Thus, under the lex Aelia Sentia a Latin who marries and begets a son of Latin status by a Latin mother, or a citizen of Rome by a Roman mother, has not power over him; but on proof of his case as required by the statute, he becomes a Roman citizen along with his son, who is henceforth subject to his power.
§ 67. Again, if a Roman citizen marry a Latin or an alien woman, in a mistaken belief that she is a Roman citizen, the son whom he begets is not in his power, not indeed being born a Roman citizen, but a Latin or an alien, that is to say. of the same status as his mother, for a child is not born into the condition of his father unless his parents had capacity of civil marriage: but a senatus-consult allows the father to prove a cause of justifiable error, and then the wife and son become Roman citizens, and the son is thenceforth in the power of the father. The same relief is given when a Roman citizen under a like misconception marries a freedwoman having the status of a surrendered foe, except that the wife does not become a Roman citizen.
§ 68. Again, a female Roman citizen who marries an alien, believing him to be a Roman citizen, is permitted to prove a cause of justifiable error, and thereupon her son and husband become Roman citizens, and simultaneously the son becomes subject to the power of his father. Similar relief is given if she marry an alien as a Latin intending to comply with the conditions of the lex Aelia Sentia, for this case is specially provided for in the senatus consult. Similar relief is given to a certain extent if she marry a freedman having the status of a surrendered foe instead of a Roman citizen, or instead of a Latin, whom she intended to marry according to the provision of the lex Aelia Sentia, except that the freedman husband continues of the same status, and therefore the son. though he becomes a Roman citizen, does not fall under paternal power.
§ 69. Also a Latin freedwoman married according to the provision of the lex Aelia Sentia to an alien whom she believed to be a Latin, is permitted by the senatusconsult, on the birth of a son, to prove a cause of justifiable error, and thereupon they all become Roman citizens, and the son becomes subject to paternal power.
§ 70. Exactly the same relief is given if a Latin freedman mistakenly marry an alien woman believing her to be a Latin freedwoman, or a Roman citizen, when he intended to comply with the lex Aelia Sentia.
§ 71. Further, a Roman citizen who marries a Latin freedwoman, believing himself to be a Latin, is permitted on the birth of a son to prove the cause of his mistake as if he had married according to the provisions of the lex Aelia Sentia. So, too, a Roman citizen, who marries an alien, believing himself to be an alien, is permitted by the senatusconsult on the birth of a son to prove the cause of the mistake, and then the alien wife becomes a Roman citizen, and the son becomes a Roman citizen and subject to the power of the father.
§ 72. Whatever has been said of a son applies to a daughter.
§ 73. And as to the proof of the cause of error, the age of the son or daughter is immaterial, except that, if the marriage was contracted with an intention to satisfy the requirements of the lex Aelia Sentia, the child must be a year old before the cause can be proved. I am aware that a rescript of the late Emperor Hadrian speaks as if it was a condition of proof of the cause of error that the son must be a year old, but this is to be explained by the particular circumstances of the case in which this rescript was granted.
§ 74. It is a question whether an alien, who has married a Roman wife, can prove cause of error under the S. C. But when an alien, believed to be a Roman citizen, married a Roman wife, and subsequently to the birth of a son acquired Roman citizenship, on the question arising whether he could prove the cause of error, a rescript of Antoninus Pius decided that he was just as competent to prove as if he had continued an alien: from which may be gathered that an alien is competent to prove the cause of error.
§ 75. Hence it appears that a person born in marriage is an alien if his father was a Roman citizen and his mother an alien, or if his father was an alien and his mother a Roman citizen, though if the marriage was contracted under a mistake, a remedy is supplied by the S. C. as above explained. No relief is given in any case, where the parties did not contract marriage under an error, but were aware of their condition.
Mistake or error sometimes conferred a right which a party could not have acquired if he had not acted under a mistake. Thus, the lender of money to a filiusfamilias without the father’s consent had no legal claim to recover, unless he lent believing the borrower to be independent (sui juris), and possession could not mature by usucapion into ownership, unless it had a bona fide inception, i. e. unless it commenced in an honest misunderstanding. The relief of error had similarly important results in questions of status. Erroris causam probare seems to mean ‘to make good a title by error,’ i. e. to establish, as title (causa) to relief, a probabilis error or justa ignorantia; i. e. a mistake not due to negligence; for negligence would exclude from relief.
The subjection of a child to patria potestas by erroris causae probatio operated to invalidate a previously executed will, like the subsequent birth (agnatio) of a child in civil wedlock (suus postumus), 2 § 142.
DE STATV LIBERORVM.
