Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/rome/1-05-original-constitution-rome.asp?pg=8

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
Constantinople Home Page  

Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates

THE HISTORY OF OLD ROME

I. The Period Anterior to the Abolition of the Monarchy

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson


The History of Old Rome

CHAPTER V - The Original Constitution of Rome

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

» Contents of this Chapter

Page 8

Dependents of the Household

To these strictly closed unities--the family or household united under the control of a living master, and the clan which originated out of the breaking-up of such households--there further belonged the dependents or "listeners" (-clientes-, from -cluere-). This term denoted not the guests, that is, the members of other similar circles who were temporarily sojourning in another household than their own, and as little the slaves, who were looked upon in law as the property of the household and not as members of it, but those individuals who, while they were not free burgesses of any commonwealth, yet lived within one in a condition of protected freedom.

These included refugees who had found a reception with a foreign protector, and those slaves in respect of whom their master had for the time being waived the exercise of his rights, and so conferred on them practical freedom. This relation had not the distinctive character of a strict relation -de jure-, like that of a man to his guest: the client remained a man non-free, in whose case good faith and use and wont alleviated the condition of non-freedom. Hence the "listeners" of the household (-clientes-) together with the slaves strictly so called formed the "body of servants" (-familia-) dependent on the will of the "burgess" (-patronus-, like -patricius-).

Hence according to original right the burgess was entitled partially or wholly to resume the property of the client, to reduce him on emergency once more to the state of slavery, to inflict even capital punishment on him; and it was simply in virtue of a distinction -de facto-, that these patrimonial rights were not asserted with the same rigour against the client as against the actual slave, and that on the other hand the moral obligation of the master to provide for his own people and to protect them acquired a greater importance in the case of the client, who was practically in a more free position, than in the case of the slave.

Especially must the -de facto- freedom of the client have approximated to freedom -de jure- in those cases where the relation had subsisted for several generations: when the releaser and the released had themselves died, the -dominium- over the descendants of the released person could not be without flagrant impiety claimed by the heirs at law of the releaser; and thus there was gradually formed within the household itself a class of persons in dependent freedom, who were different alike from the slaves and from the members of the -gens- entitled in the eye of the law to full and equal rights.

Previous / First / Next Page of this Chapter

Do you see any typos or other mistakes? Please let us know and correct them

The History of Old Rome: Contents ||| The Medieval West | The Making of Europe | Constantinople Home Page

Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Receive updates :

Learned Freeware

 

Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/rome/1-05-original-constitution-rome.asp?pg=8