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Latin Inscriptions: Laws and Decrees


Inscriptions from the time of the Roman Republic, translated by E.H.Warmington (1940). The numbers in red refer to the Latin text in the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum.


CIL_12.1

Latin Text

Sacred law (or laws) of about 500 B.C. or earlier, inscribed on the four faces of a four-sided and tapering block of tufa of which the top is broken off. Found between the forum and comitium at Rome, under a black marble pavement.

1 He who [violates] this . . .

2-3 that he be solemnly forfeited to Soranus.

4 . . .

5 to the King

6 goddess {or divine}

7 whom {or which}

8 summoner

9 soothsayer?

10 draught-cattle

11 let him take

12 . . .

13 whoever this

14 covering neither

15 legitimate {or be . . . to Jupiter}

16 god . . . {or divine . . .}



CIL_12.2545

Latin Text

Fragment of a temple notice or law. On stone found at S. Vittorino. Second century B.C.?

Jan. 1st. . . 4, to seize . . . or filch anything which has been brought as a gift into the said temple. Any person who shall have committed . . . of the articles herein, you shall make atonement . . .



CIL_12.591

Latin Text

'Senatus Consultum de Pago Montano'

Resolution of the Roman Senate for the protection of a burial-place on the Esquiline. On a pillar found at Rome. c. 150-120 B.C.

. . . and that they should take good care and guard it at the discretion of the aediles of the plebs in office at any time, and that there should be no burning-grounds on the said sites and areas and no fire-places for burning the dead; and that no one who shall hold these places by rent or purchase from the Mountain hamlet should be minded to make dung-heap or cast earth within the said places, and that if he shall have made dung-heap on the said sites or shall have east earth onto the said places, against him there shall be, for a fine of . . sesterces, laying of hands upon him, and taking of pledge.



CIL_12.614

Latin Text

Decree of Lucius Aemilius Paulus, proconsul of Further Spain in 189 B.C., freeing a community from the control of their neighbours at Hasta.

Plate of bronze found near Gades. Now in the Louvre.

Lucius Aemilius, son of Lucius, commander-in- chief, decreed that the slaves of the people of Hasta dwelling in the tower of Lascuta should be free. The land and the town which they had possessed at that time he ordered that they should possess and hold as heretofore so long as the Roman people and Senate are willing. Done in camp on the nineteenth day of January.



CIL_12.581   Decree of the Senate on the Bacchanalia (186 B.C.) : see ARS_28



CIL_12.586   Decree of the Senate on the Tiburtines (late 2nd or early 1st century B.C.) : see ARS_36



CIL_12.584

Latin Text

Arbitration of Quintus Minucius and Marcus Minucius fixing the territories of the Genuates and the (Langenses) Veturii or Viturii.

Plate of bronze found near Genoa in the Vale of Polcevera. 117 B.C.

Quintus Minucius Rufus and Marcus Minucius Rufus, sons of Quintus, inquired on the spot into the quarrels between the Genuans and the Veturians and in their hearing settled the quarrels between them and informed them of the conditions on which they were to hold their land and of the conditions on which boundaries were to be fixed. They ordered them to fix the boundaries and to cause boundary-marks to be set up; they ordered them to come to Rome in person when these commands were carried out. In person at Rome the Minucii made a report by a resolution of the Senate on the thirteenth day of December in the consulship of Lucius Caecilius son of Quintus, and Quintus Mucius son of Quintus.

Wherever there is private land belonging to the fortress of the Veturii, land which they may sell and which can pass to an heir, the said land shall not be put under charges.