§ 76. Loquimur autem de his scilicet, 〈inter〉 quos conubium non sit; nam alioquin si ciuis Romanus peregrinam cum qua ei conubium est uxorem duxerit, sicut supra quoque diximus, iustum matrimonium contrahitur; et tunc ex his qui nascitur ciuis Romanus est et in potestate patris erit.
§ 77. Item si ciuis Romana peregrino, cum quo ei conubium est, nupserit, peregrinum sane procreat et is iustus patris filius est, tamquam si ex peregrina eum procreasset. hoc tamen tempore 〈ex〉 senatusconsulto, quod auctore diuo Hadriano factum est, etiamsi non fuerit conubium inter ciuem Romanam et peregrinum, qui nascitur iustus patris filius est.
§ 78. Quod autem diximus inter ciuem Romanam peregrinumque—qui | nascitur peregrinum esse, lege Minicia cauetur,〈—〉 |NAest, ut s—parentis condicionem sequatur.|eadem lege enim ex diuerso cauetur, ut si peregrinam, cum qua ei conubium non sit, uxorem duxerit ciuis Romanus, peregrinus ex eo coitu nascatur. sed hoc maxime casu necessaria lex Minicia; nam remota ea lege diuersam condicionem sequi debebat, quia ex eis, inter quos non est conubium, qui nascitur iure gentium matris condicioni accedit. qua parte autem iubet lex ex ciue Romano et peregrina peregrinum nasci, superuacua uidetur; nam et remota ea lege hoc utique iure gentium | futurum erat.
§ 79. Adeo autem hoc ita est, ut —|—|—NAnon | solum exterae nationes et gentes, sed etiam qui Latini nominantur; sed ad alios Latinos pertinet qui proprios populos propriasque ciuitates habebant et erant peregrinorum numero.
§ 80. Eadem ratione ex contrario ex Latino et ciue Romana, siue ex lege Aelia Sentia siue aliter contractum fuerit matrimonium, ciuis Romanus nascitur. fuerunt tamen qui putauerunt ex lege Aelia Sentia contracto matrimonio Latinum nasci, quia uidetur eo casu per legem Aeliam Sentiam et Iuniam conubium inter eos dari, et semper conubium efficit, ut qui nascitur patris condicioni accedat; aliter uero contracto matrimonio eum qui nascitur iure gentium matris condicionem sequi et ob id esse ciuem Romanum. sed hoc iure utimur ex senatusconsulto, quo auctore diuo Hadriano significatur, ut quoquo modo ex Latino et ciue Romana natus ciuis Romanus nascatur.
§ 81. His conuenienter etiam illud senatusconsultum diuo Hadriano auctore significauit, ut 〈qui〉 ex Latino et peregrina, item contra 〈qui〉 ex peregrino et Latina nascitur, is matris condicionem sequatur.
§ 82. Illud quoque his consequens est, quod ex ancilla et libero iure gentium seruus nascitur, et contra ex libera et seruo liber nascitur.
§ 83. Animaduertere tamen debemus, ne iuris gentium regulam uel lex aliqua uel quod legis uicem optinet, aliquo casu commutauerit.
§ 84. Ecce enim ex senatusconsulto Claudiano poterat ciuis Romana quae alieno seruo uolente domino eius coiit, ipsa ex pactione libera permanere, sed seruum procreare; nam quod inter eam et dominum istius serui conuenerit, eo senatusconsulto ratum esse iubetur. sed postea diuus Hadrianus iniquitate rei et inelegantia iuris motus restituit iuris gentium regulam. ut cum ipsa mulier libera permaneat, liberum pariat.
§ 85. 〈Item e lege —〉 ex ancilla et libero poterant liberi nasci; nam ea lege cauetur, ut si quis cum aliena ancilla quam credebat liberam esse coierit, siquidem masculi nascantur, liberi sint, si uero feminae, ad eum pertineant cuius mater ancilla fuerit. sed et in hac specie diuus Vespasianus inelegantia iuris motus restituit iuris gentium regulam, ut omni modo, etiamsi masculi nascantur, serui sint eius cuius et mater fuerit.
§ 86. Sed illa pars eiusdem legis salua est, ut ex libera et seruo alieno, quem sciebat seruum esse, serui nascantur. itaque apud quos talis lex non est, qui nascitur iure gentium matris condicionem sequitur et ob id liber est.
§ 87. Quibus autem casibus matris et non patris condicionem sequitur qui nascitur, isdem casibus in potestate eum patris, etiamsi is ciuis Romanus sit, non esse plus quam manifestum est. et ideo superius rettulimus quibusdam casibus per errorem non iusto contracto matrimonio senatum interuenire et emendare uitium matrimonii, eoque modo plerumque efficere, ut in potestatem patris filius redigatur.
DE STATV LIBERORVM.
