Additional Latin Inscriptions: 2


Latin text:   HispEp_4.825
Date:     c. 45 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

Substantial fragments of the foundation charter of the Roman colony of Urso were discovered in southern Spain in the nineteenth century. This charter (often called the Lex Ursonensis) is of considerable interest, because it appears to have been drafted in the office of Julius Caesar shortly before his death, and so gives some insight into the thoughts of the dictator on the conduct of local government.

An English translation of these fragments is already available online. Another fragment of the charter has been discovered recently, containing sections 13-19 and a tiny bit of section 20, and it is translated here.

[13] Whoever are appointed or elected to be duumvirs or prefects in the colony Genetiva Julia, those duumvirs before any of them enter on their magistracy shall give a surety and pledge property to the duumvirs or the prefects, at the discretion of the decurions as long as no fewer than 25 of them are present when this matter is discussed, that whatever public money of the citizens of the colony Genetiva Julia is given or handed over to them, and whatever money they exact or receive, they will hand over all that remains of that money to the next duumvirs or to the prefects who follow them, at the discretion of the decurions without malicious deception, and will give an account of their finances at the discretion of the decurions.

[14] Whoever would be a decurion in the colony Genetiva Julia, that decurion shall own a building within the area marked round by the plough that has not less than 600 roof-tiles. Whoever would be a citizen of the colony, but not a decurion, within two years of the colony being founded he shall own a building that has not less then 300 roof-tiles.

[15] The curiae of the colony Julia shall be as follows : Julia, Asinia *, Aurelia, Calpurnia, Martia, Albania, Ilia, Troia, Veneria, Camerina, Tituria, Aemilia, Antonia, Hortensia, Acilia, Fabia, Ersilia, Junia, Valeria, Caecilia, Scribonia, Licinia, Fulvia, Salutaris. Whoever are members of any of these curiae, they shall all have the right to vote in that curia, and no-one shall deliberately with deception vote in another curia within this colony. If anyone deliberately with deception votes in another curia, he shall pay a fine of . . . sesterces to the citizens of the colony Genetiva Julia, and anyone shall have the right to make a legal claim or bring a prosecution under this law to exact that money; a duumvir may make judgement on this matter. Whoever is found guilty of voting deliberately with deception in another curia, he shall nto be permitted to vote in this colony for the next five years, and no magistrate of this colony may allow him to vote.

[16] . . . citizens of the colony to the most appropriate curia . . . shall be enrolled as citizens of the colony. The duumvirs in office at the time shall have the right and authority to do this as . . . as possible.

[17] Whoever wishes to become a decurion, being a citizen in the colony Genetiva Julia, let him present himself to a duumvir . . . and demonstrate that he is worthy and suitable to be a decurion of this colony. The duumvir, to whom he presents himself, if the citizen of the colony . . . to the decurions that he is worthy and suitable to be a decurion of the colony Julia . . . let him choose, enrol and co-opt him so that . . . he will be chosen, enrolled and co-opted . . .

[18] Whichever duumvirs of the colony Julia . . . will be in their magistracy, themselves or . . . let them hold and direct elections for the creation of duumvirs and aediles without deliberate deception . . . let them be held as long as . . . individual freedmen and free-born men . . . will present themselves at the start of the Kalends of January . . . so they will be appointed and elected . . . they shall have authority and imperium as . . .

[19] Whoever [holds] elections in the colony Genetiva Julia . . . or will hold them . . . will hold elections in the colony Genetiva Julia . . . and will hold elections . . . to stand as a candidate to be duumvir or aedile, so that what he wishes with good intent . . . he shall accept and enter on the public records . . . write the public records on a whitened board . . . while these elections . . . nor anyone else . . . except the man who under this law . . . less many put themselves forward as candidates . . . nor shall they stand as candidates . . . whom under that law . . .

* {Note}: 'Asinia' is included in second place amongst the curia names, in recognition of the role that C. Asinius Pollio had as Caesar's representative in establishing the colony.

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