The boundaries of the private land of the Langenses are: from the lowest reach of the watercourse which rises from the spring on Manicelum, at the stream Edus; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence along the stream uphill to the stream Lemuris. Thence along the stream Lemuris uphill as far as the watercourse Comberanea. Thence along the watercourse Comberanea uphill as far as the valley Caeptiema; there two boundary-marks stand on either side of the Postumian Way. From these boundary-marks, in a straight line to the watercourse Vendupale. From the watercourse Vendupale to the stream Neviasca. Thence downhill along the stream Neviasca to the stream Procobera. Thence downhill along the stream Procobera as far as the lowest reach of the watercourse Vinelasca. There a boundary-mark stands. Thence straight up the watercourse Vinelasca. Here a boundary-mark stands by the Postumian Way. Thence across the Postumian Way stands a second mark. From that which stands across the Postumian Way in a straight line to the spring at Manicelum. Thence downstream along the watercourse which rises from the spring on Manicelum to the boundary-mark which stands by the stream Edna. The boundaries of such public state-land which is in the possession of the Langenses appear to be these: at the confluence of the Edna and the Procobera, there a boundary-mark stands. Thence along the stream Edna uphill to Mount Lemurinus, at the foot; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence uphill on Mount Lemurinus, straight along up the ridge there a boundary-mark stands. Thence up further straight along up the ridge Lemurinus; there a boundary-mark stands on the mountain in front of a hollow. Thence up straight along up the ridge to the top of Mount Lemurinus; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence up straight along up the ridge to the reservoir often called Alianus; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence up straight along up the ridge to Mount Joventio; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence up straight along up the ridge to that height of the Apennine Mountains which is called Boplo; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence straight along up the ridge to the Apennine mountain Tuledo; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence downhill straight along down the ridge to the stream Veraglasca at the foot of Mount Berigiema; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence uphill straight along up the ridge to Mount Prenicus; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence downhill straight along down the ridge to the stream Tulelasca; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence uphill straight along up the ridge Blustiemelus to Mount Claxelus; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence downhill to the spring Lebriemelus; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence straight along the watercourse Eniseca to the stream Procobera; there a boundary-mark stands. Thence downhill to the stream Procobera at the point of the confluence of the streams Edus and Procobera; there a boundary-mark stands.

Whatever land we judge to be public state-land, that land we think the fort-holders, namely the Langensian Viturii, ought to hold and enjoy. For the said land the Langensian Veturii shall pay into the public treasury at Genua every year 400 pieces of the 'Victory' stamp. If the Langenses fail to pay the said money and do not give satisfaction according to the will and pleasure of the Genuans (on such condition that it is not through the fault of the Genuans that any delay hinders them from receiving the money) - in this case the Langenses shall be required to pay into the public treasury at Genua every year one twentieth part of the corn and one sixth part of the wine which shall have been produced on the said land.

Any Genuan or Veturian who has come into possession of land within the said boundaries, if he held possession on the first day of August in the consulship of Lucius Caecilius and Quintus Mucius, may thus remain in possession and till the land. Those who shall possess a holding must pay to the Langenses a charge in the same proportion as the remaining Langenses such of them as shall possess and enjoy any area within the said land. Furthermore within the said land no one must possess a holding unless it be by a majority-vote of the Langensian Veturii, and on condition that he admits no other onto his holding for the purpose of tilling unless he be a Genuan or a Veturian. If any of the said persons shall not appear to obey this condition (by a majority-vote of the Langensian Veturii), he shall not keep the land or enjoy it.

No man shall hinder the Genuans and the Veturii from pasturing cattle, on such of the said land as is associate pasture-land, in the way in which it is allowed on the remaining associate pasture-land of Genua, and no man shall use force or hinder them from taking from the said land firewood and building-timber and using the same.

The Langensian Veturii are required to pay into the public treasury at Genua a first year's rent on the first day of January next but one. For such land as the Langenses have enjoyed and shall enjoy before and up to the first day of January next they are not required to pay against their will.

The meadows which were ready for the mower, during the consulship of Lucius Caecilius and Quintus Mucius, within the limits of the public state-land in the possession of the Langensian Veturii, and the public state-land in the possession of the Odiates and the Dectunines, and the public state-land in the possession of the Cavaturini and the Mentovini - the said meadows no one shall mow or use as pasture or enjoy against the will of the Langenses and the Odiates and the Dectunines and the Cavaturini and the Mentovini, in the case of the land which any of the said peoples shall severally possess. If, on the said land, the Langenses or the Odiates or the Dectunines or the Cavaturini or the Mentovini prefer to let grow, fence off, and mow other meadows, they shall be allowed to do so provided that they hold no larger measure of meadowland than they held and enjoyed last summer.