§ 76. It is to be remembered that we are speaking of a marriage between persons who have not the capacity of entering into a civil marriage with one another. When, however, a Roman citizen takes to wife an alien privileged as I described (§ 56), he contracts a civil marriage, and his son is born a Roman citizen and subject to his power.
§ 77. So if a female Roman citizen marry an alien with whom she has capacity of civil marriage, her son is an alien and a lawful son of his father, just as if his mother had been an alien. At the present day, by a senatusconsult passed on the proposition of the late Emperor Hadrian, even without civil marriage the offspring of a Roman woman and alien is a lawful son of his father.
§ 78. The rule we have stated that when a female Roman citizen marries an alien, the offspring is an alien, if there is no capacity of civil marriage between them, is enacted by the lex Minicia, which also provides that when a Roman citizen marries an alien woman, and there is no capacity of civil marriage between them, their offspring shall be an alien. This special enactment was required in the first case, as otherwise the child would follow the condition of the mother; for when there is no capacity of civil marriage between parents, their offspring belongs to the condition of his mother by jus gentium. But the part of this law which ordains that the offspring of a Roman citizen and an alien woman is an alien seems to be superfluous, since without any enactment this would be so under the rule of jus gentium.
§ 79. So much so that it is under this rule of jus gentium that the offspring of a Latin freedwoman by a Roman citizen with whom she has no capacity of civil marriage is a Latin, since the statute did not refer to those who are now designated Latins; for the Latins mentioned in the statute are Latins in another sense, Latins by race and members of a foreign state, that is to say, aliens.
§ 80. By the same principle, conversely, the son of a Latin and a Roman woman is by birth a Roman citizen, whether their marriage was contracted under the lex Aelia Sentia or otherwise. Some, however, thought that if the marriage was contracted in accordance with the lex Aelia Sentia, the offspring is a Latin by birth, because on this hypothesis the lex Aelia Sentia and Junia confer a capacity of civil marriage, and a civil marriage always transmits to the offspring the status of the father: if the marriage was otherwise contracted, they held the offspring acquires by jus gentium the status of his mother. However, the law on this point is now determined by the senatusconsult passed on the proposition of the late Emperor Hadrian, which enacts that the son of a Latin and a Roman woman is under every hypothesis a Roman citizen.
§ 81. Consistently herewith Hadrian’s senatusconsult provides that the offspring of the marriage of a Latin freedman with an alien woman or of an alien with a Latin freedwoman follows the mother’s condition.
§ 82. Consistently herewith the offspring of a female slave and a freeman is by jus gentium a slave, the offspring of a freewoman and a slave is free.
§ 83. We must observe, however, whether the jus gentium in any given instance is overruled by a statute or ordinance having the authority of a statute.
§ 84. For instance, the Sc. Claudianum permitted to a female citizen of Rome having intercourse with a slave with his owner’s consent, to continue herself in virtue of the agreement free, while she gave birth to a slave, her agreement to that effect with the owner being made valid by the senatusconsult. Subsequently, however, the late Emperor Hadrian was induced by the injustice and anomaly of the ordinance to re-establish the rule of jus gentium, that as the mother continues free the offspring follows her status.
§ 85. By a law (the name of which is unknown) the offspring of a female slave by a freeman might be free, for that law provided that the offspring of a freeman by another person’s female slave whom he believed to be free shall be free if they are male, but shall belong to their mother’s proprietor if they are female: but here too the late Emperor Vespasian was moved by the anomalous character of the rule to re-establish the canon of jus gentium, and declared that the offspring in every case, whether male or female, should be slaves and the property of their mother’s owner.
§ 86. But another clause of that law continues in force, providing that the offspring of a freewoman by another person’s slave whom she knows to be a slave are born slaves, though where this law is not established the offspring by jus gentium follow the mother’s condition and are free.
§ 87. When the child follows the mother’s condition instead of the father’s, it is obvious that he is not subject to the power of the father, even though the father is a Roman citizen: but in some cases, as I mentioned above (§ 67), when a mistake was the occasion of a non-civil marriage being contracted, the senate interferes and purges the defect of the marriage. and this generally has the effect of subjecting the son to the power of the father.
§§ 76, &c. The rules relating to the status of the offspring of parents of unequal status are at first sight chaotic and bewildering, but they are reducible to a few canons. The most general canon is the rule of jus gentium, that children follow the condition of the mother. This is subject to two exceptions.
1. Children born in civil wedlock follow the condition of the father. Cf. §§ 88, 89, 94.
2. Children born in gentile (lawful) wedlock of a Roman mother and alien father follow the condition of the father: this was a special enactment of the lex Minicia.
