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THE HISTORY OF OLD ROME

IV. The Revolution

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 VII - The Revolt of the Italian Subjects, and the Sulpician Revolution

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Page 53

Lastly, they had withheld the franchise from a considerable, and that not the worst, portion of the Italians--the whole of the insurgent communities which had again submitted; and not only so, but, instead of legally re-establishing the former treaties annulled by the insurrection, they had at most renewed them as a matter of favour and subject to revocation at pleasure.(20)

20. Licinianus (p. 15) under the year 667 says: -dediticiis omnibus [ci]vita[s] data; qui polliciti mult[a] milia militum vix XV... cohortes miserunt-; a statement in which Livy's account (Epit. 80): -Italicis populis a senatu civitas data est- reappears in a somewhat more precise shape. The -dediticii- were according to Roman state-law those -peregrini liberi- (Gaius i. 13-15, 25, Ulp. xx. 14, xxii. 2) who had become subject to the Romans and had not been admitted to alliance. They not merely retain life, liberty, and property, but may be formed into communities with a constitution of their own. --Apolides--, -nullius certae civitatis cives- (Ulp. xx. 14; comp. Dig. xlviii. 19, 17, i), were only the freedmen placed by legal fiction on the same footing with the -dediticii qui dediticiorum numero sunt-, only by erroneous usage and rarely by the better authors called directly -dediticii-; (Gai. i. 12, Ulp. i. 14, Paul. iv. 12, 6) as well as the kindred -liberti Latini Iuniani-. But the -dediticii-nevertheless were destitute of rights as respected the Roman state, in so far as by Roman state-law every -deditio- was necessarily unconditional (Polyb, xxi. 1; comp. xx. 9, 10, xxxvi. 2) and all the privileges expressly or tacitly conceded to them were conceded only -precario- and therefore revocable at pleasure (Appian, Hisp. 44); so that the Roman state, what ever it might immediately or afterwards decree regarding its -dediticii-, could never perpetrate as respected them a violation of rights.

This destitution of rights only ceased on the conclusion of a treaty of alliance (Liv. xxxiv. 57). Accordingly -deditio- and -foedus- appear in constitutional law as contrasted terms excluding each other (Liv. iv. 30, xxviii. 34; Cod. Theod. vii. 13, 16 and Gothofr. thereon), and of precisely the same nature is the distinction current among the jurists between the -quasi- dediticii- and the -quasi Latini-, for the Latins are just the -foederati- in an eminent sense (Cic. pro Balb. 24, 54).

According to the older constitutional law there were, with the exception of the not numerous communities that were declared to have forfeited their treaties in consequence of the Hannibalic war (p. 24), no Italian -dediticii-; in the Plautian law of 664-5 the description: -qui foederatis civitatibus adscripti fuerunt- (Cic. pro Arch. 4, 7) still included in substance all Italians. But as the -dediticii- who received the franchise supplementary in 667 cannot reasonably be understood as embracing merely the Bruttii and Picentes, we may assume that all the insurgents, so far as they had laid down their arms and had not acquired the franchise under the Plautio-Papirian law were treated as -dediticii-, or--which is the same thing-- that their treaties cancelled as a matter of course by the insurrection (hence -qui foederati fuerunt- in the passage of Cicero cited) were not legally renewed to them on their surrender.


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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/rome/4-07-sulpician-revolution.asp?pg=53