If any one of the Veturii who have been judged or found guilty in respect of quarrels with the Genuans on account of contumelious wrongs is in prison because of such matters, we think that all of them should be released, discharged, and set free before the thirteenth day of August next. If any shall think that there is unfairness in this matter, they must come to us on the first possible day and be quit of all quarrels.

Commissioners: Mocus Meticanius son of Meticonus; Plaucus Pelianius son of Pelionus.



CIL_12.709   Decree of Pompeius on citizenship (89 B.C.) : see ARS_60



CIL_12.698

Latin Text

Contract, issued perhaps as a municipal decree, of the Roman colony Puteoli relating to building-work in front of the temple of Serapis.

Tablet of marble, now at Naples, written in three columns; found at Puteoli. 105 B.C. It was cut or recut in the imperial age, but was copied from an original document.

In the ninetieth year from the foundation of the colony, in the magistracy of Numerius Fufidius, son of Numerius, and Marcus Pullius, as Board of Two, and the consulship of Publius Rutilius and Gnaeus Mallius.

Second Contract relating to Works.

Contract for making a wall in the vacant building-space which lies in front of the temple of Serapis across the road. The contractor shall provide bondsmen and register their estates as securities at the will and pleasure of the members of the Board of Two. In the middle of the party-wall which is near the road and which is in the vacant space across the road, he shall open a gap for a doorway. He shall make it 6 ft. wide, 7 ft. high. From the said wall on the side which faces towards the sea he shall cause to jut out two side-pillars 2 ft. long and 1 ft. and 1/4 thick. Above the doorway he shall place a lintel of hard oakwood, 8 ft. long, 1 ft. and 1/4 wide, 3/4 ft. deep. On the top of it and the side-pillars he shall cause to jut out from the wall, on the outside, 4 ft. on both sides, oaken top-beams 2 ft. and 2/3 thick and 1 ft. wide. On top he shall fasten up, with iron, chased ogee-mouldings. Above the top-beams he shall place, and along them fasten with iron, 2 cross-beams made of fir-wood and 1/2 ft. thick each way. He shall rafter them over with rafters hewn from fir-logs and made 1/3 ft. thick each way; he shall arrange them not more than 3/4 ft. apart. And he shall place in position wainscot-panelling of fir-wood; he shall make them out of foot-wide blocks. He shall place in position frontal fittings of fir-wood 3/4 ft. wide and an inch thick, and a waved moulding, and shall fasten same with flat clamps of iron. He shall also roof the small door with a roof having six rows of tiles on each side. He shall fasten all the lowest tiles on either side to the corresponding frontal fitting with iron, and he shall place a coping on top. The same person shall also make two latticed folding-doors having posts of winter-oak and shall put up and close and pitch them in the same way as was done to the doors at Honour's temple. In regard to the wall which forms the outermost enclosure, he shall further reconstruct the said wall 10 ft. high including coping. He shall also block up the doorway which now forms an entrance into the vacant building-space and also wall up the windows which are in the wall along the said vacant space; and on the wall which is at present along the road he shall put an uninterrupted coping. And all those walls and copings which will be found uncoated he shall cause to be well coated with a plaster of lime-mortar mixed with sand and varnished and whitewashed with wet lime. Material requiring preparation that he will use in this structure he shall make of clay mixed with one fourth part of slaked lime. And the rough tiles which he shall lay shall not be larger than such rough tile as turns the scale at 15 lbs. weight when dry, nor make the corner-tiles more than 41/2 inches high. And he shall clear the site according to the requirements of the work. Likewise the chapels, altars, and statues which are on the building-ground and which shall be pointed out to him he shall remove transfer arrange and set up in a place which shall be pointed out to him, at the will and pleasure of the magisterial Board of Two. He shall complete the whole of this work at the will and pleasure of the members and ex-members of the Board of Two who customarily sit in council at Puteoli, provided that not less than twenty members are present when the proposal shall be under discussion. Whatever may be approved by twenty of them on oath shall be legally valid; whatever they may not approve shall be legally invalid. Day for beginning the work: the first day of November next. Day of payment: one half of the sum shall be handed over when the estates have been registered to satisfaction as securities; the other half shall be paid off when the work is completed and approved.