These rules are stated in the following passages: Lex naturae haec est ut qui nascitur sine legitimo matrimonio matrem sequatur nisi lex specialis aliud inducat, Dig. 1, 5, 24. ‘By the law of nature children not born in civil wedlock follow the status of the mother, in the absence of a special statute to the contrary.’ Connubio interveniente liberi semper patrem sequuntur: non interveniente connubio, matris conditioni accedunt, excepto eo qui ex peregrino et cive Romana peregrinus nascitur, quoniam lex Minicia (in MS. Mensia) ex alterutro peregrino natum deterioris parentis conditionem sequi jubet, Ulpian, 5, 8. ‘In civil wedlock the children have the status of the father, in the absence of civil wedlock of the mother; except that the children of an alien father and Roman mother are aliens, as the lex Minicia makes the children aliens when either parent is an alien.’
The Sc. Claudianum introduced some special enactments respecting the intercourse of freewomen with slaves, which, however, were subsequently abolished.
a. If a freewoman had intercourse with a slave with the consent of his proprietor she retained her freedom, though degraded to the class of a freedwoman, but her issue was the slave of the proprietor. The slavery of the issue was abolished by Hadrian, § 84.
b. If a freewoman persisted in intercourse with the slave of another person against the will and in spite of the prohibition of the proprietor, after three denunciations on his part she was awarded to him by the magistrate as a slave, and her issue, whether born before or after the adjudication, became slaves of the same person, who also acquired her estate by a species of universal succession. Cf. §§ 91, 160. This terroristic law, which, from the minuteness with which the details are developed (Paulus, 2, 21), appears to have been often applied, was not abrogated till the time of Justinian, Inst. 3, 12, 1.
c. If a freeman had intercourse with a slave whom he supposed to be free by a law the title of which is lost, but which possibly may be the Sc. Claudianum, her male children were born into freedom. This relief of error was abolished by Vespasian as anomalous (inelegans), § 85.
§ 80. There was some ground for the view that a marriage under the lex Aelia Sentia, because it was statutory (regulated by statute), was therefore a civil marriage; and we may regard the senatusconsult of Hadrian, which denied its civil character, as not purely declaratory.
§ 88. Sed si ancilla ex ciue Romano conceperit, deinde manumissa ciuis Romana facta sit et tunc pariat, licet ciuis Romanus sit qui nascitur, sicut pater eius, non tamen in potestate patris est, quia neque ex iusto coitu conceptus est neque ex ullo senatusconsulto talis coitus quasi iustus constituitur.
§ 89. Quod autem placuit, si ancilla ex ciue Romano conceperit, deinde manumissa pepererit, qui nascitur liberum nasci, naturali ratione fit; nam hi qui illegitime concipiuntur, statum sumunt ex eo tempore quo nascuntur; itaque si ex libera nascuntur, liberi fiunt, nec interest ex quo mater eos conceperit, cum ancilla fuerit; at hi qui legitime concipiuntur ex conceptionis tempore statum sumunt.
§ 90. Itaque si cui mulieri ciui Romanae praegnati aqua et igni interdictum fuerit, eoque modo peregrina facta tunc pariat, conplures distinguunt et putant, siquidem ex iustis nuptiis conceperit, ciuem Romanum ex ea nasci, si uero uulgo conceperit, peregrinum ex ea nasci.
§ 91. Item si qua mulier ciuis Romana praegnas ex senatusconsulto Claudiano ancilla facta sit ob id, quod alieno seruo inuito et denuntiante domino eius 〈coierit〉, conplures distinguunt et existimant, siquidem ex iustis nuptiis conceptus sit, ciuem Romanum ex ea nasci, si uero uulgo conceptus sit, seruum nasci eius cuius mater facta esset ancilla.
§ 92. Peregrina quoque si uulgo conceperit, deinde ciuis Romana 〈fiat〉 et tunc pariat, ciuem Romanum parit; si uero ex peregrino secundum leges moresque peregrinorum conceperit, ita uidetur ex senatusconsulto quod auctore diuo Hadriano factum est ciuem Romanum parere, si et patri eius ciuitas Romana donetur.
§ 88. If a female slave conceive by a Roman citizen and become herself by manumission a Roman citizen before giving birth to a son, her son, though a Roman citizen like his father, is not in his father’s power, because he was not begotten in civil wedlock, and there is no senatusconsult which cures the defect of the intercourse in which he was begotten.
§ 89. The decision that when a female slave conceives by a Roman citizen and is manumitted before childbirth, her offspring is born free, is a rule of natural law; for in illegitimate or non-civil conception the status of the offspring depends on the moment of birth, and the mother’s freedom at the moment of birth makes the offspring free, and the status of the father is immaterial; but in statutory or civil conception the status of the child is determined by the time of conception.
§ 90. Accordingly, if a female citizen of Rome being pregnant is interdicted from fire and water, and becoming thus an alien gives birth to a child, many jurists distinguish and hold that her offspring is a Roman citizen if begotten in civil wedlock, but if in promiscuous intercourse, an alien.
§ 91. So if a female citizen of Rome being pregnant is reduced to slavery under the Sc. Claudianum for having intercourse with a slave in spite of the dissent and denunciation of his owner, many jurists make a distinction and hold that her offspring, if conceived in civil wedlock is a citizen of Rome, if conceived in illicit intercourse is a slave of the person who becomes proprietor of the mother.
§ 92. Also if an alien woman conceive in illicit intercourse and afterwards becomes a Roman citizen and gives birth to a child, the child is a Roman citizen; but if she conceived by an alien, to whom she was married in accordance with alien laws and customs, it seems that upon Hadrian’s senatusconsult her offspring is only born a Roman citizen, if the father also has acquired the Roman citizenship.
Supposing the status of a parent changes during the period of gestation (if, for instance, the mother is a slave at the time of conception and free at the time of birth), what effect has this on the status of the issue? The following rule was adopted: in cases where the child follows the status of the father, that is, when it is begotten in civil marriage, the status of the father at the time of conception determines the status of the child; where the child follows the status of the mother, that is, when it is begotten in gentile marriage or in promiscuous intercourse, the status of the child is determined by the status of the mother at the moment of birth. Ulpian, 5, 10. ‘Children born in civil wedlock have their status fixed at the time of conception; children born out of civil wedlock have their status fixed at the time of delivery.’ That is to say, the legal position of the issue is made to follow the analogy of its physical condition. The physical influence of the father terminates with conception: his subsequent health, life, or death, does not affect the physical state of the child; but the child is affected by every change in the physical condition of the mother, her health, life, or death, up to the moment of birth. In imitation of this analogy, the status of the child, when it depended on the status of the father, was not affected by any change in that status subsequent to the period of conception; but when it depended on the status of the mother it varied with every change in that status up to the moment of birth. By the time of Gaius, though the change is not mentioned in the text, this rule was modified in favour of liberty, and it was established that if the mother was free either at the date of conception or at the date of birth or at any intermediate period, the issue was born free. Si libera conceperit et ancilla facta peperit, liberum parit, id enim favor libertatis exposcit. Si ancilla conceperit et medio tempore manumissa sit, rursus facta ancilla peperit, liberum parit, media enim tempora libertati prodesse, non nocere etiam possunt, Paulus, 2, 24, 2. Cf. Inst. 1, 4 pr.
§ 88. The issue of a mother who was a slave at the date of conception but is a citizen at the date of birth, though it is born a Roman citizen, is not subject to patria potestas, because it does not satisfy the definition in § 55, liberi quos justis nuptiis procreavimus, ‘a child begotten in civil wedlock.’
§ 90. Aquae et ignis interdictio was originally a permission to avoid punishment under the penal code by voluntary exile. Subsequently it was employed as a punishment, and under the emperors assumed the form of deportatio in insulam. It was attended with confiscation of goods, and involved loss of civitas but not of libertas, §§ 128, 161.
§ 92. The offspring of a wedded mother who was an alien at the date of conception and is a citizen at the date of birth, according to the general rule of jus gentium, should be born a Roman citizen; but this would contravene the above-mentioned lex Minicia, which enacted that the issue of a marriage is an alien whenever either parent is an alien, § 78.
§ 93. Si peregrinus sibi liberisque suis ciuitatem Romanam petierit, non aliter filii in potestate eius fient, quam si imperator eos in potestatem redegerit; quod ita demum is facit, si causa cognita aestimauerit hoc filiis expedire. diligentius autem exactiusque causam cognoscit de inpuberibus absentibusque; et haec ita edicto diui Hadriani significantur.
§ 94. Item si quis cum uxore praegnate ciuitate Romana donatus sit, quamuis is qui nascitur, ut supra diximus, ciuis Romanus sit, tamen in potestate patris non fit; idque subscriptione diui Hadriani significatur; qua de causa qui intellegit uxorem suam esse praegnatem, dum ciuitatem sibi et uxori ab imperatore petit, simul ab eodem petere debet, ut eum qui natus erit in potestate sua habeat.
§ 95. Alia causa est eorum qui Latii iure cum liberis suis ad ciuitatem Romanam perueniunt; nam horum in potestate fiunt liberi. quod ius quibusdam peregrinis ciuitatibus datum est uel a populo Romano uel a senatu uel a Cae|sare.
§ 96. — aut maius est Lati|um aut minus: maius est Latium, cum et hi qui decuriones leguntur et ei qui honorem aliquem aut magistratum gerunt ciuitatem Romanam consecuntur; minus Latium est, cum hi tantum qui magistratum uel honorem gerunt ad ciuitatem Romanam perueniunt: idque conpluribus epistulis principum significatur.