Gaius Blossius son of Quintus; he contracts for 1500 sesterces; is likewise surety. Quintus Fuficius son of Quintus; Gnaeus Tettius son of Quintus; Gaius Granius son of Gaius; Tiberius Crassicius.



CIL_12.2676

Latin Text

Part of a Treaty of Alliance between Rome and Callatis on the West coast of the Black Sea. On stone found on the site of the ancient town. Now at Bucharest in a private collection. Probably late second or early first century B.C.

. . . It shall not be held right that the people of Rome should allow persons who are foes of or unfriendly to the people of Callatis to pass through territories belonging to the Romans or to Roman subjects with wrongful intent whereby they may be able to make war against the people of Callatis or peoples who shall be their subjects; nor shall the Romans, with wrongful intent, by expression of public will, assist such foes with arms or money . . . Should any one have made war against the people of Callatis; and likewise should any one have made war against the people of Rome or against those who shall be in subjection to them:- the people of Rome and the people of Callatis shall the one assist the other accordingly at such times as when any one shall have first made war against the people of Callatis or the people of Rome; the people of Rome and the people of Callatis acting herein as shall be permissible, according to treaties, to the people of Rome and the people of Callatis alike. Should either party desire to add anything to these conditions of alliance or remove anything from these conditions by expression of the will of both parties, such change as they shall have desired by public formulation of policy and common expression of will shall be permitted; and anything which they shall have added to the conditions of alliance shall have been validly added, and anything which they shall have removed therefrom shall have been validly removed. . . . that this treaty be written out on to a tablet of bronze; and that one such copy be fastened up at Rome on the Capitol in the best possible place in the Temple of Concord, and a second at Callatis.



CIL_12.582   Latin law of Bantia (133-100 B.C.) : see ARS_55



CIL_12.587

Latin Text

Fragment of Sulla's Law about the twenty quaestors.

Tablet of bronze found in the ruins of the temple of Saturn at Rome, 81 B.C. Now at Naples.

Lucius Cornelius, son of Lucius, dictator . . . duly proposed to the people, and the people duly resolved in the forum . . . on the . . . day of . . . the . . . tribe voted first; the first to vote on behalf of his tribe was . . .

VIII. Concerning the Twenty quaestors . . . the amount of said salary the magistrate shall report to a quaestor of the cay who shall have the treasury as his department, and such quaestor who shall have the treasury as his department shall pay the said money to the said clerk (or clerks) or to an heir and he shall be permitted to do so without risk of personal penalty, in so far as it is done without fraudulent embezzlement, and the aforesaid persons shall be allowed to take the money.

The consuls now in office shall, before the first day of December next choose, from those who are Roman citizens, one messenger who shall attend as messenger in that department of messengers which is or shall be required to attend the quaestors at the treasury on and after the fifth day of December next. And the same consuls shall, before the first day of December next, choose, from those who are Roman citizens, one herald who shall attend as herald in that detachment of heralds which is or shall be required to attend the quaestors at the treasury on and after the fifth day of December next.

Again the same consuls shall, before the first day of December next, choose one messenger, who shall attend as messenger in that detachment of messengers which is or shall be required to attend the quaestors at the treasury on and after the fifth day of December next but one. And the same consuls shall, before the first day of December next, choose one herald who shall attend as herald in that detachment of heralds which is or shall be required to attend the quaestors at the treasury on and after the fifth day of December next but one. Again the same consuls shall, before the first day of December next, choose one messenger who shall attend as messenger in that detachment of messengers which is or shall be required to attend the quaestors at the treasury on and after the fifth day of December next but two. And the same consuls shall, before the first day of December next, choose one herald who shall attend as herald in that detachment of heralds which is or shall be required to attend the quaestors at the treasury on and after the fifth day of December next but two.