§ 93. If an alien has obtained by petition for himself and his children a grant of Roman citizenship, the children do not fall under the power of the father except by express ordinance of the emperor, which he only makes if, on hearing the facts of the case, he deems it expedient for the interest of the children, and he makes a still more careful and minute inquiry if they are below the age of puberty and absent, as an ediot of the Emperor Hadrian intimates.
§ 94. Also if an alien and his pregnant wife receive a grant of Roman citizenship, the child, though a Roman citizen, as above mentioned, is not born in the power of his father according to a rescript of the late Emperor Hadrian; wherefore, if he knows his wife to be pregnant, an alien who petitions the emperor for Roman citizenship for himself and his wife ought at the same time to petition that his son may be subjected to his power.
§ 95. The rule is different for those who with their children are made Roman citizens by right of Latinity, for their children fall under their power; this right has been conceded to certain alien states either by the Roman people, or by the senate or by the emperor.
§ 96. The right of Latinity is either greater or lesser. Greater Latinity is the right whereby those who are chosen decuriones or hold some high office or magistracy acquire Roman citizenship: lesser Latinity is when only those who are magistrates or hold high office acquire Roman citizenship, a distinction intimated by several imperial rescripts.
The grant of civitas was either made to communities or to individuals. It was a lucrative source of revenue to the emperors. The fees to be paid were not small, Acts of the Apostles, 22, 28, and the new-made civis was regarded as a manumitted slave of the emperor, and was expected to remember the emperor in his will. The philosophic emperor, Marcus Aurelius, under whom Gaius flourished, granted Roman citizenship to all who were ready to pay the fees, data cunctis promiscue civitas Romana, Aurelius Victor, 16. Antoninus Caracalla, a. d. 212-217, after raising from one-twentieth to one-tenth the tax on manumissions and the testamentary succession and legacy duty, which was only levied on Roman citizens, exhausted for a time this source of revenue by conferring at a stroke Roman citizenship on every free subject of the empire: In orbe Romano qui sunt ex constitutione imperatoris Antonini cives Romani effecti sunt, Dig. 1, 5, 17. This was not a general manumission of slaves nor an abolition of the status of Latin or alien, but a grant of citizenship to all existing Latins and aliens, imposing in effect a capitation tax on the individuals, and leaving those orders to be again replenished by subsequent manumissions of Latini and dediticii. The value of the privileges of civis Romanus was gradually declining. The political portions of civitas had been extinguished by the establishment of the empire, and Rome was destined at last to undergo the fate she had inflicted on so many other cities. She was sacked by Alaric, king of the Goths, a. d. 410. She was entered by Genseric, king of the Vandals, and, after a sack of fourteen days, left a heap of ruins, a. d. 455. The splendour of the title of civis Romanus was sadly dimmed before Justinian made it acquirable by every form of manumission.
§ 94. Subscriptio was an imperial rescript written under the petition to which it was an answer: a rescript written on a separate document was called epistola. The latter was addressed to public functionaries, the former to private individuals, and by its connexion with the petition enabled a tribunal to which it was submitted to investigate the truth of the allegations on which it was founded. Cf. § 5, comm.; and see Roby, Private Law, Intr. p. 6, n. 2.
The grant of patria potestas by the Emperor to the new-made citizen, § 93, may be assimilated to the legislative grant of patria potestas in adrogatio. Its different effects may be compared with the incidents of Naturalization and Denization in English law. Naturalization formerly only effected by act of parliament is retrospective, and puts an alien in exactly the same state as if he had been born in the king’s ligeance, and his son born before the naturalization may inherit: whereas the issue of a Denizen (an alien born who has obtained ex donatione regis letters patent to make him an English subject) cannot inherit to him, but his issue born after may. Blackstone.
§§ 95, 96. Before the recension of the text by Studemund Gaius was supposed to have defined greater Latinity in this section as the right whereby the magistrates of certain towns acquire the Roman franchise along with their wives and children, and lesser Latinity as the right whereby the magistrates themselves acquire the Roman franchise, but not their wives and children. The distinction made by Gaius between these two kinds of Latinity is not found in any other writer (cf. note to Muirhead’s Gaius, h. l.).
The name of a senate in a municipality was ordo decurionum or simply ordo or curia, its members being decuriones or curiales. The office of decurio, which was at one time a coveted distinction, became very burdensome; and in order to make it more acceptable, privileges were from time to time attached to it, as e. g. Latium majus, and in later times legitimatio per oblationem curiae (Inst. 1, 10, 13). (Dig. 50, 2 de decurionibus.)
It is to be noticed that the jus Latii could, according to Gaius, § 95, be constitutionally granted in three ways, either by the people itself (in Comitia), or by the senate (representing the people), or by the Emperor (in whom the power of the people was to a great extent vested).