And they shall choose all the said messengers and heralds according as they believe them worthy of the said rank. For whatever detachment each person shall have been so chosen messenger, he shall be a messenger in the said detachment on the same footing as the remaining messengers of the said detachment shall be. Again, for whatever detachment each shall be so chosen herald, lie shall be a herald in the said detachment on the same footing as the remaining heralds of the said detachment shall be. Again, for and in regard to the said messengers, legal and judicial powers in all matters concerning them shall belong to the quaestor and shall hold good for them exactly as if the said messengers had been formerly chosen for or substituted in whatever detachment consisting of three messengers, for which detachment, no matter what, each of the said persons shall have been chosen as messenger under this law. Again, for and in regard to the said heralds, legal and judicial powers in all matters concerning them shall belong to the quaestor and shall hold good for them exactly as if the said heralds had been chosen for or substituted in whatever detachment consisting of three heralds, for which detachment thereof each of the said persons shall have been chosen as herald under this law.

Whomsoever the quaestors shall be required, by law or resolution of the plebs, to choose or substitute as messengers, the said quaestors shall choose or substitute such messengers, making four in number, according to the rights and conditions under which the quaestors now in office chose or substituted three messengers. And whomsoever the quaestors shall be required, by law or by a resolution of the plebs, to choose or substitute as heralds, the said quaestors shall choose or substitute such heralds, making four in number, according to the rights and conditions under which the quaestors now in office chose or substituted three heralds; provided that they do not, in choosing or substituting the said messengers or heralds, choose or substitute a messenger or herald in the place of a messenger or herald in whose place it shall not be allowed by any laws or resolutions of the plebs to choose or substitute a messenger or herald. Moreover out of the said four messengers shall the quaestor, whoever he shall be, take and employ his messengers in the same way as they have been used to take and employ messengers, before the passing of this bill into law, from the three messengers. Moreover also out of the said four heralds shall the quaestor, whoever he shall be, take and employ heralds, in the same way as they have been used to take and employ heralds, before the passing of this bill into law, from the three heralds. Likewise also it shall be rightfully permissible, for one of the said messengers or heralds, who shall be chosen by this law, to grant or substitute a deputy on the same footing as it shall be rightfully permissible, for one of the remaining messengers and heralds, according to whatever detachment each belongs to, to grant or substitute a deputy; and likewise the quaestors shall receive from the said persons deputies on the same footing as they shall be required to receive deputies from the remaining messengers and heralds.

A magistrate or a person acting as a magistrate shall pay, to the messengers and heralds who shall he chosen or substituted by this law, just so much by way of salary as would be required to be paid to a messenger or a herald if such messenger or herald were chosen from the detachment of three messengers or three heralds respectively who were appointed to be chosen before the passing of this bill into law.

According to the detachments of messengers and heralds for which the consul shall have by this law chosen messengers and heralds (messengers and heralds whose names in the said detachments shall be posted up in writing, directly preceding this law, on a wall facing the passages by the temple of Saturn) - he shall make over the salary of the said messengers and heralds to the quaestor of the city who shall have the treasury as his department.



CIL_12.596   Judiciary Law - Florence Fragment (133-87 B.C.) : see ARS_80



CIL_12.583   Acilian Law on Extortion (123-122 B.C.) : see ARS_45



CIL_12.585   Agrarian Law (111 B.C.) : see ARS_51



CIL_12.590   Charter of Tarentum (89-62 B.C.) : see ARS_63



CIL_12.2951a   'Tabula Contrebiensis' - a judgement about land and water rights (87 B.C.) : see Roman Law Library



CIL_12.588

Latin Text

Decree of the Roman senate concerning Asclepiades, Polystratus, and Meniscus, 78 B.C. Tablet of bronze found at Rome; now at Naples.

Bilingual. Of the Latin only parts are preserved; but the rest can be supplied from the Greek translation. For a more recent edition and translation of this inscription, see A.Raggi, "Senatus consultum de Asclepiade Clazomenio sociisque" ( academia.edu ).

In the consulship of Quintus Lutatius Catulus son of Quintus, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, son of Quintus, grandson of Marcus; and the urban praetorship, and the praetorship for aliens, of Lucius Cornelius Sisenna, son of . . . in the month of May.

Quintus Lutatius Catulus, consul, son of Quintus, consulted the Senate in the comitium on the 22nd of May.