§ 97. | Non solum tamen naturales liberi secundum ea quae | diximus in potestate nostra sunt, uerum et hi quos adoptamus.
Inst. 1, 11 pr.
§ 98. Adoptio autem duobus modis fit, aut populi auctoritate, aut imperio magistratus, ueluti praetoris.
Inst. 1, 11, 1.
§ 99. Populi auctoritate adoptamus eos qui sui iuris sunt; quae species adoptionis dicitur adrogatio, quia et is qui adoptat rogatur, id est interrogatur, an uelit eum quem adoptaturus sit iustum sibi filium esse; et is qui adoptatur rogatur an id fieri patiatur; et populus rogatur an id fieri iubeat. imperio magistratus adoptamus eos qui in potestate parentum sunt, siue primum gradum liberorum optineant, qualis est filius et filia, siue inferiorem, qualis est nepos neptis, pronepos proneptis.
Inst. l. c.
§ 100. Et quidem illa adoptio quae per populum fit nusquam nisi Romae fit; at haec etiam in prouinciis apud praesides earum fieri solet.
§ 101. Item per populum feminae non adoptantur, nam id magis placuit; apud praetorem uero uel in prouinciis apud proconsulem legatumue etiam feminae solent adoptari.
§ 102. Item inpuberem apud populum adoptari aliquando prohibitum est, aliquando permissum est; nunc ex epistula optimi imperatoris Antonini quam scripsit pontificibus, si iusta causa adoptionis esse uidebitur, cum quibusdam condicionibus permissum est. apud praetorem uero et in prouinciis apud proconsulem legatumue cuiuscumque aetatis〈personas〉 adoptare possumus.
Inst. 1, 11, 3.
§ 103. Illud utriusque adoptionis commune est, quod et hi qui generare non possunt, quales sunt spadones, adoptare possunt.
Inst. 1, 11, 9.
§ 104. Feminae uero nullo modo adoptare possunt, quia ne quidem naturales liberos in potestate habent.
Inst. 1, 11, 10.
§ 105. Item si quis per populum siue apud praetorem uel apud praesidem prouinciae adoptauerit, potest eundem alii in adoptionem dare.
§ 106. Sed et illa quaestio, an minor natu maiorem natu adoptare possit, utriusque adoptionis communis est.
§ 107. Illud proprium est eius adoptionis quae per populum fit, quod is qui liberos in potestate habet, si se adrogandum dederit, non solum ipse potestati adrogatoris subicitur, sed etiam liberi eius in eiusdem fiunt potestate tamquam nepotes.
Inst. 1, 11, 11.
§ 97. Not only natural children are subject, as mentioned, to paternal power, but also adoptive children.
§ 98. Adoption is of two forms, adoption by authority of the people and adoption by the executive command of a magistrate, as of the praetor.
§ 99. Authority of the people is required for the adoption of an independent person, and this form is called adrogation, because the adopter is interrogated whether he wishes to have the person adopted for his lawful son, the person adopted is interrogated whether he thereto consents, and the people (in comitia) is interrogated whether such is its command. The executive command of a magistrate is the proceeding for the adoption of a person subject to the power of an ascendent, whether a descendent in the first degree, as a son or daughter, or in a remoter degree, as a grandson or granddaughter, great-grandson or great-granddaughter.
§ 100. Adoption by vote of the people (in comitia) can only be solemnized at Rome, the other process is usually effected in the provinces in the court of the president.
§ 101. Adoption by vote of the people is inapplicable to females, as has finally been ruled; but females may be adopted by the other mode of adoption, at Rome in the court of the praetor, in provinces of the people it is usually effected in the court of the proconsul, in provinces of the emperor in the court of the legate.
§ 102. The legislative adoption of a child below the age of puberty by vote of the people was at one time prohibited, at another permitted; at the present day, by the epistle of the Emperor Antoninus addressed to the pontifices, on evidence of a just cause of adoption, it is permitted, subject to certain conditions. In the court of the praetor at Rome, in the court of the proconsul in a province of the people, and in the court of the legate in a province of the emperor, a person of any age may be adopted.
§ 103. Both forms of adoption agree in this point, that persons incapable of procreation by natural impotence are permitted to adopt.
§ 104. Women cannot adopt by either form of adoption, for even their natural children are not subject to their power.
§ 105. He who has adopted a person either by the vote of the people or by the authority of the praetor or of the president of a province, can transfer his adoptive son to another adoptive father.
§ 106. Whether a younger person can adopt an older is a disputed point in both forms of adoption.
§ 107. It is peculiar to adoption by the vote of the people that children in the power of the person adrogated, as well as their father, fall under the power of the adrogator, assuming the position of grandchildren.