Present to sign as witnesses to the record: Lucius Faberius son of Lucius, of the Sergian tribe, Gaius son of Lucius, of the Poblilian tribe, and Quintus Petillius son of Titus, of the Sergian tribe.

With regard to the matter on which Quintus Lutatius, consul, son of Quintus, made verbal report, to wit that Asclepiades of Clazomenae son of Philinus, Polystratus of Carystus, son of Polyarces, and Meniscus of Miletus, son of Irenaeus (who was at one time known as Meniscus son of Thargelius) were present on our side as captains in their ships at the beginning of the Italic War; that they had staunchly rendered valiant and trusty aid to our commonwealth; that he wished that they might be dismissed to their homes by decree of the Senate should it seem good to him that such honour be accorded them in return for successful campaigns accomplished by them and for valiant deeds done by them in favour of our commonwealth: on this matter the Senators passed the following resolution:-

That Asclepiades of Clazomenae son of Philinus, Polystratus of Carystus son of Polyarces, and Meniscus of Miletus son of Irenaeus (who was formerly known as Meniscus son of Thargelius) be called good friends and fighters true; that the Senate and the Roman people believed that their aid rendered had been noble valiant and trusty towards our commonwealth; wherefore the resolution of the Senate is, that they, their children, and their descendants be free and exempt from all dues and services in their native countries; that any tributes, that have been exacted from their estates after their departure in the service of our commonwealth, be returned and restored to them, and any lands buildings or estates of theirs sold up after their departure from home in the cause of our commonwealth, all of the same be restored to them in entirety; and that, if any time-limit has run out after their departure from home n the cause of our commonwealth, the fact do no harm to their interests, and that no debt owed them be for that reason less valid, and that they be no whit the less permitted to assert a claim thereto and exact the same; and that all inheritances that have fallen to them or their children, they may have, possess, and enjoy; and that in all claims which themselves their children their descendants or their wives shall assert from a second party, or in any which other parties shall assert from them their children their descendants or their wives,- they their children their descendants or their wives shall have legal right and free power to contest the same in court at home according to their own laws or in courts of our own magistrates, Italians to be judges, or in some free state of those who have at all times stayed firm in friendship with the Roman people; that, wherever they may wish, there the law-court be held on the said matters; that any judgments at law that were delivered on them in their absence after their departure from home be made entirely null and void, and judgment be delivered afresh in entirety by decree of the Senate. If there be any moneys publicly owed by their states, they shall not be required to pay anything towards the said moneys. Any magistrate of ours, whatever, who shall lease out Asia and Euboea or shall impose revenue-taxes on Asia and Euboea must take care that the said persons be not required to pay anything. And that the consuls Quintus Lutatius and Marcus Aemilius, either, or both, if they think fit, must superintend the entering of the said persons on the official roll of friends; and that they be permitted to put up a bronze tablet to Friendship and make a sacrifice; and that for them they order the quaestor of the city to despatch a contribution according to official formula, and to contract for free quarters and all necessaries. And that, if they should wish to send ambassadors, or to come as ambassadors, to the Senate about their personal affairs, they, their children, and their descendants be permitted to come as ambassadors or to send the same. And that the consuls Quintus Lutatius and Marcus Aemilius, either, or both, if they think fit, send a letter to our magistrates who hold Asia and Macedonia as provinces, and to their magistrates to the effect that the Senate wishes and thinks it right that these matters hold good in such a way as seems to them advantageous to the commonwealth and consistent with their personal honour.

Passed.

{ The Greek translation follows }



CIL_12.589   Lex Antonia, on the autonomy of Greater Termessus (68 B.C.) : see ARS_49



CIL_12.600   Fragment from Ateste on judicial competence in Cisalpine Gaul (67 or 49 B.C.) : see ARS_103



CIL_12.593   'Tabula Heracleensis', a law of Caesar on Municipalities (45-44 B.C.) : see ARS_113



CIL_12.594   Charter of Urso (47-44 B.C.) : see ARS_114.   For a new fragment of this charter, see below.



HispEp_4.825   Charter of Urso: New Fragment (47-44 B.C.) : see Additional Inscription 2.



HispEp_1.151   Surrender of a Spanish Community to L. Caesius (104 B.C.) : see Additional Inscription 3.


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