Adrogation, or the adoption of an independent person (paterfamilias), reducing him to a dependent status (filiusfamilias), was a legislative act of the Comitia Curiata; but though, as representing the people, this assembly was legally omnipotent, it was unconstitutional to deprive a person either of the citizenship or of domestic independence without his own consent. We learn from Cicero the formula by which this assent was ascertained. De Domo, 29. ‘As it is an immemorial rule of law that no citizen of Rome shall be deprived of the independent position of paterfamilias or of citizenship against his will, as you have had occasion of learning by your own experience, for I suppose that, illegal as your adrogation was in all points, you at least were asked whether you consented to become subject to the adrogator’s power of life and death as if you were his son;—if you had opposed or been silent, and the thirty Curiae had nevertheless passed the law, tell me, would their enactment have had any binding force?’ The form in which the law was proposed to the legislative assembly is given by Gellius, 5, 19. ‘Adrogation is the subjection of an independent person with his own consent to the power of a superior, and is not transacted in the dark or without investigation. The Comitia Curiata, at which the College of Pontiffs is present, are convened, and examine whether the age of the adrogator does not rather qualify him for the natural procreation of children, and whether the estate of the adrogatus is not the object of fraudulent cupidity, and an oath, said to be framed by Q. Mucius, the high pontiff, has to be taken by the adrogator. . . . Adrogation, the name given to this transmit into a strange family, is derived from the interrogation of the legislative body, which is in the following form: ‘May it please you to will and command that L. Valerius shall be as completely by law and statute the son of L. Titius as if he were born of L. Titius and his wife, and that L. Titius shall have power of life and death over L. Valerius as a father has over his son. Do you will and command as I have said, Quirites?’ Those who voted in affirmation of the measure proposed said (at least in other similar assemblies): Uti rogas; those who voted against it said: Antiquo. Women were originally incapable of being adrogated, § 101, because they were incapable of appearing in the Comitia Curiata, Quoniam cum feminis nulla comitiorum communio est, Gellius, ibid.; but this incapacity vanished as soon as the lex Curiata, as form of adrogation, was superseded by imperial rescript (principale rescriptum), Gaius in Dig. 1, 7, 21. Women, being incapable of exercising parental power, could not, properly speaking, adrogate, § 104; but they were permitted, under Diocletian a. d. 291, by quasi adrogation to establish the same legal relation as existed between a mother and her natural children, Cod. 8, 48, 5; Inst. 1, 11, 10. An adrogator was usually required to be sixty years old, Dig. 1, 7, 15, 2, and to be eighteen years (plena pubertate) older than adrogatus, Inst. 1, 11, 4. Originally a youth must have attained the age of puberty before he could be adrogated, § 102, and Gellius, ibid.: Sed adrogari non potest nisi jam vesticeps . . . quoniam tutoribus in pupillos tantam esse auctoritatem potestatemque fas non est, ut caput liberum fidei suae commissum alienae ditioni subiciant. ‘A youth cannot be adrogated before he has assumed the toga virilis, because a guardian has no authority or power to subject an independent person, with whose charge he is entrusted, to the domination of a stranger.’ The purple-edged praetexta was generally laid aside by boys along with the bulla aurea which they wore round their neck, on the first Liberalia, the 17th March, Ovid, Fasti, 3, 771, after the completion of their fourteenth year. Females did not lay aside the praetexta till their marriage. Antoninus Pius permitted the adrogation of youths below the age of puberty (impubes, investis) under certain conditions; e. g. the adrogator entered into a stipulation, originally with a public slave, in later times with a public notary (tabularius), in the event of the death of adrogatus before the age of puberty, to restore his estate to his natural heirs, and, in the event of emancipation, to adrogatus himself: and adrogatus became entitled to a fourth part of the estate of adrogator (called quarta Antonini), of which he could not be deprived by disinherison or by unmerited emancipation, § 102; cf. Inst. 1, 11, 3. In the time of Justinian the adrogator only acquired a usufruct for life in the property, subject to which the adrogatus was owner of it; that is to say, the property of adrogatus was transformed by adrogation into peculium adventicium. Cf. 3, 84, comm.
The form of simple adoption is explained below, § 134, under the head of dissolution of patria potestas, for as patria potestas is vested by adoption in the adoptive father, so it is divested from the natural father.
The effect of adoption was much reduced by a constitution of Justinian. If the adoption was by an ascendent, maternal or paternal, it retained its old character: but if it was by a stranger it neither created nor extinguished patria potestas; it did not transfer the adopted son from his old family into a new family, and therefore it neither destroyed nor created any tie of agnation: its only effect was to give to the adopted son, in the event of intestacy, a claim against the estate of the intestate adoptive father; Cod. 8, 47, 10; Inst. 1, 11, 2 and 3, 1, 14.